Business Rocks: Kill The Quick Wins

Business Rocks: Kill The Quick Wins

This week’s focus: The desire for instant results in both personal and business life is endemic. Want to lose weight, find a new relationship, get rich or become a social media star? No problem, there are millions of people promoting something to help you do...
Strategy Is Action

Strategy Is Action

Strategic success happens when you’re the first to profitably exploit a change in your external environment. Innocent Drinks, for example, succeeded because they were the first to find a customer-focused, commercial solution to our increasing desire for natural,...
Business Rocks: Kill The Quick Wins

Business Rocks: The Sustainability Continuum

This week’s focus: Sustainability has been on the corporate agenda for two decades or more. Yet, while some companies have brought sustainability into the core of their business, for most, sustainability still sits at the periphery of the organisation. It’s...
8 Characteristics of Strategic Leaders

8 Characteristics of Strategic Leaders

Over the years, I’ve worked with dozens of companies and executive leaders. In that time, I’ve learned that a high degree of mystery and confusion surrounds the term “strategy”. However, strategy is, at its heart, a simple concept. It is about setting a direction for...
One Green Shoot, Two Green Shoes

One Green Shoot, Two Green Shoes

The first wave of post-Christmas trading results from the UK’s leading retailers has been largely disappointing. Although there are some winners – including Aldi and Lidl, the discount grocers, Dunelm, JD Sports and Next – the majority have seen sales fall. Tesco,...
Business Rocks: Kill The Quick Wins

Business Rocks: Reasons To Be Cheerful

This week’s focus: I don’t know about you, but I find it almost impossible to name my favourite piece of music. There are just so many contenders. Off the top of my head, Once in a Lifetime by Talking Heads, Common People by Pulp, Life on Mars? by David Bowie,...
Business Rocks: Kill The Quick Wins

Business Rocks: The Truth Can’t Hurt You

This week’s focus: When I first became the Head of Strategy for Boots the Chemists in 2000, the UK retailer had just found itself in the middle of a supermarket price war. From a position where Boots had slightly higher prices than the Tesco, Asda and the other...
5 Sources of Innovation Ideas

5 Sources of Innovation Ideas

Transformational innovations seem obvious once they’re seen through the rear-view mirror. It’s only when you have to look at the blank, open road of possibilities in front of you that developing innovative new ideas seems a tad more difficult! Take Starbucks, for...
Top 5 Innovation Killers

Top 5 Innovation Killers

Innovation has never been more important to companies as it is now. Economic, technological and social turbulence is creating new needs, and new forms of value are needed to fulfil them. Innovation is no longer a strategic alternative; it’s a strategic necessity. Yet...
Business Rocks: Kill The Quick Wins

Business Rocks: Turning Over A New Leaf

The garden in our new house is quite large and has many mature trees. It looks great most of the time, but has one drawback: falling leaves. From October through to January, the leaves continue to rain down onto the lawn, patios and driveways. In the past couple of...
13 Characteristics of Innovation Leaders

13 Characteristics of Innovation Leaders

Strategic advances are not made through problem solving; they are made when organisations become the first to find a profitable way to exploit new opportunities. Resolving problems is about dealing with the past, not the future. Problem solving may help you drive...
Business Rocks: Kill The Quick Wins

Business Rocks: Don’t Be So Retiring

I’m at a funny age – again – it seems. This year has seen a high in the number of people I know that have retired. Brothers, friends, ex-colleagues are all in the process of swapping their daily commute for a life on the golf course or...
Business Rocks: Kill The Quick Wins

Business Rocks: The Best Investment

I have been playing the guitar for 37 years. And, to be honest, for 35 or more of those years, I haven’t improved. Over that time, I’ve probably had no more than 10 lessons and so it shouldn’t really surprise me that my attempts at...
Business Rocks: Kill The Quick Wins

Business Rocks: Business Change is Boring

Why do over 60% of transformation efforts fail? The reasons are many and varied – cost, excessive complication, insufficient in-house capability and trading downturns are all possible causes. But one reason that is never mentioned is, in my experience,...
Backing the Hare

Backing the Hare

Speed is far more important than accuracy in securing business success. As the Lee Iacocca, the former boss of Chrysler, once said, “So what do we do? Anything. Something. So long as we just don’t sit there. If we screw it up, start over. Try something else. If we...
How to Whack-Away the Whack-A-Mole

How to Whack-Away the Whack-A-Mole

Management can sometimes seem like the fairground game of ‘whack-a-mole’. As soon as you have beaten one mole away, another pops its head up. And, like the game, the ‘fun’ never stops; management time is perpetually focused on periodically batting away the same set of...
Business Rocks: Kill The Quick Wins

Business Rocks: U-Turn If You Want To

Last week, Sir James Dyson announced that he was scrapping his company’s electric car project. His decision was criticized in the media and described as a ‘humbling U-turn.’ I disagree. Yes, the decision represented a U-turn, but it was far from...
Growing on Purpose

Growing on Purpose

I’ve had two strategy books published. And over the last decade I’ve worked with dozens of organisations on their strategy. Yet it’s only in the last two or three years that I’ve really understood the importance of having a clear organisational purpose at the heart of...