Albu On Strategy

May 2017

Strategy Requires “TLC”

TLC is commonly recognized as “Tender Loving Care,” and while it certainly applies to the CEO’s essential emotional commitment to the company, I like to define this acronym differently. As it relates to successful strategy…

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April 2017

Book Review: Good Strategy/Bad Strategy: The Difference and Why it Matters, by Richard Rumelt

Is your strategy a mix of slogans and goals, or a set of objectives that offer solutions to key problems?  We reviewed Richard Rumelt’s book back in July 2011 when it was first released, and this seems like a good time to revisit some of his insights on the importance of having a strategy and how it guides decisions.  Rumelt brings over 45 years of academic and strategy consulting experience…

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March 2017

Lessons from Bill Belichick on Leadership

Bill Belichick is the NFL’s only head coach to win five Super Bowls.  His coaching journey to achieve this level of success was not always easy, and there are lessons to be learned from Belichick’s experience. Belichick grew up watching his father, who was a fullback for the Detroit Lions and coached at the Naval Academy for 33 years.  That is how Belichick started his football career and education—watching a wide range of great coaches with lots of different styles.  He began his coaching career in 1979

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February 2017

Why Invest in Employee Engagement?

If you are a frequent reader of AlbuonStrategy, you know the topic of employee engagement is important to us because of the critical role it plays in successful strategy execution. As strategists, we look for trends and research to support our hypotheses. The ongoing research by Gallup…

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January 2017

Excerpts from Departing Coca-Cola CEO Muhtar Kent

In May 2017, Muhtar Kent, chairman and CEO of The Coca-Cola Company, will leave the company and hand over leadership to James Quincey.  Fortune Insider published Kent’s statements on leadership that struck a core with us and how Albu Consulting helps leaders establish strategy management as an organizational competency. The following are some excerpts from Muhtar Kent, with our comments on each quote as it relates to our approach and philosophy on strategy.

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December 2016

What Makes Strategy Happen?

What better way to end the year than with an article about Making Strategy Happen?  In this newsletter, I want to reference a great article by Bain & Company entitled Strategic Planning that Produces Real Strategy: Is your planning process a competitive weapon or a waste of time?  It hit home for us because it expounds on everything Albu Consulting’s strategy management framework stands for.  In a survey by Bain & Co., 300 global executives were asked to rate their company’s strategy process.  Only 33% said that their strategy process met the authors criteria of a strong strategy: bold ambitions, adaptability in the face of changing markets, and clear guidance for their management and front line employees.

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November 2016

What is Your Strategic Cadence?

Strategy management is a holistic approach to managing any company.  It is a discipline that requires energy, patience and persistence to develop the right organizational habits that help make strategy management an integrated part of how you manage your business…having a strategic cadence that includes regularly scheduled senior team strategy events throughout the year is a key factor of success.

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October 2016

3 Principles to Increase Strategy Execution Capacity

Does this sound familiar to you?  You’ve held your strategy meeting with your management team, identified key strategic initiatives, assigned responsibilities and you were off and running.  Everyone was on board and excited leaving the meeting, or so it seemed.  What’s happening?  In our experience with clients, and findings from multiple research studies confirm that

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September 2016

5 Reasons Strategic Plans Fail

Why do so many strategies fail?  Why is it that 80% of companies fail to achieve the full value of their strategic plan? What are the missteps that lead to a failed strategy?  Our experiences have given us a unique perspective on these challenges, which are easily avoidable… Here are five reasons why strategies fail and what to do about it.

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July 2016

Are You Measuring What Matters?

Running a business today in the global economy has become more complex and competitive.  We find that because of this increasingly challenging environment, running the day-to-day business can become overwhelming.  In our experience, actively managing your strategy is a first step to clarify and focus decision making, and make the complex more manageable.  A critical part of our strategy management process is having timely and accurate information to guide decisions…

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June 2016

Selling Your Business? You Need a Strategy!

