Archive for the ‘Strategic Planning’ Category

Just Say NO to “YES” Men

Wednesday, April 15th, 2009

Ever dream of being surrounded by people who always tell you just what you want to hear?  Think that would be a pretty sweet deal, do ya?

If so, President Kennedy would like a word with you. (more…)

Moments of Truth: Measuring Where it Matters Most

Wednesday, April 8th, 2009

You can’t monitor and audit every tiny facet of your business, or you won’t have time to run the business.  So where does execution matter most?  It matters most in the critical moments I call Moments of Truth—the moments where execution can mean the difference between success and failure.

Moments of Truth are those critical times when a customer forms an impression of you, deciding whether your offerings and their standards see eye-to-eye.  Though they vary from industry to industry and business to business, every business has them. (more…)

Untie Yourself from Planning and Make Things HAPPEN!

Thursday, March 26th, 2009
Gulliver's Travels

Gulliver's Travels

When most people think of Gulliver’s Travels, they picture the big guy tied to the ground by the tiny people of Lilliput.  Not a bad metaphor for modern life, eh?

But my favorite part of that story is the flying island of Laputa.  The Laputians are philosophers, wicked smart, but they spend all their time navel-gazing—thinking deep thoughts, making complex calculations—and never get around to doing anything.  (No surprise that their wives often leave the island and never come back.  Talk about SMART.)

I know an awful lot of business leaders who probably have Laputian passports, if you know what I mean. (more…)

Follow the Succeeder

Thursday, February 5th, 2009

Fourth-quarter profitability was at historic lows, and the bigger they are, the harder they are falling.  So answer me this: Why are so many companies playing “Follow the Leader” when so many “leaders” are going right off the cliff?

It’s like Mom always said: “If Angelo Mozilo jumped off a cliff, would YOU jump off a cliff?”  (Before you answer, remember which of you has the golden parachute.)

It’s like any habit.  After years of sleeping under a Bernie Madoff poster, it can be hard to break out of the habit of following the big boys.  But you know you’ve got to do it.  So I suggest you switch from “Follow the Leader” to “Follow the Succeeder.”

There ARE some succeeders out there, you know.  Even in the midst of all this mess, many companies made more profit in the fourth quarter than they had in any year in the past. Others have had outstanding growth while increasing the profit on that growth.  And no, I’m not talking about foreclosure sign painters.

So what’s the difference between going off that cliff and taking wing? It’s all in the belief systems. (more…)

Execution—The Key to Success, No Matter What Field You Play On

Monday, January 26th, 2009

After a season that many have agreed was one of the most unpredictable in NFL history, the Super Bowl is finally here.  And instead of the Cowboys/Patriots matchup all the talking heads were predicting in September, it’s the Cardinals and Steelers.

Not that I care.  Since my Packers didn’t even make it into the post season, I’m mostly in it for the commercials.

But no matter who’s playing, I’m always blown away when I think about what it takes to get to the Big Game—years of training, thousands of individual decisions and commitments, and the determination to execute like mad on each play.

No matter what your game is, execution is the key to success.  (more…)