Sometimes it’s better to swallow your pride and copy

The traditional principles of strategy dictate you should strive to be distinctive from your competitors and separate yourselves from them in the minds of your customers.

Dollar-shave – the online home delivery shaving company- is clearly distinctive to the number one shaving company Gillette which sells through stores. And dollar-shave has used this distinctiveness ( and the resulting lower price) to carve s profitable niche in men’s shaving.… Read more

Is execution a people or a strategy problem?

I’ve recently seen in the Harvard Business review that strategy execution is a people problem, not a strategy problem.

And I disagree with this.

The implementation of strategy is inextricably part of that strategy. A strategy that can’t be implemented or a strategy that is poorly implemented is to me a poor strategy.  Thinking through the execution phase is an important part of strategic thinking.  … Read more

The 8 most important things a BOD must do.

Ive sat on Boards of Directors (BOD) for the last couple of decades and all to often I’ve seen battles between board members who really would prefer to run the company.

Running the company is the role for Operational Executive staff, not for the Board. So if running the company isn’t was a BOD should do, what is?

Whether you’re a BOD member of a new start up, or a SME, of a multinational, knowing exactly what you are really responsible for is critical to ensuring a successful business.  … Read more

Its not ” what do you want?” that creates insight

A friend and ex-colleague has opened his own business and we chat about trying to gain insight into his customers.  He’s in F&B a very competitive arena, and he’s typically too busy to take time to think.  As a result he often falls back on asking the wrong questions of his customers to try to gain insight.

He’s got a new product, and he was going to ask his customers “how much would you pay for it?”… I suggested this puts too much focus on price and insufficient on utility, and gives you the wrong information, people will always offer less than the real value.  … Read more