We recently attended a meeting with a panel of esteemed professional advisers speaking to the critical steps leading up to exiting your business.   They spoke about the importance of quality of earnings, revenue growth, operating margin, cash flow and diversity of customer base as key measures to maximize value.   While these measures are important in preparing a company for sale, we were struck by…

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May 2016

Business Killer: Lack of Trust

As an authorized partner of the Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team, T-R-U-S-T is the most important five letter word in business and the foundational behavior to creating a cohesive strategy team. As explained by Patrick Lencioni, author of The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, “When team members are genuinely transparent and honest with one another, they are able to build…

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April 2016

Is Your Strategy Always Right? Lessons Learned from Jordon Spieth’s Caddie

The headlines to this year’s Masters was Jordan Spieth’s “car crash” on Augusta National’s signature hole #12 after leading the tournament for the previous 65 holes. Spieth shot a quadruple bogey to lose his lead and the tournament in the final round at the Masters. Jordon’s long time caddie, Michael Greller wrote an emotional and compelling response to that event on Facebook that struck a chord. Greller wrote, “The 2016 Masters stung…

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March 2016

Book Review: The Five Dysfunctions of a Team

“After her first two weeks observing the problems at Decision Tech, Kathryn Petersen, its new CEO, had more than a few moments when she wondered if she should have taken the job.”  And so begins the story of a technology company struggling to grow and find customers.  Executives are not working together as a team, and the team is struggling to come to agreement on the necessary strategy to solve the problems.  The team’s dynamics erodes into the blame game, and no one is willing to accept responsibility.  Deadlines are missed and moral is deteriorating.

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February 2016

How to Strategically Navigate the New Economic Normal?

One of the most confusing things about our current economic times is the complexity of it all. Wage growth is anemic, yet corporations are flush with cash. Interest rates are historically low, yet business investments are lagging. Market volatility is as severe as it has ever been creating uncertainty, and economic growth is slow. We can expect this economic and geo-political volatility to continue. It will most likely be a rollercoaster ride driven by the latest news cycle like China, war in the Middle East, declining oil prices and more. What is an owner, CEO and his/her leaders to do? How can anyone “plan” for the future when so much is going on?  There is a way to stay ahead of this uncertainty.

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January 2016

Strategy Requires Three Bones

I recently came across a quote from country music singer Reba McEntire. Ms. McEntire is quoted as saying, “to succeed in life, you need three things: wishbone, backbone and funny bone.” As in life, in business these three bones can also be guiding principles to defining and developing successful strategy.

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December 2015

How to Make a Good Company GREAT!

Albu Consulting is a strategy management consulting firm and we believe that every company deserves to be great. So what is “Strategy Management” all about? It is about embracing the discipline of making smart business decisions and delivering on those decisions. It is about managers making better decisions, more often, with greater confidence every day and into the future. It unites strategy development and execution to become one.
Why is this important?

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November 2015

Strategy + Teamwork = Success

For those regular readers of our monthly newsletter, you know that Harvey Mackay has contributed to our thinking on several occasions. Harvey Mackay is well known for his book, Swim With the Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive. In a newsletter he wrote about teamwork and how it “divides the task and multiplies the success.” This concept is spot on when it comes to managing strategy. Collaboration is a key component of success both during development and execution of strategy, and Mackay states that “Only by working together can the greatest good for all be achieved.”

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October 2015

Is Strategy a Diet, or Is It a Lifestyle?

It may now be passé to mention, but if you recall the popularity of the Atkins Diet, you will recall the key to its success was a commitment to adjust one’s lifestyle to lose weight. The theory, or science, behind the diet was a commitment to transform eating habits to the Atkins lifestyle.  In the same way, business leaders need to change their thinking about the role strategy plays in their business.

