The Death of Best Practices

The 1990’s was a decade of furious plagiarism. Companies copied companies within specific industries. Others stole from distant industries. I remember hospitals emulating hotels to differentiate and improve the patient experience. At first glance, not a bad idea. It kicked off years of creatively borrowing other’s ways of doing things. Best practices have been a bread-and-butter service for consultants. It has fattened their bottom-line and has been really easy. Perhaps too easy. All they have had to do is look across their client roster and cherry pick seemingly winning formula to apply in another situation. However, no one talks about the...

What’s the Right Priority?

Let’s face it, the world is full of insurmountable challenges and opportunities. It is becoming harder and harder to identify the right priorities. Speed and exponential complexity can become paralyzing. Equally dangerous is the mistaken belief you know what the real problems are. This is happening in the automobile industry. This is a business that was staid and complacent for decades. Product development and marketing were largely “copy and paste” from year to year. Evan Hirsh, John Jullens, and Ganesh Kalpundi of PwC have hit on an issue that may blindside both traditional and non-traditional auto players. Writing in strategy + business,...

Fear Not the Pace of Disruption

Cesare R. Mainardi is a smart man. Now an adjunct professor of strategy at the Kellogg School of Management, he is the former CEO of Booz & Company and Strategy&. Mainardi put pen to paper along with Paul Leinwand, Global Managing Director at Strategy&. Leinward is no slouch either and the two of them cannily strip away at a top-of-the-agenda topic these days. Writing in strategy+business, their article is titled, The Fear of Disruption Can Be More Damaging than Actual Disruption. It carries more than one premise and all intrigue. It starts out by acknowledging that technology has been and, will...

Being Innovatively Practical

Every day the news is replete with some amazing new advance in technology. It is like we are on the cusp of living in the world of Buck Rogers or Luke Skywalker. It will be great to beam ourselves to a sunny beach and take a magic diet pill to avoid the gym. Yet, take a look around and is much really changing? You still have to line up at Starbucks like a Soviet-era bread line. For all the talk of fintech, it is still drudgery to apply for a loan or mortgage. And let’s not even talk about healthcare and...

Has Disruption Become a Buzzword?

It is akin to the fall of historic empires. Entire industries are being upended by agile new business models aided by innovative technologies. We know the names. Amazon has declared war on traditional retail. Uber is morphing into a logistics behemoth. Airbnb implores us to experience a place like a local, not make a hotel room your destination. It seems no one is safe. Academics and gurus once spoke of “barriers to entry” and “adjacent spaces”. It is time to change the curriculum. The business world is now one big white board waiting to be filled. The problem is many companies...

Being Agile is Not the Goal

There is a skill and practice increasingly attractive to organizations. It refers to the power of moving quickly and easily or being nimble. Further, it is the ability to think and draw conclusions quickly with intellectual acuity. We are speaking of organizational agility. An October, 2017 article in the McKinsey Quarterly titled, How to Create an Agile Organization, is a must read. The consultancy conducted a global survey examining those who move accurately with speed versus those that do not or cannot. The takeaways and benefits are clear. McKinsey concludes that, “agile units report better performance than all others do, and companies...