Strategy and positioning

/Strategy and positioning

Hard business

I was in London at a HiFi trade show this weekend, talking with a colleague about a business leader we have both admired for several decades. Realising that the person in question must be in his mid to late seventies, we looked back at his successes and made a kind of mental list of what we thought it was that made him stand out from the crowd. We agreed on the following: He is extremely likeable. With a broad grin, his smile always disarms you. He always remembers a name – even after years of absence. He always had (and [...]

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Who can be your Data Protection Superman/Superwoman ?

In the past weeks several communications via different media, blogs, … were addressing the need of thousands of Data Protection Officers (DPOs) across Europe for the coming year to ensure organizations' compliance to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), a quest like none before ... At the same time the debate went on discussing the qualifications this person would need to show. The discussions between those that approach this question from a legal point of view (where the quest is originating) and those that see the resolution coming from within the technical departments of the organization (where part of the [...]

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World beating excellence – ‘it’s a system not a mindset’

For me, the Olympic games is more about the taking part rather than the winning. However, that being said, one can only look at team GB’s medal results with absolute amazement. How can a country so small out-perform every other country in the world apart from the US?  It was not that long ago that ‘Team Great Britain’ used to be right down at the very bottom of the medal tables with only the odd hero, here and there proving themselves to be extraordinary.  Today Great Britain is even above Russia, China and Germany. So what’s changed? Unlike the ‘Leicester [...]

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The Good old days

Recently we have heard some politicians promise to take us back to the ‘good old days’ in order to make their countries ‘great’ again.  And yet when their voters were asked when exactly the good old days were, they could not could come up with a period where, under scrutiny, was not as good as it is today. In business too, it is vitally important not to be nostalgic. Good periods in the past, always had their downsides and to be honest, are often not relevant to the current situation. I do believe, however, that there is a great deal [...]

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Don’t bother making plans

Some of the most memorably stressful moments in my career have been spent arguing the benefit of building detailed project plans. Typical counter arguments included “In this company there is no point in making plans because everything is changing all the time and no one sticks to their commitments”. My reaction was, and still is, “if your company is that chaotic, there is something fundamentally wrong with it and perhaps you should invest time identifying the causes of the chaos and lack of commitment?  Having done so, you could then work with the leadership team to come up with a [...]

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