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September 2015

Death, Taxes & Strategy

At Albu Consulting we believe the path to successfully manage future uncertainty is by establishing “strategy management” as an organizational competency. By applying the principles of the strategy management process, you and your leadership team will make better decisions, more often and with greater confidence, and you will create sustainable business value today and tomorrow.

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August 2015

Focus on Results, Not Activities

Too many CEOs, Presidents and Owners focus on activities without a clear path to the results they want.  We often hear leaders tell us that, “we have a lot going on right now.”  But when asked to what end, their response is often about achieving short term tactical wins rather than contributions to the larger long term objectives and vision.

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July 2015

6 Guiding Principles to Successful Strategy Management

It is a well-documented fact that 80% of strategic plans fail to realize their value. If you’ve invested in developing a strategy and wondered why it is not producing the results you expected, you might consider some of these guiding principles to put you back on track.

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June 2015

Why Improve Long-Term Employee Engagement?

No doubt our clients are finding it more challenging to consistently improve business performance. The slow economic recovery and the continued disruption of existing business models are the source of these challenges.  Now, based on ongoing research from Gallup Inc., employee engagement can also be considered as a viable strategic alternative for improving business performance.

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May 2015

5 Ways to Increase Employee Engagement in Strategy

For leaders to successfully execute strategy and achieve the results they want, everyone in their organization needs to support and buy-in to the plan, from management to the manufacturing floor.  The best way to achieve this kind of organizational climate is to ensure you are engaging employees so that they feel ownership of the projects they are assigned and the new roles they are being asked to play.  Here are five ideas to improve the level employee engagement in your strategy.

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April 2015

A Path to Becoming a Strategic Leader

Strategy tends to take a back seat in the lives of many senior executives. It’s not that they don’t want to be more strategic, rather, they are not sure of how. Some feel that if they spend a few hours a week, they will become better strategic leaders.  Others might believe that an annual retreat with key managers is the answer.  Unfortunately, this is wishful thinking because strategy is more than brainstorming ideas and solving for critical issues.

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March 2015

4 Ways to Overcome Strategy Execution Roadblocks

Does this sound familiar to you?  You’ve held your strategic planning meeting with your management team late last year, identified key strategic projects, assigned responsibilities and you were off and running.  Everyone was on board, or so it seemed.  What’s happening?  Why are we not making any progress against these projects that are critical to our long term strategic objectives?  If this is familiar to you, don’t be surprised. You are not alone.

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February 2015

What is a Strategy Focused Organization?

The ultimate prize for all NFL football teams is a Super Bowl win.  There is no greater reward for a well planned and executed season.  Management, coaches, and players need to be aligned and focused for every game.  They also need to be committed to the overall team strategy.  Successful teams embrace the strategy focused organization model.

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December 2014

10 Great Business Strategy Quotes

For our end of year newsletter, we want to share with you some of our favorite strategy quotes from business, military and political leaders.  Each provides a different perspective, yet they all have similarities.  Enjoy!

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November 2014

5 Reasons Why Strategy is Important

When we first started strategic planning work over 20 years ago, a client and good friend said that succeeding in strategy management is hard work.  It takes time, resources, and distracts from the urgency of running the day-to-day business. Today we would totally disagree. After working with over 200 clients on a wide range of strategy management projects, we’ve confirmed that there are a multitude of benefits to having and working a strategy in organizations.

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October 2014

Is Strategy Execution Worth the Effort?

If you are a regular reader of our newsletter it will not be breaking news that execution management is critical in realizing the objectives of your strategy. However, Execution management is a capability and like any skill requires time and investment to master. Therefore, it is not unusual for business owners and CEOs to ask and/or wonder, is the impact from execution management worth the effort? Consequently we are always excited when we can share research that targets the power of execution management.

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September 2014

Four Vital Steps to Improve Performance

What we like most about team sports is the coherence great coaches create when preparing their players for each game. Successful coaches set clear game strategies that capitalize on the collective strengths of all the players. As a result, the coherence between coach and players provides a winning advantage over their competition. Unfortunately, that same disciplined approach does not translate into many companies.

