Category Archives: Strategy

18 questions for crystallizing strategy

strategy is a guide to behaviorDid I ever tell you I love questions? I ask them constantly, and collect them intensely. For the purpose of culture, leadership, strategy and innovation, there are many types of questions that if used correctly can help you see a challenge from different perspectives that may lead to developing unique solutions; the types that can be revolutionary.

What’s the secret sauce of a culture of innovation?

This Thursday we’ll discuss “Measuring an innovation ecosystem” on Innochat. Many will argue that to develop a culture of innovation you need talent, support, capital and a host of other mechanisms.

It’s such a common response that many organizations and governments around the world have created their own mechanisms to “drive” entrepreneurship and innovation in their respective ecosystems, but all their efforts don’t matter much because they lack a critical ingredient: culture.

Why? Because many don’t pay attention to culture.

Culture is not mandated, it is shaped by daily beliefs and actions. How do you shape culture?

A cheat sheet of 19 different types of business models

To change the game, change the business model. But, what if you can’t find one?

Well, HBR published an article on business models that has the following cheat sheet of 19 different business models that you can brainstorm and adapt to a new venture.

CEOs don’t really want a new business model

Find the revolution before it finds youThere are various reasons why established businesses fail at innovation, but one stands above all: CEOs don’t really want a new business model.

True innovation, not the incremental type, brings forth new approaches and business models. If you are an upstart, that means you are probably creating a new business model. For an established company, it means coming to grips with the reality that your existing business model is going to become irrelevant; if you don’t act first.

But, no matter how many times we see an established business drop rock bottom because its leaders failed anticipate and change with the times, CEOs of other businesses are content with maintaining the status quo. Seems like learning from others doesn’t fit their mindset.

From the Industrial Age to the Connection Age

This is a guest post by my friend and fellow Generalist, Arnold Beekes.

WTF! What is happening?

It is clear that we are in a period of time, which is called ‘transition’, the process or a period of changing from one state or condition to another. We are coming out of the Industrial Age (characterized by efficiency, repetition and thus standardization – building a ‘system of sameness’ in every aspect of life) into a new age, which some people call the Information Age. I am not sure about that name, Information Age, as I see information as, the enabler, rather than the purpose and intention in itself. I would like to call it the Age of Connection (characterized by creation, contribution and thus participation – building a ‘universe of uniqueness’), to be truly connected with ourselves, with others, animals and with nature.

But we are not there yet; we are really in this no man’s land, this limbo.

How to think

We’re one week away from 2015, people will make their resolutions and try to keep them for a whole year; which usually doesn’t work out as planned. One resolution, an ongoing effort actually, that we should all aim for on a daily basis is that of making better decisions.

That means thinking better, which will have a cumulative effect in all else we do; including executing on our New Year resolutions.

A question I get asked often is something along the lines of , “How can I improve my ability to make better decisions?” To this, I respond with a counter question, “why do you think you make bad decisions in the first place?”

The reframing of the question, is good example of “what to do” to make better decisions. Thus, an easy way to make better decisions is to ask yourself questions, but that usually comes after you’ve done some grunt work to define a better question beforehand.

Innovators widen their view of competition

I’m sure you’ve been in meetings where everyone worries about competition more than they worry about customers. It is a fact that for traditionally run businesses, any talk about strategy quickly shifts to competition. It’s unavoidable and it pisses me off.  Traditional business practice is based on beating the competition, which assumes that there is competition that looks and plays just like you if you are starting a business.