Strategy – When Ego & Logic Collide…

So, a colleague of mine was preparing for a 2-day strategy session…

Never mind that I really dislike these two/three-day “events” disguised as strategic thinking and envisioning.

This colleague, like many consultants, was gearing up for the contest that was to come… the inevitable clash between monumental egos and the logic and foresight necessary to grow a business. My advice to her lament? I said:

May the force be with you. My experience tells me that if we can connect logic & smarts with their executive-level egos, then success is nigh…


You Aren’t Paranoid – They Really Don’t Like You!

I’ve mentioned in earlier blog posts, and now it’s confirmed — many employees aren’t too keen on their managers.

Some results from a recent survey conducted by the Institute for Corporate Productivity; they surveyed 675 workers from all but executive levels, and discovered:

  • 60% said managers have a tough but fulfilling job. We’ll keep it “our secret” that it’s really a cakewalk, and we’re only in it for the dough.
  • Less than 50% of managers surveyed believe that their organization’s management is “above average. This one hurts. Looking around the room at your peers right now, as many as half believe you’re “not all that.” (more…)

Brother Have You Got A Dime?

Bail out the auto industry, you say??

$25B sounds like a lot of cash to normal people, but it’s barely a band-aid for the automakers’ troubles. If we do this, they’ll soon be back at the trough for more.

The problems with U.S. automakers are cost of labor, stupid supplier agreements, and way, way too many dealerships.

I say allow them to go into bankruptcy, use that as impetus for renegotiating labor agreements, changing inflated supplier contracts, and allowing many borderline, cash-driven dealerships to go away. If the government simply MUST provide bail-out cash, do so as a guarantee to whomever comes forward with post-bankruptcy DIP financing.

Strategic YES, Planning NO

Strategic Planning is dead. Long live strategic planning…

An interesting conundrum; we know that strategic planning is valuable. Intuitively. Yet, we seldom march lockstep behind that big blue binder when it’s complete.

Why is that??

I have an opinion (surprise!). During a recent strategy session, the client’s chief executive stated that he doesn’t even consider it strategic planning at all. He doesn’t even like the term.
He uses Strategic Discernment.

I hate doing this, but I visited for the definitive definition of discern/discernment…

Stupid Should Hurt…

I was recently involved (as a participant) in a strategic planning event; the facilitator, Alan Pue, was discussing many of the ways that planning — and its subsequent implementation — can go wrong.

In part of that commentary, he mentioned as an example a firm’s inability to adapt to a necessary change in the market, and how that inability adversely affected their performance. Alan wasn’t sympathetic to their plight, nor even empathetic. In fact, he made it clear that the problem was their own doing, and the resultant pain was of their own creation. They did it to themselves, have no one else to blame, and these lessons — though valuable — can be painful.

I agree.

When we act so dumb in business that we can’t get out of our own way, the resultant pain is our own doing. Sort of like touching a hot stove, we hopefully learn that we shouldn’t do that again.

Stupid should hurt.