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August 2014

Why Does Strategy Depend on Good People?

One of the most important lessons learned in working with our clients on strategy management is that it always comes down to the people in the organization to make strategy happen.  This is an obvious conclusion and probably not a surprise to anyone.  Yet setting your culture up for success is an important part of achieving the strategic objectives you set.  That means having the right people in the right place with the right attitudes. It also means establishing a strong foundation for good behaviors.

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July 2014

Are You Stuck in the Past?

Today’s leaders cannot afford to look in the rear view mirror for answers because the pace of change in any business is faster than anything we have ever experienced.   There is no room to try to address today’s, or tomorrow’s issues and opportunities with yesterday’s thinking.   Don’t get me wrong, history can be useful and powerful for many things, but history needs to be a springboard to the future, not a reason to live in the past. Owners and CEOs that defend the “that’s the way we have always done it” mindset will surrender to change rather than take control of their destiny.

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June 2014

Business Killer: Employee Dis-Engagement

In our work assisting owners, CEOs and their management teams in developing and executing strategy, we often hear concern raised regarding the level of employee engagement and the risk it represents to achieving strategic objectives. A recent article by Tony Schwartz and Christine Porath in the New Your Times sheds light on this critical issue and recommends steps that can be taken to improve employee engagement.

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May 2014

10 Guiding Principles to Manage Strategy Successfully

How often have you wondered why your strategy doesn’t seem to be working?   You might be experiencing slower progress then you expected, or in some areas, you might be experiencing complete inactivity.  Undoubtedly, planning and executing strategy can at times be quite frustrating, and obstacles seem to constantly get in the way of success.

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April 2014

Business Killer: 3 Villains That Kill Change Initiatives

Working with our clients to develop and execute strategy, most often there is a need for change, whether a small shift in a new direction or transformational.  This is without question challenging for any organization, and requires a long term commitment to see it through.    Why?  Because people inherently do not like change.  It’s disruptive, risky, and discomforting.

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March 2014

How to Simplify the Complex Organization

In a recent Harvard Business Review blog, the author Rick Wartzman wrote about Peter Drucker’s 1981 lecture at the New York University, “Managing the Complexities of Large Organizations.”  The challenges and complexities back then are even more pronounced today as technology and market changes seem to accelerate rather than slow, and many companies won’t let go of yesterday’s outdated business models and processes.

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February 2014

What Business Are You In?

Today’s business environment is characterized by fast, sweeping change and uncertainty, and many business leaders are facing a steep uphill climb to grow their businesses. These challenges might have been caused by commodization of maturing markets or disruption, and changing consumer behavior. No matter the cause, they may feel like they experienced the “boiled frog phenomenon.”

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January 2014

Is Strategy Static or Variable?

In last month’s issue of AlbuonStrategy we discussed three reasons why strategy fails.  I would like to follow up on that conversation with a question—is strategy is static or variable.  From our own client experience, we believe there is both confusion and difference of opinion about the answer to this question.

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December 2013

3 Reasons Strategy Fails

At Albu Consulting, our key message to clients and prospects is “Strategy without execution is useless and Execution without strategy is aimless.”  We believe those words speak for themselves, but let’s look at the facts.  In a recent McKinsey & Co. survey of 197 companies, 97% of leaders believed they had the right strategy, but only 33% reported significant strategic success.  Other studies from The Balanced Scorecard confirm this gap between strategy and execution.  And we can attest to these statistics with our own experiences over almost 20 years in business.

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November 2013

Three Tips for Making Faster & Better Decisions

As we approach the end of the year, many companies are probably in the midst of strategic planning and this is a time when the quality of your decision is very important.  We thought it would be a good time to share some tips to improve the quality your decision making.  Having facilitated 100s of strategic planning assignments over 19 years, we have realized that our clients’ success in achieving their strategic objectives is dependent on their ability to make good and timely strategic decisions.

