Category

Strategy

Strategy or Execution? First you have to define what you mean

Marine Sgt. at New Orleans, La. By Howard R.Hollem. Library of Congress collection via Flickr.

(123rf.com)

I’m always entertained by articles in the Strategy vs. Execution debate. Is a great strategy the most important thing or is it flawless execution? Ken Favaro (“with Evan Hirsh and Kasturi Rangan”) tackled the topic in strategy+business recently (“Strategy or Execution: Which Is More Important?”). The subtitle gives away the plot: “Many business leaders think they’d rather hav…

John Shütz on Power and Authority

Schütz, John Howard. 2007 [1975]. Paul and the Anatomy of Apostolic Authority (New Testament Library). Louisville: Westminster John Knox. Pp. xxvi+307 (paper). ISBN 0664228127.

I heard about this in Wayne A. Meeks (1983), The First Urban Christians: The Social Life of the Apostle Paul (New Haven: Yale University Press), where Meeks notes:

John Shütz, in his important monograph on…

Give the World a Drink

dpeppercans

Dr. Pepper, the venerable American cola brand (born of Texas!), has announced that they will keep their promise to provide every American with a can of Dr. Pepper if rock band Guns N’ Roses (GNR) would finally get off their backsides and release Chinese Democracy, the now going on 15 years late album. Which they have decided to do.

What an amazing marketing ploy.

Dr. Pepper has made it a bit…

Crises Are Times of Opportunity

Chickens resting on a hot day. (c) normanack (CC BY 2.0). Via flickr.

The chickens have come to roost, as my grandfather used to say. The insane practices around bundling loans that never should have been made, along with our own greed, have led to a massive crisis internationally. I was first warned of this a year ago by some Australian investors but it’s still shocking to see how much damage can be done.

That said, crises are often a great opportunity for…

Tell the World, Because They Won’t Be Able To Copy You

Mimicking a Statue, (c) 2012 Michael Coghlan (CC BY-SA 2.0). Via flickr.

What is important to recognize now is why success, such as that achieved at Southwest, can be sustained and can not readily be imitated by competitors. There are two fundamental reasons. First, the success that comes from managing people effectively is often not as visible or transparent as to its source…. Even when they are described…, they are difficult to understand. Culture, how…

Global Organization Design Conference 2007: highly recommened

The bi-annual Global Organization Design Conference is coming up in Toronto, July 16-19. Subtitled “Designing Organizations for Value-Creation, Sustainability, and Social Well-Being”, the conference proved to be of value to me two years ago. The bullshit level is amazingly low for conference. People are there who are using the theory in their own organizations, from large multinationals to…

The Power of SAP To Control Your Business

That’s not you controlling your business through SAP but SAP running you. From Ron May’s excellent email newsletter, The May Report, of 2006-Jan-17:

The best interview I conducted was with a guy from Kellogg who explained how Kellogg was somewhat boxed into the decision to go with SAP because Keebler already had it and they had just bought Keebler, so it was a case of the tail wagging t…

Requisite Organization Case Study: Sustained Double-Digit Growth At Specialty Chemicals Co.

When Tony Stark took Specialty Chemicals – a division of Conglomerate, Inc. – the group had had 0.2% growth over the last seven years. So how did it turn into sustained double-digit growth the year after he arrived?

Doctorow: Low-Hanging Means Pick Last

It’s odd that an agricultural phrase (“low-hanging fruit”) came into business usage. Most of our business metaphors come from the military. It’s not a good fit. Agriculture would be, I’d reckon. From what I know from talking to successful farmers and gardeners, it’s a hard life full of risk. You have weather, sure, but you also have changes from plot to plot. You don’t just have to worry about which landrace will work on your soil but which will work best when it’s wet in the spring, dry in the summer and wet at harvest. All rice are not the same. You must predict the unpredictable (weather), rally forces to react to outside actions (war, markets, catastrophic atmospheric events), create adequate reserves while not having so much that they go to waste. Most of the time, there aren’t known good decisions. You have to make decisions in uncertainty, relying on the wisdom of the past and your own experience. Even non-modern farming has these issues.

Strategy, Structure, People, Milieu and Markets: The Dangerous Interplay

A common complaint against those of us working with The Law of the Real Boss (or RO or Worklevels, etc.) is that we concentrate too much on the structure of the organization to the exclusion of other important things, such as what the organization actually does.

It’s a valid complaint. So let’s talk about how different important elements interact.

I have been writing up success stories…

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