I’m a strategist, writer, and advisor to CEOs and founders. I set up Basic Arts in 2016 to help create brands that stand alone in their markets, and bring true value to people.
It’s my goal to increase strategic understanding and expertise among founders, since it’s not only something that’s widely misunderstood, but often completely overlooked.
You can connect with me on Linkedin.
My approach to strategy is not a generic one.
I started Basic Arts with the passionate belief that all businesses have just one job: to bring value to the world. Indeed I’d say that’s the very definition of a business – it’s a system designed to deliver value.
The more value you give, the more value you get back in return, and that’s why all great strategies focus on the question of how a business can maximise the value it gives. That is the central concern of all my projects, and all clients I work with.
In addition to this core idea, there are various beliefs me, my clients, and my readers tend to share:
Average businesses try to “beat” competitors who are similar to them. They do this by cutting prices, increasing marketing, and slashing margins. Great businesses on the other hand have no competitors. They offer something unique, and become the only choice for customers who value what they do.
All my strategies aim to position my clients in this “non-competitive” space, where no others can venture.
Most brands limit their creative thinking to their media assets – their branding, advertising, website, and so on – leaving the rest of the business grey and generic. Great brands however are creative and distinctive in every part of their operations; so much so that they often don’t even need advertising – they advertise themselves.
My strategies are designed to guide the entire business, so it becomes distinctive and compelling right the way through.
Great strategy can only be created through a commitment to truth. Every business excels in some areas, and is weak in others, and only by honestly confronting its situation can it hope to find a direction that will lead it to greatness. Pretty lies are the number one enemy of clear thinking.
When working with clients I will guide them as close as I can to the truth – but always respectfully, kindly, and collaboratively
Strategy is not a science. Reality cannot be reduced to a set of data, and answers cannot be arrived at by formula. You can only understand the full picture and arrive at creative breakthroughs by taking a holistic view. That means combining analytical rigour with faith in intuition – to fill in the gaps and make the connections that are truly enlightening.
That’s why my strategies don’t only regurgitate facts and figures you already know; they make you see your business totally differently, and take leaps that one dimensional analysis would never reveal.
People aren’t interested in “smart” businesses. They’re interested in interesting businesses. Ones which combine good thinking with a sense of joy, mischief, and wit which elevates their offering to a level that speaks to the heart as well as the head.
For this reason I don’t try to produce strategies that are merely “sensible” or “right”; they must also be entertaining, surprising, and fun too – both in their thinking, and their results
Insights don’t emerge from a vacuum, but from the back and forth between individuals in an atmosphere of trust, openness, and humour. That’s why the human dynamic in strategy is as important as any skill or technique. Without a great working partnership, none of the above is possible.
All of my projects are journeys of discovery that my clients and I undertake together. And It’s why I love what I do.
Connect with Alex on Linkedin for daily ideas and discussion