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October 2013

Strategy and the West Point Way

In an article in Inc. Magazine (October 2013), Jim Collins (leadership guru and author of Good to Great, Built to Last, and his latest book Great by Choice) described his experience teaching leadership at West Point.   As seen through his eyes, West Point cadets are cut from a different cloth than other college students.  Reflecting on Collin’s experience, we could not help but think how the leadership lessons he uncovered at West Point can apply directly to how organizations succeed in developing and executing strategy.

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September 2013

The Three Cs of Strategy Execution

What is one of the most common missing links when it comes to successful strategic planning?  Most CEOs we speak to will agree its strategy execution.   You can have developed a mediocre plan, and an exceptional execution process will lift that average plan to new heights.   Without a solid execution process in place, strategic plans are useless documents that sit on shelves collecting dust.  More importantly, without a formal strategy execution process, organizations fail to achieve their goals.

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August 2013

Are You Fit for Growth?

As we talk to current, past and prospective clients, they readily share their concern regarding achieving profitable growth. Their concerns center on the uncertainty surrounding economic policy that is creating business uncertainty and dampening economic growth. They are also finding it challenging to shift their focus from reducing costs (for the past 5 years to survive the recession) to driving sales growth. Yet, these same leaders realize their organizations will be facing headwinds for some time and need to move forward with a growth agenda.

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July 2013

Are You Managing With Purpose, or Just Managing activities?

I have had the pleasure of knowing Ashok Vasudevan about 7 years and over the years I have enjoyed our discussions about a topic we both hold dear, Strategic Planning.  Over drinks recently, Ashok said something to me that I found quite simple, yet profound.  He said, “Companies leaders tend to manage activities rather than manage with purpose.”  At Albu Consulting, we can certainly appreciate this statement because we believe a robust, well-articulated strategic direction can make a significant difference to an organization.  In addition to Vision and Mission, Managing with Purpose will focus any organization on doing the right things, not just doing.

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June 2013

Why is Change Such Hard Work?

I am reminded of a great analogy a friend shared with me recently about a football coach who wanted to change his offensive system. He brought his players together, explained the new offense, and told them that they need to be ready for the next game. He then left the team to figure it out by themselves. The team lost the next game terribly. The coach was furious and told his players, in no uncertain terms, that they need to do better. Again, the coach left his team to figure it out alone. Not surprisingly, they lost the next game terribly as well. Finally, the coach realized that his team needed help understanding the what, why and how of the new offence. He began working with his players, both individually and in groups. As a result, although the team lost the next game, it was not as bad. In a few weeks the team began to win games again.

What happened? As the leader of his team, he left it up to his players to “figure it out themselves.” He expected and demanded them to embrace what was transformational change—new formations, players moving to new positions and learning new skills. Not an easy task for any team.

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April 2013

Is Lack of Accountability Holding Back Your Strategy?

Does this sound familiar…you’ve finished developing a new strategy and everyone on the management team apparently agrees with the new strategic direction, but then the strategy never happens. There are many reasons why strategic plans do not get executed, but we are going to focus on one of the most important reasons, lack of accountability. To achieve your strategy you need a high level of engagement that comes from an organization that is held accountable for its execution.

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March 2013

Business Killer – 5 Reason the Status Quo is Not Enough

The Status quo is defined as the current or existing state of affairs.  To maintain the status quo is to keep things the way they are.  Isn’t that the easier way?  Wouldn’t it be nice if we all could just keep things the way they are and not change?

Unfortunately, the world does not work that way.  Competitors change tactics, customers change buyers, governments change policies, strikes stop production and occasionally natural disasters cause havoc.  As a result, the status quo is not enough and organizations need to learn to adapt and change.

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February 2013

Are You Still Struggling With Uncertainty?

