Professional services firms are undergoing a profound transformation. The markets are changing and the old ways of doing business are becoming obsolete. Customers paying for professional services are becoming more sophisticated and more discerning. Why are we still doing business as usual when the world around us is in such extreme flux? The professional services […]
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Humanist values are universal and trump all others as an overriding principal of conduct in business relations. As a strategic alliance expert who makes his living designing and optimizing international ecosystems, I often come across the issue of “cultural differences.” How do we achieve maximum efficiency and optimal team work across vast areas of beliefs, […]
Great leadership is fine art, not painting by numbers. During a recent conversation, I asked one of my closest colleagues, an outstanding leader: “Do you know the secret of great leadership?” His response was an excellent one, “Humility?” I said, “No, that’s important but not it. It’s the willingness to work with people better than […]
Edwards Deming described the purpose of an organization in New Economics, on page 51, as: “The aim proposed here for any organization is for everybody to gain–stockholders, employees, suppliers, customers, community, the environment–over the long term.” Like so much of what Deming said, that makes sense to me. It is my sense the “conventional wisdom” […]
Business metrics matter. They measure how successful a company is and well it is performing. We seem to live in a world saturated with data, metrics, and performance reports. Our corporate rivers are overflowing with them drenching everything in numbers and targets, drowning us in data, while leaving is gasping for insights. I have helped […]
When the Big Strategic Idea someone pitches you is blatantly boneheaded and un-strategic, you might remind yourself that strategic thinkers are made, not born. If this person is your friend or subordinate, then maybe it’s your job to help them learn the skill called “strategic thinking.” These three simple questions will get you off to […]
Building consensus about how the business should be operated, now and into the future, is one of the most difficult problems confronting family businesses. In a non-family business, the answer is rather simple and obvious: Develop and implement a strategic plan. In a family business, the process for building consensus is dramatically more complicated and […]
Professional intervention in a family business to resolve disputes is a smart strategy as the issues that confront a family in business together are difficult and complex. “A family business expert, who is experienced in dealing with family business dynamics, can be more objective to help grow the family business, to help maintain healthy family […]
Every type of business, not to mention every type of manager, has a different set of vital statistics that really matter. For manufacturing people, it could be inventory turns, on-time delivery, and unit cost. For marketing people, it could be new account closings, market share, and sales growth. For call center managers, it could be the […]
Mr. Charles Fiaccabrino is one of the most remarkable and impressive people I have crossed paths with. Over the past couple years, I had the distinct pleasure of working with him closely, as we (at Flevy) productized his thought leadership into a sales management methodology known as the Fiaccabrino Selection Process (FSP). Now in his 80s, Mr. Fiaccabrino has […]
The national retailer Urban Outfitters has increased its revenues by 500% in the last 10 years, expanding to nearly $3 billion today from less than $500 million a decade ago. Not only does the company grow faster than its peers, it is also more profitable, averaging 21% profit margins for the past five years, versus […]
In business, there are really only two choices: do something or do nothing. One choice leads to growth and sustainability and the other, well, allows more room in the marketplace since there is one less player in the game. Every organization eventually faces the truth, change is the only constant. If an organization fails to […]
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