Why post-rationalised strategies are better

OK, here’s an obvious thing that you should have picked up in my writing by now: Leverage comes from doing things differently. Basic right?  And who could disagree with that.  But we should ask the follow up question – do you really believe it?  Because although your mouth may say yes, your actions and your […]

What is “insight speed” and how do you get there?

In my consulting work with clients, I have two practices which I’ve come to realise are very unusual: I favour long meetings (2+ hours) over short I favour public meetings (cafe, bar, etc.) over private My typical client engagement is generally something like a 2.5 hour chit chat in a buzzy coffee shop or members’ […]

Four hard truths about growing an audience

Sure, people want to hear from me about strategy. But, if I’m honest, I know there’s a sizeable minority – perhaps even a majority – who really want to hear about how I went from 0 to 70,000 followers in 5 months. It’s understandable, because in our current climate you’re sometimes made to feel that […]

How to write and talk in a strategically powerful way

Pretty much every “strategy” I see looks something like this: Whether or not the example in this image is “trying” to be a strategy, the point still stands – the discipline, and indeed business in general, is polluted by a style of communication that actually obscures meaning rather than revealing it. I think we massively […]

The spiritual war between management and strategy

A running theme of this newsletter, and the “strategy industry” in general, is the continued inability for individuals and organisations to “get it”. Why is it so hard? What is the blocker that makes a fundamental business discipline (perhaps THE fundamental discipline), so bloody difficult to grasp?  Why does nobody know what it is?  Why […]

Should you actually listen to your customers?

Barely a day goes by without somebody sagely remarking to me just how important it is to “listen to your customers”. Generally they do it because they think I’ll agree.  It’s not really advice so much as it is an act of solidarity.  The message is that we’re in the customer-centric club, and that we […]

The (in)ability that leads to strategic breakthroughs

Let’s be honest: not everyone has the same aptitude for this stuff. Although my focus here is to make big bold strategy democratic, and accessible to everyone, there’s always going to come a moment when know-how breaks down, and personal ability takes over. That stuff can be trained partially, but not totally.  Ultimately some people […]

This is the best way to learn strategy, but most ignore it

If you want to learn a skill like strategy, there are lots of resources to help you do it: Books Courses Videos Newsletters Frameworks Podcasts Etc. These are all great, and I’d recommend anything you can get your hands on (especially if they’re by me *cough*). But there’s one problem with all that stuff. It’s […]

Here’s a brainless shortcut that actually works

In a way the core principle of strategy is that there are no shortcuts. There are no obvious, off-the-peg, brainless things you can just “do” to get competitive advantage.  Everything requires some degree of thought, insight, and risk. But you know, that may not be strictly true. Because I do believe there is one pretty […]

The 3 step process I use on every project

People often say that strategy is both “art and science”. I do agree, but I think there’s a better way of putting it: Strategy is intuition and analysis. Both are crucial, because each does a job the other can’t. Intuition allows you to take a holistic view of the situation, and generate truly original and […]