Four Steps to Outthink COVID

We are dealing with unprecedented change invoked by the COVID-19 pandemic. What we need more than ever is a sense of hope. So, we’ve taken The Outthinker Process – a strategic process that helps business leaders step outside of conventional thinking to redesign their business models and strategies – and reformed it specifically for what we’re going through right now.

What Today’s Most Influential Business Thinkers Recommend for Managing Through COVID-19

In March, as the reality of COVID-19 started taking hold, when my team received our fifth request in one day to postpone a keynote speech and my calendar was suddenly, unexpectedly, free for months, we sat down to discuss what to do. We figured that (a) other business thought-leaders are similarly, suddenly free and (b) many are wondering what would happen to the business they own or work.

When Hierarchy is not an Option: A New Organizational Model For Fast-Moving Contexts

WHEN HIERARCHY IS NOT AN OPTION

Earlier this month, I spoke at the Human Resources Directors Conference in the United Kingdom. At the conference, I shared some material excerpted from my forthcoming book, Seeing Around Corners: How to Spot Inflection Points in Business Before They Happen, about how easy it is for executives to get trapped into an old way of thinking—and the new type of leadership model that is required in today’s highly transient advantage contexts.

Fear of Self-Cannibalization, Facebook Early Warning

Fear of Self-Cannibalization, Facebook Early Warning

In this insightful article, Kara Swisher notes that one big reason that Instagram’s co-founders, Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, decided to leave was that the popular site was pulling users away from the “big blue” platform that is the core Facebook product.  Clanging sounds of early warnings of early-stage fading of advantage!

Implementing Change from the Ground Up: The Power of First Steps to Create a Movement

Implementing Change from the Ground Up

I started my career in the 90s, as an external management consultant who worked on the business process reengineering aspects of large systems integrations. Our clients would spend millions of dollars reengineering the organization, but they often did not implement the changes. My personal experience reflected what research indicated: 80% of change projects fail.

Execute with CLARITY

Execute with Clarity

You stepped into the future…but has it felt more like you stepped off a cliff?  Some of the most spectacular strategic failures have been due to poor execution.  Unfortunately, the momentum of vision is often short-lived as the reality of the complexity of execution begins to set in.  Since 1955, only 57 companies have maintained a position in the Fortune 500 while nearly 2,000 companies have come and gone during that same time period.

How 30 Years of Radical Decisions Has Kept Haier On Top

How 30 Years of Radical Decisions Has Kept Haier On Top

If someone handed you a sledgehammer and told you to start smashing your company’s products, would you do it? That’s exactly what Haier CEO Zhang Ruimin did to prove a point to his employees. That was the first in a long line of radical decisions that have transformed the company from a fledgling refrigerator maker to the world’s number one appliance manufacturer – and kept it there.

The Strategic Power of Moral Force

The Strategic Power of Moral Force

My wife is from New Orleans, so when we recently got a chance to see the original, we had to stop.

We were driving through France with our kids, on a four-day tour from my family reunion in Germany to our AirBNB in Barcelona, when we realized we’d pass through the “original New Orleans”: Orleans. This is the first town that Joan of Arc helped free from an English siege during the Hundred Years’ War, when England was taking over large swaths of France.