We can all agree that the level of uncertainty in today’s business environment is high and most likely will be no less in the future. Faced with ongoing uncertainty, we are seeing many business owners and CEO’s dismissing the value of strategy because they believe it’s too static.  Strategy means making the best possible choices, and in this uncertain business environment, strategy needs to be about making predictions (bets) on what customers will need, how competitors will act, what your company should be capable of doing, and what the economy will do.

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January 2013

Family Businesses Owners on Public Policy

Economists seem to be in agreement that 2013 will be a repeat of 2012, with only a slight uptick. GDP growth will be at best 2%, unemployment marginally better at 7.5%, and consumer confidence flat to slightly up.  A recent survey completed by the Family Enterprise USA (FEUSA), an independent non-profit organization, provides a look at the attitudes of family business owners on key issues related to public policy.

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December 2012

Who is the Chief Execution Officer?

One would think the answer to this question should be fairly simple. However, the sad reality is that most organizations really do not understand what the title and responsibilities of Chief Execution Officer involves. In our experience, the problem stems from the fact that most Chief Executive Officers and leadership teams don’t have the skills required, the processes in place, nor the understanding of the effort necessary to methodically translate strategy into execution to get the result they want.

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November 2012

How Can Organizational Structure Unlock Strategy?

Even though 2012 elections are now decided, they will not reduce the “dizzying velocity of change in our economy,” as stated by Robert Safian author of Secrets of a Generation Flux Leader (Fast Company – November 2012). We are witnessing the boom of companies such as Apple, Facebook and Amazon; and the bust of companies like Research in Motion, Blockbuster, and Myspace, all at an accelerating pace. Business leaders are realizing that their business models that leveraged the advantages of established brands, of scale, and of efficiency are vulnerable to new agile business models.

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October 2012

Stop Wasting Valuable Business Resources

I had a client recently tell me that one of his mature, declining businesses needed to be resurrected.  In reality, the market dynamics were all running against this decision.  The product line had run its useful course as substitutes were becoming more important to the end user. Competitors were dropping pricing to maintain share and customers were feeding the frenzy by insisting on the lowest priced alternative.  This is just one example of many I can site.  I’m sure you have your own stories…

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September 2012

Execution Intelligence (XQ)—Without it, You Can’t Succeed

If you have been following our newsletters, you know we are fans of Harvey McKay, author of several books including one of his original books, Swim With the Sharks, and his most recent, The McKay MBA of Selling in the Real World.

In a recent newsletter, McKay wrote about the importance of execution. Consultants would call it execution intelligence or XQ—establishing execution as an internal competency in your organization. McKay described it as “the ability to convert smarts and plans into action.” Ideas are great, as are plans, but converting an idea and plan to successful results is what really counts. As the comedian Larry the Cable Guy would say, “Git ‘er done.”

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August 2012

Why Companies Struggle to Execute Strategy?

We have seen in our own practice how privately held or family owned companies are good at managing their company operations. Having been in business for decades, they have successfully learned to navigate through economic downturns like the recent 2007/08 recession. So why can these companies successfully execute their operational plans, yet struggle with executing strategy? Most likely it is a lack of organizational readiness to execute the strategic plan.

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July 2012

Business Killer – Complacency

From the Wall Street Journal, Friday, May 18, 2012…”Jamie Dimon, J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. Chairman and CEO had just committed the most expensive blunder of his 30-year career, failing to detect the risk of trades that had begun to generate huge losses at the bank.”

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April 2012

What is Strategy?

I recently came across an article written by Steve Tobak published on CBSNews.com.  Steve is a former tech executive and now a strategy consultant to that industry.

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Why Are We Not Achieving our Strategic Goals?

March 2012

You’ve held your strategic planning meeting with your management team late last year, identified key strategic projects, assigned responsibilities and you were off and running. Everyone was on board, or so it seemed. What’s happening? Why are we not making any progress against these projects that are critical to our long term strategic objectives? If this is familiar to you, don’t be surprised. You are not alone…

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Michael Porter on: What Are The Most Common Strategy Mistakes?

