The Beauty Of Failure

A couple of things happened yesterday to remind me that, when it comes to business, failure is seldom fatal. First, I read Luke Johnson’s article in the FT, which argued that setbacks and failures were the crucibles in which great business leaders are forged. Far from...

Speaking At The BMA Conference

I have just returned from speaking at the Bathroom Manufacturers’ Association’s (BMA) annual conference earlier today. The managers and directors attending this year’s conference have been hit hard by the recession, but, in conversation, they remain quietly optimistic...

Overcoming The Cairngorms’ Syndrome

When I was younger I used to ski quite regularly on the Scottish Cairngorms, near Aviemore. Each morning I would check the weather, knowing that the merest hint of a breeze down in the glen would mean that a gale would be blowing on the mountaintop. Executive...

8 Strategy Home Truths

Twice a year I host a Strategy Directors’ Forum, where strategy directors from some of the UK’s leading companies have a roundtable discussion on a wide range of topics. Last year, at our first session, the participants agreed some ‘golden rules’ for...

Tesco USA: Fresh, But Far From Easy

Is the Tesco management team regretting the implementation strategy for its US business, Fresh & Easy? Yesterday’s reporting of Tesco’s half-year results will do little to silence the analysts and investors who are questioning the performance of this format. I...

The Gold Medal For Relationship-Building

All of my successes in business have been delivered on the back of strong relationships. And, similarly, most of my failures can be traced to an absence of effective relationships with the key stakeholders. Last week the IOC selected Rio de Janeiro to host the 2016...

Agreement Isn’t Alignment

I’m in Rhode Island, USA, this week working with my mentor, Alan Weiss, and meeting some potential clients. Last night a small group of us went to a local restaurant that Alan had recommended called Siena, which is near our hotel in Warwick. As we set off the taxi the...