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 […]

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 […]

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 […]