February 2012

Michael Porter, Harvard Business School professor and author, is a giant among strategy and competition gurus. Joan Margretta, Porter’s former editor at Harvard Business Review, has captured his latest views in her new book, Understanding Michael Porter. Read a few excerpts from her book, taken from an interview with Michael Porter..…

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Out With the Old, in With the New

January 2012

In 2011 we saw firms such as Nokia and Research In Motion (RIM), perennial growth companies, post disappointing results and lost their positions as market leaders…a company’s long-term success is dependent on its ability to adapt so as to keep pace with the marketplace.…

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Strategic Success Comes in 3Ps

December 2011

Whether you are a mid-market, privately-held business or a Fortune 500 corporation, success depends on three key factors: (1) How good is your PLAN? (2) How committed are you to a PROCESS to pursue your goals? (3) How committed are your PEOPLE to staying focused…

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CEO’s Are Only As Good As Their Last Decision

November 2011

People in positions of power are less likely to take advice from others. They have a high level of confidence in their own judgment and therefore do not feel the need for outside views. This over confidence bias leads to more flawed decisions.

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Business Killer — Complexity

October 2011

Creating unnecessary complexity in your company can be a business killer. It quickly leads to a lack of focus, which in turn leads to lost opportunities. Understanding what your organization does well and where resource should be focused to create business value is a basic premise of strategy management.

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Death, Taxes and Strategy

September 2011

Only three things in life are certain: 1) death, 2) taxes, and 3) the fact that today’s strategy won’t work tomorrow… At Albu Consulting we believe the path to successfully manage strategic uncertainty is to establish strategy management as an organizational competency. By applying the principles of the strategy management process, you will make better decisions, more often and with greater confidence, and create greater business value today and tomorrow..

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Good Strategy/Bad Strategy: The Difference and Why It Matters

July 2011

Is your strategy a mix of slogans and goals, or a set of objectives that offer solutions to key problems? In this issue we recommend you read a new book written by Richard Rumelt released July 19th, 2011 that highlights the pitfalls and fallacies you must avoid in bad strategy.

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6 Months To Go in 2011 … Sprint or Stroll

June 2011

The economy is still tenuous as many of our clients, associates and business resources have told us over the past month. Although certain data points seem to point toward an uptick, there appears to be continued concern that there is the prospect of a double dip around the corner. In this month’s newsletter we want to share with you what we are hearing and seeing.

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Keep your Strategy Relevant and Win

May 2011

A laser like focus on the short-term has allowed companies to weather the effects of an uncertain business environment. But the long-term viability of an organization is dependent on its ability to anticipate when to change its strategy in order to assure its relevance in the marketplace is maintained. …

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Four Vital Steps to Increase the Value of your Business

April 2011

It is essential that companies redirect their energies and resources toward reinforcing what they do really well. Coherence as a company behind what you do really well provides the winning advantage…

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Recommended Reading: Seven Strategy Questions

By Robert Simons

March 2011

At Albu Consulting we believe that strategy is a continuous process. Robert Simons the author of this book is of the same opinion. He has put together a guide on how to continually test your strategy to identify confusion and inefficiency in your business, and weakness in your strategy and its execution…

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The CEO’s Promise

February 2011

The most important responsibilities of any CEO are to develop the strategy, clarify strategic initiatives, communicate them to employees and make sure the initiatives are achieved. It is the essence of the CEO’s promise to stakeholders. However, all too often CEO’s focus…

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 4 “Rules of Engagement” that Drive Strategic Success

Summer 2010 Edition

We place a high value on planning … but strategy implementation is as important, if not more important than the plan. If you strip away everything, the most important driver of successful strategy execution management comes down to these five things.

