When to Let Your Marketplace Reset Your Compass

I am a big advocate for defining direction and strategy in business. We need to be pro-active to set the business compass, and program the GPS. But…sometimes it has to go in reverse. The business (customers and the marketplace and circumstances) may just override all your intentions and define your direction and strategy for you. Or, at least, refine […]

Chaos and Clarity – and Airline Meltdowns

  What does the recent Delta Airlines computer meltdown have to do with my consulting work? Nothing. But, curiously….everything. Let me explain. Delta – and other major airlines – rely on aging and complex computer systems (hardware and software) that have been built up over the years with varieties of parts and pieces. It’s what […]

What is Your Company’s Big-Picture Goal?

  I am blogging about 20 Clarity Questions that we need to answer in order to set our business focus and direction. When we can answer these questions, we’re well on your way to a very clear strategy and message. Let’s consider together the vital question of purpose, and how that will shape the future direction of the company. Clarity Question […]

How Do You Figure Out Your High-Level Strategy?

I had an e-mail exchange with fellow solopreneur Stephen Lahey this week about a very cool form he has developed (see: here). This several-page analytical tool is to help other people figure out who their best clients are (and why). I looked it over, liked it, and then made the remark that I wonder how many people […]

The Tyranny of the Urgent

As I talk to business leaders – owners of small businesses, leaders of departments, etc. – one common theme emerges. It’s the power of the “NOW!” tasks to derail long-term strategy implementation. This syndrome has several aliases: Tyranny of the Urgent Reactive Thinking Tactical Overwhelm Why-Can’t-Everyone-Just-Leave-Me-Alone-For-One-Second-For-Crying-Out-Loud??? Call it what you will, it boils down to the fact […]

When Your Business Has Warts

  Most businesses go through an uneven – some may even say random – growth process. You start with one thing, then you add this client, that offering, move into this neighboring domain, and pretty seen you have…not growth, but growths. Lots of things sticking out. I call it growth by accretion (def: the process of […]

Stuck and Struggling: Misplaced Persons

You’ve heard the phrase about getting the right people on the bus…and then, getting them in the right seat on the bus. Well, it’s true. One of the plagues of companies that are stuck and struggling is having the wrong people on board, or having people in mis-matched roles. And it’s incredibly common. I remember […]

Stuck and Struggling: Navigating the Whitewater

“What you’re going through is normal – it’s called growing pains.” I don’t know how many times I’ve said something along these lines to business leaders who suddenly find themselves in a swirl of “issues” as they add new business and employees. It’s like paddling down a river, when suddenly, coming around a bend, you’re […]

Stuck and Struggling: Direction Attention Deficit Disorder

  Direction Attention Deficit Disorder (DADD) – have you ever worked with a leader that has a new idea every week? It can be frustrating, yes? I was brought up short once about my DADD by a graphic designer I used to work with. I asked her about any difficulties working with me (dangerous question!) She […]

On Needing Some Clarity – for Myself

I think a lot of us see the holidays as a time, not only for rest and celebration, but also for reflection and planning. I certainly do. And right now, I’m feeling both encouraged…and, truth be told, perplexed. Encouraged, because my mission has become very clear (help individuals and companies gain clarity and direction). I absolutely love […]