I’ve always had a cynical view of companies that offer “branding” and “strategy.” Both are valid, necessary, important activities which every business owner must consider, but I’ve seen too many creative houses that get into these lines as a way to sell creative services — and little more. To them, it’s just creative services, rebranded. The thing that gets me most is how often some of these types of shops tend to rebrand themselves, and what that means to them… the joke I never said to one of their faces when meeting them on the street was, “Hey, I saw your new brand — very nice! Been slow around the shop lately?” I don’t know where they found the time to rebrand themselves every six months and still look after clients.
Some while back, Execupundit posted an example of assumptions gone wrong in the story of some prisoners planning an escape. He was outlining the importance of stating assumptions, which is crucial. In my last business, when writing a proposal in response to an RFP, we would always keep a list of assumptions that we made about the application, the environment, the business needs, whatever. It might scrawled in the margin of the RFP or on a separate sheet, but it had to be someplace. It’s a critical step…
Most often when faced with a decision, we want to gather as much data as possible in order to reach the best conclusions in our decision-making process. This much is perhaps rather obvious. But what do we do when there is missing data? It will then be tempting to discount whatever is missing as simply unavailable for the decision-making process, but perhaps we should be asking why the data is missing, and what we can learn from that fact.
I have a number of partially-completed blog posts, and this is one I was reminded of while reading Ori Brafman and Rod Beckstrom’s The Starfish and the Spider: The Unstoppable Power of Leaderless Organizations (www) over the past week… I hope to say more about the book in due course, but for now it has me thinking about the strategic flexibility of flat “leaderless” decentralized organizations vs. the relative inflexibility or unimaginatively of their monolithic counterparts. It’s an examination of piracy that had me thinking about something from Michael Raynor‘s book, The Strategy Paradox: Why Committing to Success Leads to Failure (and What to Do About It).
I see that Microsoft has come out with a coffee-table shaped computer, which represents a pretty major technological step forward in user interface (UI) design by allowing multiple simultaneous inputs directly to the display from more than one user, and even directly from objects placed on or in proximity to the screen. Not your average touchscreen. Popular Mechanics test-drives it (with video) in a fairly extensive report that includes an overview on how it actually works. As new and as groundbreaking as this is, I immediately knew I’d seen it somewhere else before.
In part one and part two of this blog-intro series, I talked about the notion of business decisions at a glance based on an almost intuitive understanding of the field of play. The phrase coup d’oeil is taken from the military, and refers to the ability of the rare commander who posesses an exceptionally quick understanding of the field of battle and can make strategic decisions quickly. This ability is based largely on experience and analysis at a subconscious level. From this background, the final installment in this trilogy announces what I hope to achieve on this blog.