Monday, March 31, 2014


Read a book by Rich Horwath called Elevate - the Three Disciplines of Advanced Strategic Thinking.

According the WSJ, strategic thinking is the most valued CEO skill.

Horwath starts with a discussion on why strategic thinking is critical.  And to usual list of reasons why it does not get the attention it needs.  He then quickly moves into his 3 disciplines.

First - Coalesce - fusing together insights to create an innovative business model.

Second - Compete.  Choose what strategies have competitive advantage (I am big on competitive advantage and view it as the cornerstone to success).

Third - Champion - Leading others to think and act strategically.  And execute the strategy.  (I have found often that implementation is what kills good strategy).

Good thought provoking book.

The main challenge I have with strategic thinking is dedicating the inspired time.  It is difficult to just say I will spend an hour on strategic thinking and come up with something brilliant.

But most of the problem with strategic thought happens because it is not urgent (although it is very important).  So like many important tasks, it can get pushed aside for the urgent.

Things I do to inspire strategic thought:

1 - read and research.  Without background, it is tough to come up with good strategies.

2 - Plant the seed.   I spend a 15-20 minutes trying to frame the challenge.  Then I leave it and go about my day, ideas come to me.  I often use this technique just before sleep as well.

3 - Log ideas.  I find ideas are sometimes lost but writing them down "saves" them.

4 - Set goals around doing it.  By setting goals and deadlines, I can artificially create urgency.


I thought this article on how time could be used better was awesome.


Interesting how colorful socks have "tipped" and seem to be the norm in the startup community.

See - a company owned by friends of mine.

Mark Fasciano's father was featured on CBS.  I have met Nick many times.  He is a true artist.

Rain last night turned into snow this morning.  And it is March 31 in NY of all places.  An early April Fools joke perhaps?

And the New York Times had a cover story on climate change.  I wonder if they had the article prepared and waited for a day such as this to release it.

Victoria turned one.  And she is smart enough to write upside down in the snow (snow which is acceptable in Canada but in NY?...)


At 9:39 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Great insights/post Jim. I have read virtually all of your book reccos and have never been disappointed. I just read Give and Take by Adam Grant. I have been teaching LlinkedIN for 9 years--always from the pay it forward perspective. Adam now provides the data to back up my approach. I think you will like it. And---Happy Birthday to Olivia--one smart cookie to be writing upside down!

At 3:03 AM, Anonymous Annie Tyres said...

According to me the best strategy to get ahead is through helping others. Discuss what you are looking to accomplish with people you trust on an ongoing basis and keep them involved in your plans and remain involved in theirs as much as possible.

At 3:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like this post on strategy. As you said, very important to allocate proper attention to strategy creation and development. Personally, I also like to do most of my strategic framing right before I sleep since this brings me to a meditative state much faster. I've found for me that meditation is often a harbinger of good strategy. Transcendental meditation or plain clearing of the mind lets me plant strategic seeds easier into my metaphyiscal ecosystem.


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