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Entries in strategy (37)


Getting Lucky

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Sometimes, the flip side is the better track

In 1978 Gloria Gaynor was a moderately successful singer. That changed when she covered a Righteous Brothers number called “Substitute.” Few would remember the tune. That’s because it flopped. On the flip side was a new track no one had heard of. It was called “I Will Survive.” It went to the top of the charts and so did Gloria Gaynor.

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Intuition: Friend or Foe?

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What to do with those “hunches”.

In 1977, three of us launched a truck driver’s tabloid. We got the idea while lying on a beach. We sold it to a printing company and negotiated a handsome package to produce the editorial.

We had no strategy. We did no market research. We just put it together and put it out there. Rigs and Roads was an instant success.


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Dealing with speed

Constant evolution and competitive edge.

My phone asked me to upgrade several apps today. It often does, and I dutifully did so. If you want to avoid OMG territory when people borrow your phone, that’s what you do.

Today’s installations likely ironed out a few earlier bugs. Some added a new capability. Others look a bit different but most look much the same.

When it comes to consumer trends, ‘up’ is the new black. We are encouraged to constantly upgrade. We are upsized, often literally, and we are regularly upsold.

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Struggling to get the big picture?

Try cycling.

What will the issue be today? Cash flow? Customers? Operations? There’s always something going on. It’s not just business. Life is a big to do list: family, education, career, housing, finance. There’s a lot to manage.

We are supposed to be guided by strategic vision – standing astride our world, emotionally detached, leading others and ourselves through the maze of ordinary day-to-day stuff.

That’s a pretty dumb expectation.

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Reframe your business thinking

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The lever you need to press is attitude.

We often think we are letting go of old ideas when in reality we are just adjusting our grip. Our lateral notion of change turns out to be cosmetic, not fundamental.

We sometimes see change only in physical terms, like an actual product or an operational process.

Those things are an outcome of change, not a driver of it. What needs to shift first is attitude.

Exactly what is a lateral idea in business?

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