Strategy? Forget All You Know!

Below are seven pieces of advice I give to business leaders based on the most successful strategy practices I know. Whenever I discuss these in an open forum, there is always pushback from at least a few people, particularly in Japan. Some people are even offended! That’s OK.

If I am doing my job correctly, at least some people should be made to feel uncomfortable.

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The Secret to Persuasive Strategy

All senior level executives and managers are asked to develop and present a strategy, whether global strategy, regional strategy, or simply strategy for a team or department they oversee. Many managers create long slide presentations with lots of data to justify why their strategy is right. However, the most persuasive managers talk about all the reasons their strategy might be wrong. Continue reading

Campaigns Don’t Shape Brands

Campaigns don’t shape brands. Leaders do. Campaigns merely project to the outside world the brand as perceived by the people inside your company, whether that brand is how you like it or not.

Dissonance will cause any branding campaign to fail, no matter what you do.

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2018 Predictions

I love making predictions, so here is my list of ten predictions for 2018.

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Market Entry Manifesto

Last week, a reporter from The Telegraph in the UK contacted me for my views on the challenges of market entry in Japan.

My market entry manifesto is below:

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Japan, Rotten to the Core? No.

When you hear of malfeasance in American companies like Equifax, Wells Fargo, Valeant, Countrywide Financial and Washington Mutual of subprime mortgage crisis infamy, and even Enron, no one questions whether or not something is rotten in the whole of American corporate culture.

So, why should we think differently when it comes to corporate malfeasance in Japan?

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Leader Versus Minion Behaviors

Who on your staff is leadership material, and who is…perhaps not?

Forget personality profiling and engagement survey results. None of these tests have ever been scientifically validated, and can tell you as much about a candidate for a higher level of leadership as reading the entrails of a slaughtered chicken.

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Using R&D to Make a Sale is like Eating Your Young

I often see sales people offer highly valuable expert services from an R&D division to a customer for free in order to make a product sale, even when the customer would likely have been happy to pay.

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