Play your cards

Vale Aaron and Ingvar

 

Each of us is dealt a hand from birth

How and when you play your cards shapes your destiny. The same is true for your business.

Aaron Hernandez

Aaron Hernandez died in 2017 at age 27. Like many people Aaron was dealt a mixed hand. His violent father, sexual promiscuity, sheer athleticism, celebrity status, drug use, degenerative brain disease from repeated NFL head injuries, incarceration and eventual suicide made for an unhappy, short but colourful life.

In the world of business, Enron was an unhappy, short-lived but colourful example.

Ingvar Kamprad

Ingvar Kamprad died in 2018 at age 91. His wealthy family taught him to be careful with money. In 1943 at the age of 17 he founded IKEA. At the time of his death he was the eighth richest person on the planet.

Kamprad was happiest when he flew economy, bought second-hand clothes and drove his 1993 Volvo. He lived a happy, long and simple life.

Your Cards

Q1. Are you unhappy or happy with your cards?
Q2. Is the business you are in trendy or is it aligned with a long-term trend?
Q3. Do you want a colourful expensive life?
Q4. Are you more like Aaron or Ingvar?
Q5. What do you really need?

2030

Spend some time this year thinking about the sort of life you want in 2030 and beyond.

Check your hand. Consider discarding some cards and picking up some new ones. Then, play your cards.

,

 

About BLOG Author | John Hale – Strategic Futurist Speaker

John Hale is the founder of Hale Consulting Group and author of The Strategy Book. John has worked as an early stage investor and advisor for over twenty-years. He has worked with leaders from Fortune 500 and mid-sized companies to start-ups and public sector organisations. John has been a Visiting and Adjunct Professor teaching strategy, entrepreneurship, project management and ethics at various institutions including Singapore Management University, Bond University and Melbourne Business School.

John’s popular conference talks include:

Future-Proof – Create a strategic mindset
Future Customer – Shift loyalty to your brand
Future Culture – Nurture workforce talent
Digital Futures – Grow digital wings

If you feel it may be time change your strategic approach, contact me at john@halecg.com, to schedule a free thirty-minute phone call, to help map out your next steps.

 

Your Claim to Fame

Already Famous?

 

You are probably already famous for something! But are you famous for the right thing?

Most people are famous and infamous for certain things. Can you name what you or your business is best known and trusted for?  In other words, what is your Claim to Fame?

 

Six famous people

Consider the following six people. What do you most expect them to do?  See if you can match them to the six ‘Claims to Fame’ that appear below them.

Scott Morrison. Donald Trump. Angela Merkel. Greta Thunberg. Xi Jinping. Ricky Gervais.

(i) Promote their political self-interest.

(ii) Offer a deal or a bride to stay safe.

(iii) Consider options for fiscal policy carefully.

(iv) Promote changes in climate policy.

(v) Promote specific behavioural standards within society.

(vi) Poke fun at anyone and everyone who takes themselves seriously.

How did you go matching them? It wasn’t hard, was it! In my experience, fame for these six people goes from left to right on the list of names. Let me explain. To me, those on the start of the list are famously unpredictable. Those towards the end of the list are far more predictable.

 

From ScoMo to Ricky

Nobody has any idea what Scott Morrison will do next. However, we can count on Ricky Gervais to push buttons, shed light and promote laughter, whenever he opens his mouth. Ricky was Ricky again at the Golden Globes last night!

 

My heart broke

Ricky filled a void on the world stage that was left in 2014 when Robin Williams committed suicide.  In 2014, my heart broke. Robin was an Angel of Light who raged against the unconsciousness in our corupt corporate, political, legal, medical and societal machinery.

 

Capabilities

Later on, I realised that Robin’s medical condition, Lewy Body Disease brought with it a degenerative loss of motor coordination and speech impairment. The very two capabilities a stand-up comedian most needs to deliver on their Claim to Fame.

If you or your business has a Claim to Fame, what are the Capabilities needed to deliver on it?

 

Claim to Fame

If you do not have a Claim to Fame, perhaps use 2020 to define and refine it. What do you want to be known for in 2030? Then list the Capabilities you will need to master in this decade to predictably deliver on your Claim to Fame.

 

The Strategy Book

When listing Capabilities, it is essential to be strategic. This is where The Strategy Book can really help. You can purchase your copy via our website or from most major online booksellers.

The Strategy Book contains eighteen exercises to help future-proof your business, including an activity which helps business owners define the Critical Success Factors they need to address in their chosen profession or industry.

 

But seriously

But seriously, when creating a list of Capabilities, reviewing the Critical Success Factors for your industry will be just as important as knowing your Claim to Fame. Scott Morrison’s track record of poor communication and lack of empathy are not capabilities a famous Prime Minister needs. Ricky Gervais’s ability to laugh at himself and poke fun at anyone and everyone who takes themselves seriously are hallmarks of a famous comedian.

