What your advertising tells you about your strategy

Generally I’m very careful not to talk about advertising.  It’s dangerous – for me especially. On a business level, I have to make sure that people don’t confuse my product with pure “ad strategy” or “branding strategy”.  Many broader strategy discussions devolve to this, for the simple reason that this is where most conscious “strategy […]

Three reasons great strategists think more about style than substance

“The world doesn’t reward the people with the best ideas. It rewards the people who are best at communicating ideas.” – David Perrell We all know that ideas (and strategies) are worth nothing, and execution is everything.  This is obvious, or should be anyway. But the notion above? This is more subtle, and I think […]

Three indisputable signs you have no strategy

The last person who should be the judge of whether you have a strategy is you. Everyone has a strategy in their head.  Or at least, something they vaguely label as “strategy”.  But that’s not where strategy lives, in your head.  Instead it lives “out there”.  In the fabric of the business, the minds of […]

Here’s why these debates about the definition of “strategy” are so dumb

The other day, I did a post about how pointless it is to argue about definitions of terms like “strategy”, and how it’s better instead to just say what you mean. I think you can guess what happened next. The comments section, naturally, became furious debating shop over the definitions of such terms.  So I […]

My 5 contrarian beliefs on strategy

If I could select one single idea from my body of work which I think is the most powerful and transformative it would be this: The importance of disagreeing with your competitors. If you’ve been following my stuff for a while you’ll know all about this.  The point is that it’s not enough to simply […]

7 sticky statements for effortless strategic thinking

To be frank with you, I don’t really say anything new in these “news”letters. New to you possibly, but not new to the world at large.  Now this isn’t because I’m uniquely unoriginal, but rather because when it comes to strategy, there isn’t anything new to be said.  Not by me, not by anyone. It […]

How to use woo-woo magic to get a strategic edge

Look, I happen to think that “woo-woo” works. By which I mean tapping into esoteric, mystical, even spiritual forces for the purpose of developing strategy. I know it sounds crazy, and you don’t have to agree, but in fairness I’m in pretty good company. Steve Jobs had everyone at his funeral issued with Paramahansa Yogananda’s […]

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’ […]

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 […]