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by Alan Hargreaves



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Tuesday
Apr112017

The Strategic Enema

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Unload the future before you go there 

It’s rare to see a five-year plan that does not say everything will be amazing when we get there. Most are pretty confident.

Planning brings with it a few issues. Here are a couple. 

One is in the future: there can shift. What seemed like an ideal, achievable goal when you started can be less so when you get there. You achieved your sales target but failed to improve your offering. A more evolved version of your product came to market. You maintained share but squeezed profit margin to do so. The final results were well below target.

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Tuesday
Mar142017

Learning from drug dealers

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Addicts or Customers?

I begin my weekdays with a short exercise routine followed by a 20-minute meditation. Then its breakfast, a shower and into my office and online where I look at two news sites, check overnight markets, open my email inbox, AND, take a quick scroll through Facebook.

The last item is contentious. Much of Facebook’s content is odious. It feeds egos, disseminates fake views, betrays a variety of bigotries and provokes ideas I’d call unfathomable were they not so shallow. Yet, I do my morning scroll.

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Tuesday
Feb142017

What else is in the shed?

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“China wouldn’t get out of bed to do this.” 

Astor Industries is a plastic-injection business. It began in 1957 and supplies parts to the Australian auto industry. By the end of this decade there will be no auto manufacturers left in Australia. Neil Henderson was once Astor’s manufacturing manager. Two years ago he bought the firm.

Beneath the vulnerability, Henderson saw some strengths. One was the ability to deliver high-quality products to custom designs in short runs. Where China’s now-fabled manufacturers might need orders of 100,000 plus, Astor could offer a highly competitive service for smaller orders using the firm’s range of skills to provide everything from design to delivery.

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Tuesday
Jan172017

Time to reboot

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Did we just have the year we had to have?

Let’s leave your feelings about Donald Trump aside for a moment. What has actually happened?

Firstly, most people — experts in particular — got it wrong. The odds were that someone else would win. With Brexit, it was the same. 

What’s happened since?

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Tuesday
Dec202016

Time to pull over and enjoy the view

Keep calm and do nothing

If your mind is empty, there’s a chance you’ve left enough room for lateral ideas to move in. It’s one reason people feel creatively refreshed after a break.

About four years ago, I wrote a piece on this that turned out to be surprisingly popular. It suggested you choose just one of three simple ideas, spend a few moments thinking about it, then leave it. No further effort was required. 

What were the suggestions?

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