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Five Building Blocks to Successful Strategy Execution

Winter 2010 Edition

We place a high value on planning … but strategy implementation is as important, if not more important than the plan. If you strip away everything, the most important driver of successful strategy execution management comes down to these five things.

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Reload, Refresh, Renew: Make Strategy Work Harder

Winter 2009 Edition

The reality of today is that we are in the most turbulent economic times with a great deal of uncertainty. How can leadership teams improve the odds of achieving long term strategic goals in this challenging economy? The answer is to adopt a strategic management system that enables the organization to make better decisions, more often, with more confidence.

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Three Critical Steps to Recalibrate Your Business

Summer 2009 Edition

We are experiencing turbulence in global markets that is new to all of us. Everything around us is in recalibration mode–Recalibration requires a disciplined, no-nonsense approach that will drive change and reset your business model. Consider these three essential steps…

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One Game at a Time Gets You the PRIZE

Spring 2009 Edition

Too often the short term needs of a company overshadow its long term goals. The ”noise” of the moment drains resources and distracts management so much that they forget about the ultimate ”trophy” the company is aspiring to achieve over the long term.

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Five Steps to Weather the Downturn

Fall 2008 Edition

We face some challenging times right now, and the uncertainty will make or break many companies. But in times like these, there are opportunities for the strong to get stronger.

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Upturn Thinking in a Downturn Market

Summer 2008 Edition

Nearly all companies are feeling the pressure of the economic downturn. However, building long-term thinking into the restructuring process is critical to success.

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It’s About People First

Spring 2008 Edition

In describing the value of strategic planning…we emphasize the importance of the 3Ps of success-and the most important “P” of success is People…

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Stop Business Killers Before it’s Too Late

Winter 2007 Edition

Business killers can creep into an organization, stifling momentum or, in the worst cases, driving companies out of business …

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Planning Principles Then and Now

Summer 2007, Edition

While attending IMD (an international management development program in Lausanne, Switzerland) over 20 years ago, I studied a book by Dean Derek Able, titled Strategic MarketPlanning: Problems and analytical Approaches. Upon recently re-reading the book, I was pleasantly surprised to find a number of timeless insights.

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Business Success Comes From 3Ps

Spring 2007 Edition

Whether you are a mid-market, privately-held business or a Fortune 500 corporation, success depends on three key factors: …

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It’s Not a Diet, It’s a Lifestyle

Fall 2006 Edition

Business leaders need to think long-term about strategic planning. CEOs sometimes view the strategy process as a once-a-year event, or worse, a once-every-few-years exercise …

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No Room for Complacency

Summer 2006 Edition

Are you staying ahead of your competitors, always striving to be better? Are you confident you have a strategy that will take you to a higher level, year after year? …

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How Well Do You Know Your Competition?

Spring 2006 Edition

I’m writing this in the midst of ”March Madness”. If you like college basketball, it’s the best time of year. Some of the greatest strategic minds coach these teams…

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Winners Plan, and Planners Win

Spring 2005 Edition

What does it really take to be successful in today’s fast paced, competitive business environment? Two important factors are…

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Lights, Camera, ACTION

Winter 2005 Edition

Managers often find the disciplines surrounding developing and setting vision and strategy to be stimulating and fun. However, the ultimate difference between success and mediocrity…

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Growing “Smarter”

Fall 2004 Edition

One fundamental of successful strategic planning is the ability to craft growth strategies that capitalize on your organization’s capabilities…

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Ten Fatal Sins of Strategic Planning

Summer 2004 Edition

Strategic planning can be challenging for any business. Below are ten of the most common errors…

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Acquisitions “They’re Back!”

Spring 2004 Edition

After a three-year drought, during the second half of 2003 and continuing in the first quarter of 2004, mergers and acquisitions are back…

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When It’s Time to Examine Your Growth Strategy

Winter 2004 Edition

Company leaders should constantly challenge their organizations’ growth strategies…

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