So, if you decide to work on your Claim to Fame and Capabilities, don’t take yourself too seriously. Be vulnerable and have some fun exploring options. It will help you be more creative and strategic.

 

About BLOG Author | John Hale – Strategic Futurist Speaker

John Hale is the founder of Hale Consulting Group and author of The Strategy Book. John has worked as an early stage investor and advisor for over twenty-years. He has worked with leaders from Fortune 500 and mid-sized companies to start-ups and public sector organisations. John has been a Visiting and Adjunct Professor teaching strategy, entrepreneurship, project management and ethics at various institutions including Singapore Management University, Bond University and Melbourne Business School.

John’s popular conference talks include:

Future-Proof – Create a strategic mindset
Future Customer – Shift loyalty to your brand
Future Culture – Nurture workforce talent
Digital Futures – Grow digital wings

If you feel it may be time change your strategic approach, contact me at john@halecg.com, to schedule a free thirty-minute phone call, to help map out your next steps.

 

Substitutes force us to Pivot

Discover the substitutes in your industry 

 

Are substitutes killing your business?

Pivoting in a business can be like charting a new sea voyage. There are many ways to go and many ways to get there. If there are no winds, to avoid failure, we may need to substitute our old sailing boat for a new jet boat. In business, our ability to pivot and change direction is vital. To survive and thrive, we may have to substitute our usual path for a new one. A new path can help us to save time, enjoy a smoother ride, discover new markets and chart Blue Oceans

Substitutes are the future 

As a Strategic Futurist, I speak to conferences on the future of strategy and the future of substitution. With internet shopping reaching maturity, the sheer amount of customer behaviour data available is staggering. This increasing consumer knowledge is driving new levels of innovation. Innovation helps create valuable substitutes that meet evolving customer needs. Indeed, the number of substitutes for your product or service will probably increase again this year.

How can we remain profitable? 

Michael Porter has studied the profitability of thousands of businesses. He realised that over time, industry attractiveness keeps changing. Except for a few very stable industries, like soft drinks and airlines.  Porter shares that the attractiveness of any industry can be found by examining six forces. The sum of customer power, supplier power, the threat of new entrants, threat of substitutes, degree of rivalry and complementary player effects reveal the attractiveness and likely profitability of an industry.

Do we need to innovate?

Before deciding to innovate, it will be worthwhile making a list of products and services that are substitutes for what you produce. For example, in the car industry, the list of possible substitutes includes public transport, bicycles, skateboards, electric scooters and ride-share. Uber has become a substitute for taxis, owning a second car and limousine services. Uber Eats has become a substitute for cooking a stay at home meal, as well as a take out or drive thru meal.

Business conference example

I recently spoke to 75 garage door dealers at their National Conference, on the future of strategy for their industry. By assessing the attractiveness of the garage door industry, we predicted that customer power, the threat of new entrants and the degree of rivalry would continue to increase in the future. However, the threat from substitutes was less likely to change, which keeps the industry moderately attractive for dealers. The conference assessment highlighted the need to innovate around the customer value proposition. It also reinforced the need to find intelligent ways to handle the increasing numbers of garage door manufacturers and the resultant rivalry.

Your Industry

For your Industry, decide if the Threat of Substitutes is low, moderate, or high. If the attractiveness of your Industry is declining and the emergence of substitutes is increasing, it may be time to pivot. You may need to adopt a new strategic approach. In other words, Your Strategy Needs a Strategy The long term vision and meaning for your business need not change, just the way you deliver on it. To reinforce the point, understanding the various substitutes for a product or service is something every business should do regularly.

Time to pivot?

Knowing when and how to innovate and pivot in response to industry changes is not easy. Pivoting in time is something 67% of businesses fail to do inside three years, and 96% of firms fail to do inside ten years. Substitutes for a product is evidence that others are thinking differently about the problem that product or service was designed to solve. Being able to think differently allows your business to approach the future strategically. If you are unable to think differently, the future will always catch you off guard!

About BLOG Author | John Hale – Strategic Futurist Speaker

John Hale is the founder of Hale Consulting Group and author of The Strategy Book. John has worked as an early stage investor and advisor for over twenty-years. He has worked with leaders from Fortune 500 and mid-sized companies to start-ups and public sector organisations. John has been a Visiting and Adjunct Professor teaching strategy, entrepreneurship, project management and ethics at various institutions including Singapore Management University, Bond University and Melbourne Business School.

John’s popular conference talks include:

Future-Proof – Create a strategic mindset
Future Customer – Shift loyalty to your brand
Future Culture – Nurture workforce talent
Digital Futures – Grow digital wings

If you feel it may be time to pivot or change your strategic approach, contact me at john@halecg.com, to schedule a free thirty-minute phone call, to help map out your next steps.