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Entries in strategy (37)

Wednesday
Apr152015

How to grow any business

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You’ve probably already got what it takes

There are several remarkable things about General Electric (GE). For a start, it’s been around for a while. Thomas Edison put it together in the late 1880s.

It was one of the first entrants in the Dow Jones Index. Out of the original members, it’s the only one still on the list. The rest have disappeared.

GE has arguably transformed itself a few times. It started making electric turbines. It developed leasing facilities for customers. That led it to finance. It’s said to have been the first business to actually own a computer. In the 1960s it had a significant computer division. It sold that business to Honeywell.

The financial crisis almost brought GE undone. Now it is exiting finance and reinvesting in manufacturing, buying industrial businesses that align with its historic strengths.

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Tuesday
Mar172015

The Wisdom of the Loud

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Groupthink is alive and well, and often wrong

I was warned at an early age. You can’t believe everything you read. And that was well before the internet was running fast and loose with the truth.

I was later alarmed to find Mark Twain didn’t exactly say reports of his death were greatly exaggerated. And to find Captain Kirk never said ‘Beam me up, Scotty’ in a Star Trek episode. And how disappointing was it when astronauts couldn’t see the Great Wall of China from space?

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Thursday
Nov202014

Are strong opinions that useful?

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Firmly held ideas don’t have a great track record.

Strong opinions have little to commend them. They’re correlated with high blood pressure, anxiety and depression. Psychological studies say they are associated with ego rather than evidence and can be blamed for poor decision-making in times of stress.

Yet we all have opinions, some of them quite useful. Where is the line between dysfunctional self-belief and a healthy point of view?

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Tuesday
May202014

Beware: Cliches Ahead.

Sometimes there’s a reason the road less travelled is not congested.

It’s easy to come up with slogans to explain success. Management commentary is full of them yet they often describe a singular success that isn’t easily transferred to another business.

“Sticking to your knitting” might be a successful strategy for one firm but not for a competitor. You could say it works for Walmart, but it didn’t for Sony. It stuck to the Walkman way past the arrival of the MP3 player. A better cliché might have been “when the horse is dead, get off”.

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Tuesday
Apr222014

Strategy Vs Tactics

Optimizing your business and your life.

Vislon, purpose, mission, goals. They are big words and there’s value in all of them. But once you’ve worked them out, nothing will happen without action. It’s where strategy and tactics come in. You need both.

What’s the difference between the two?

Strategy is a plan designed to accomplish the end result. Tactics are the procedures that implement the plan.

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