Since I started doing speeches about strategy a few years ago, I have spoken to businesses, incubators, MBA classes, at conferences and in classrooms. I had a few goals:
Re-establish the centrality of strategy, explain why strategy is the business success imperative, and provide easy to understand tips on how to build winning strategies.
Help leaders and aspiring leaders be more successful with their businesses.
Make my speech enjoyable, helpful, and memorable. Business talks are sometimes boring and usually don’t have memorable takeaways you can use every day in your job.
Why is #1 important? As I explain in my book and in my countless speeches on strategy, I always start by asking questions, and there is one question I always ask the business leaders or MBA students in the audience: What is most important to the success of a business and a business leader?
Think about it. What would you say?
The problem with writing a blog or a book is that I can’t hear your answer. But I can tell you some of the answers I often hear: vision, charisma, inspiration, communication, trust, values, empowerment, influence, process, sacrifice, empathy, compassion, power, EQ (emotional quotient), IQ (intelligence quotient), judgment, good people, and knowing your competition.
No one ever says strategy.
And the word "Strategy" is in big letters on a PowerPoint slide behind me when I ask the question.
And still no one ever says strategy.
Hopefully, given that this blog post starts with a discussion about strategy, you at least considered strategy as a possible answer to my question.
Strategy is the anatomy of business and leadership success. Nothing is more important than building a winning strategy. After I give my talk, attendees agree (and wonder why they didn't say strategy when I asked the initial question to the audience).
There is no first-class company that doesn’t have a successful strategy. Often the strategy is thoughtfully forged. Sometimes it comes from trial and error, and sometimes a great strategy is dumb luck, but a winning strategy is the business success imperative. You can be charismatic, you can know your competition, you can have good judgment, you can hire the best people, and so on and so forth, but if your strategy fails, your business will fail.
And that is why I talk about strategy in my talks. I cover what strategy is, what it’s not, and provide tips on how to build a successful one. And whenever I give a talk, attendees ask me where my book is. So, I decided I would go for it. My first book, Strategy First, comes out in June 2020. You can learn more about the book on this website.
And to support the book and my talks, I decided I would also write a blog, so that I could periodically share my thoughts on strategy and my observations on what is going on in the business world. I hope to make my posts interesting, helpful, provocative, and fun.
Looking forward to sharing with you