Let’s say that you want to grasp an organisation’s strategy – say customer strategy or customer experience strategy. By strategy I mean the organisation’s manner of ‘showing up and travelling’. How would you go about determining that?
Leadership is a tough business, especially in the digital era. In earlier times, managers paid their employees to perform tasks and directed them how, where and when to do them. These days, however, professionals are paid to solve problems and think creatively about products, strategies and new technologies.
This marks the end of another year. A very busy and fruitful year for us. Personally I was on the road for more than 200 days and I need to take a break - perhaps 3 days. What about my New Year's resolution? I need to cut down on drive and email. I need to cut down on attending unproductive meetings. I need to find three people to mentor that they can become the best. I need to revisit places from my childhood that were memorable. I need to back up my hard drive (I am 96 days behind). I need to produce a mini feature film and shot entirely with my HTC phone. I need to cut down on my public speaking. I need to have more discipline on getting enough sleep.
Legendary strategists have long been compared to master chess players, who know the positions and capabilities of each piece on the board and are capable of thinking several moves ahead. Historically, that’s been a smart way to run businesses too.
When Alfred Sloan created the modern corporation at General Motors, he based it on the military. The company was split into divisions, each with its own leadership. Information flowed up, orders went down and your rank determined your responsibility.
Peter Drucker once famously said that a business has only two functions: marketing and innovation. What he meant was that successful businesses create great products and sell them effectively. Everything else is secondary.