Business Rocks: The Truth Can’t Hurt You

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: The Truth Can’t Hurt You

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: The Truth Can’t Hurt You

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: The Truth Can’t Hurt You

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: The Truth Can’t Hurt You

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: The Truth Can’t Hurt You

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...
Business Rocks: The Truth Can’t Hurt You

Business Rocks: How To Create New Habits

Our eldest son is due to sit his A-Levels next summer. He’s previously crammed for his exams, but that approach is proving less successful over time. As a result, I’m trying to help him to create a daily routine of learning. For example, he’s...
How To Coach Yourself

How To Coach Yourself

There is a lot of mystique surrounding coaching, but it is a relatively simple, common sense process. In recent years, I have added coaching services to my business, helping successful executives become even more effective.   Here are 7 steps below for you to...
Business Rocks: The Truth Can’t Hurt You

Business Rocks: The Power of Showing Up

This is the 200th edition of Business Rocks, which I launched five years ago (following 150 editions of a previous newsletter called Friday Focus). We have a little over 1,000 subscribers (plus those who read it through social media) to Business Rocks – up from...
13 Behaviours of Highly Strategic Leaders

13 Behaviours of Highly Strategic Leaders

As I’ve consulted with different organisations – from small enterprises to some of the largest corporations on the planet – 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...
5 Wrong Ways To Deliver Innovation

5 Wrong Ways To Deliver Innovation

Innovation has never been more important to companies as it is now. The recession is creating new needs and new forms of value are needed to fulfill them. Yet there remains a yawning gulf between business leaders’ rhetoric on innovation and the reality on the ground....