Anti-Books vs. Silver Bullets

cover of trhe book The Halo Effect by Phil RosenzweigAnti-Books are books that counter the ever-popular silver-bullet books on popular management. Anti-books don’t present magic formulas. They don’t offer easy solutions to complex and difficult problems. They tell you what you need to know instead of what you want to know. Things like:

  • Creating demand is hard. It takes a lot of time and effort. And it takes some luck.
  • Business is not science. “Rigorous” research in management is an oxymoron. Just because some companies succeeded using a “focused” strategy does not mean a focused strategy leads to success.
  • Good strategies don’t often fail because of poor execution. Phil Rosenzweig (author of The Halo Effect) says, “Whenever someone says, ‘We have the right strategy, we just need to execute better.’ I make sure to take an extra-close look at the strategy.”

If you have read any of the numerous management books by famous professors, business gurus and celebrity CEOs perhaps you’ve been pumped up and excited for a brief time, only to be disappointed when their magic solution didn’t quite translate to your situation.

If you are, like me, something of a skeptic then perhaps the idea of simple, timeless universal formulas for success presented in books like In Search of Excellence, Built To Last, Good to Great, and Blue Ocean Strategy – to name a few – seemed rather simplistic to begin with. That’s why I call them silver bullet books.Read More »Anti-Books vs. Silver Bullets

Mistake No. 2: Have you seen this Silly Way Of Thinking?

No. 2 in the Seven Mistakes Series

Sample of Typical SWOT AnalysisSWOT – Strengths Weaknesses Opportunities and Threats. It’s the defacto layman’s standard for analysis across the corporate spectrum.

Often it seems like SWOT is the only non-financial analysis method people remember after B-School, and it shows up everywhere. This may be because it’s simple, straightforward and easy to remember. Sadly it’s also easy to get wrong.

It’s so easy to get wrong, in fact, that one of my mentors in Competitive Intelligence, Dr. Ben Gilad, refers to it as Silly Way Of Thinking.Read More »Mistake No. 2: Have you seen this Silly Way Of Thinking?

Mistake No. 1: Is your data distracting you?

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No. 1 in the Seven Mistakes Series

This article is a transcript (with slides) of the video.

In 1996 I worked for IBM. Google didn’t exist yet. Yahoo was the search engine of choice. Netscape Navigator was the most popular browser, and whenever we heard the word “cookie” most of us thought of Cookie Monster.Read More »Mistake No. 1: Is your data distracting you?