Book – Good Strategy Bad Strategy

good-strategyThis is probably the best strategy book I have read.  It is clear – the book does not complicates the already complex topic, but explains it.  The book also exposes misconception about large organizations not having a strategy at all and resorting to calling desired goals a strategy.  Absence of strategy is not a bad strategy; it is…  no strategy.

A few quotes from the book/book site:

Good strategy is rare. Many organizations which claim to have a strategy do not. Instead, they have a set of performance goals. Or, worse, a set of vague aspirations. It is rare because there are strong forces resisting the concentration of action and resources. Good strategy gathers power from its very rareness.

Good strategy has a basic underlying logic: coherent action backed up by an argument, an effective mixture of thought and action. I call this basic underlying structure the kernel. A good strategy may consist of more than the kernel, but if the kernel is absent or misshapen, then there is a serious problem. The kernel of a strategy contains three elements: (1) a diagnosis that defines or explains the nature of the challenge, (2) a guiding-policy for dealing with the challenge, and (3) a set of coherent-actions that are designed to carry out the guiding-policy.

One of a leader’s most powerful tools is the creation of a proximate objective—one that is close enough at hand to be feasible. A proximate objective names an accomplishment that organization can reasonably be expected to achieve.

At some points, the book feels as a presence in a strategy class.  The class is full of successful classmates, and the reader is not the dumbest person in the class…

Great book!  Highly recommend!

Corporate Visions – Why Change?

corp-visionTim Riesterer presentation (Sofitel, Minneapolis) was excellent.  Quite a few marketers from different organizations gathered to listen.  Oh, yes, we, marketers, generally have the obsession with “why us” in our materials in general, and “why change” is effectively missing.  Oops.


Notes from the presentation:

Senior executives are happy to talk with sales reps to take advantage of their industry expertise. They have questions: What is happening in my industry? What can make me more successful?  Answering these questions are 4 times more effective than displaying extensive product knowledge.

1. Why change?

Why Change – video by Corporate Visions

Most people are not at the point “Why should I here company X,”  but rather “Should I change what I am doing now?”

Why change: Industry is changing, you have a problem, new needs arise, there is a potential risk, but you can do something…

Faulty presumption: customers know what they need to know – customers know their pains…  It is incorrect – customers can not express their pains.

Executive: “Tell me what I don’t already know and will impact me and I will give you another 10 minutes of my time…  You, sales, see more people like me than I usually do; please tell me what I don’t know about possibly missed opportunities.


Explain what makes status quo unsafe… THEN connect with your products.

2. Why you? 

You you – video by Corporate Visions

Based on the industry changes and new issues that you have just described, how is your company can help solve these issues?  How is your company different, based on the needs to solve just discussed industry problems?

Customers might say: “I need to know all about you!”  It is not true; they need to learn about their problems first; the problems that they may not be able to articulate yet.

Build messaging not around personas (personas – demographic/title) but around status-quo clusters (or issues-based personas)

You can change the story, not your product, and increase sales. 

Whiteboarding webinar by Corporate Visions