Glossary of strategic ideas – volume 2

The following, as suggested by the title, is an update to my old post cataloguing various strategic hacks, tricks, and thought experiments. The article and old items are the same as before, but I’ve added a bunch of new ones – which I’ve highlighted for people who read the original already. Hope it’s of use, stay […]

The opposites game: how to tell if a strategy is nonsense

By my conservative estimate, about 90% of business strategies are, when you get down to it, exactly the same. They use different words, different rationales, different techniques, different frameworks, but beneath it all the actual content, the actual meaning, is identical.  What is this universal mega-strategy of which I speak?  Simply this: “Be good” That’s […]

The most simple strategic framework

I’ve made a song and dance in the past about my aversion to templates, models, frameworks, and the like in order to generate strategy. None, I believe, can be said to perfectly match every possible strategy – and in some cases they can even drag people away from perfectly good solutions, simply because they weren’t […]

Minimum viable strategy: the art of leaving things alone

The other day I was introduced to a lovely idea which I’m sure will resonate strongly with anyone who has to do something “creative” for a living: The Queen’s Duck. It comes from the development of a video game, Battle Chess, and more specifically a moment of ingenuity on behalf of one of the animators […]

There are two types of strategy – which do you need?

Ostensibly, a business strategy is about growth.  Figure out a direction, execute on it, sell more stuff.  Simple as that. However, whilst this is broadly true, the process by which you find a strategy can be quite different depending on your stage of development.  Indeed the way one business goes about it can be the complete opposite […]

The Toilet Paper Rule

We want to be the Apple of dishwasher tablets. We want to be the Nike of accountancy software. We want to be the Tesla of bathroom grout. We want to be the Supreme of clingfilm. We want to be the Netflix of medical waste disposal. Recognise statements like these? We all want to be the […]

The Most Underrated Strategic Tool

We are all cats in boxes. This is an analogy I once heard (can’t remember where) which really speaks to me, and has a lot of importance for smart and strategic thinking. Expanded, the concept is something like this. Imagine you have a cat in a box, with air holes punched in it so it […]

The Strategic Hierarchy – Business Made Easy

As we all know, strategy is confusing. If I tell people that I’m a strategist, they typically respond in a similar manner as if I told them I’m a pixie – a mixture of bafflement and scepticism. “I don’t really know what you mean, but it sounds like bullshit anyway”. This, frankly, is fair enough.  […]

Glossary Of Strategic Ideas – Volume 1

One question I’m asked, again and again, is what I think of Simon Sinek’s famous “why”. If you don’t know what this is, then I’m very surprised that you’re reading this blog. However, to offer a totally redundant recap, his basic thesis was that “people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do […]

How To Use Writing To Solve Problems

I have written before that if you want to have a successful newsletter, you’d better be happy with firing off 500 mails to absolutely nobody – because in order to get there, that’s exactly where you’ll have to start. Fortunately, things haven’t been quite that bad in my case; I’m a long way from 500 […]