strategic decisions

The Emergent Career Strategy - Practical Considerations

I recently wrote an article about the difference between Planned vs. Emergent Career Strategies. The career plan is one you create at the beginning of your career when you have the least amount of information. The emergent strategy sometimes reveals itself in the process of pursuing the original career plan. New information emerges that was [...]

The Deep Flaw in MBB Strategic Planning

When I first started recruiting for consulting jobs, an interviewer at Bain shared a story (arguably a legend at this point) about how Bain (or it might have been McKinsey) was asked to advise Motorola on whether or not they should enter the mobile phone market. As you might know, Motorola eventually dominated the pre-smartphone [...]

Choose Your Words Carefully

Over the last decade, I have continually found myself intrigued by a field I never thought would interest me: linguistics. In particular, I’m fascinated by how linguistics intersects with psychology. The words you use profoundly impact how you think and behave. Here are a few examples. I often encounter clients who tell me there is [...]

The Importance of Career R&D

A product company like Apple invests heavily in research &development (R&D) to maintain its competitive advantage. One of the ways you can tell a CEO is managing for short-term results at the expense of long-term sustained success, is when he or she cuts back on R&D investments. In the workforce, there are two kinds of [...]

Extreme Determination and Extreme Success

Growing up, I watched Michael Jordan play basketball. He was, with little argument, the best basketball player of all time. He was incredibly dominant — probably 5-6 standard deviations above the mean. Michael Jordan was in the news a lot when he turned 50 years old. There was an in-depth profile of his life and [...]

Competitive Advantage in Consulting and in Life

One of the concepts taught in business schools around the world is the concept of competitive advantage. While the term is well known, I find very few people actually grasp the implications of this extremely important concept. It applies not only to how you serve clients as a consultant but also how you manage your own career. My thoughts [...]

What Will People Think?

Many people struggle to pursue what they really want, out of fear of what people will think. When I hear this, I always ask, “Which specific people?” As in, “What are their names?” In many cases, the other person has a hard time responding. They’ll often say, “You know, ‘people.’” The great irony is that [...]

New Year, New Goals, Old Habits?

As we enter yet another new year, I can’t help but feel a little jaded. Every new year, millions of people set new goals, only to give up on them by March 15th. I know this because I analyzed the sales data of companies that depend on New Year’s resolutions for a sales boost — [...]

Good Decisions vs. Luck

Today I’d like to discuss something profoundly important regarding decision making. Ninety-nine percent of people do not grasp these concepts, as they are subtle and nuanced. My question is this: What makes a decision a good one? It’s a simple question. Most people say a good decision is one where there is a good outcome. [...]

Why Good Strategic Planning Sucks

Strategic planning involves making decisions to allocate time, money and focus in the present to achieve an outcome in the future. Resource constraints make strategic planning necessary and useful. If you had unlimited funds, people, and time to invest, you don’t need strategic planning. You would simply decide to pursue all options simultaneously without any [...]

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