Ideas, strategies and tactics 

The Strategy Guy's Blog




keynote strategy May 09, 2023

Throughout history, heading in that direction has always led to great opportunities. And in just one week, I'll be heading to Perth's Crown for this year's Advantage Conference - I'm pumped!

But wait, it gets better. I'll be sharing the stage with some seriously cool people: the high-energy, quick-witted Andrew Gill, communication master Bruce Cotterill, and adventure extraordinaire James Castrission, who holds not one, but TWO Guinness World Records.

Andrew will be the MC, keeping us all entertained and engaged, while Bruce shares his tips for effective communication and building meaningful relationships. And James? He'll be sharing his insane stories of adventure to inspire us all.

As for me, I'll be sharing practical skills and reliable action steps for leaders to navigate the ever-changing world of disruption, build future perspectives, and allocate resources like a boss. See

I'm ready for an incredible conference and the chance to...

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keynote strategy May 02, 2023

A strategic mindset is essential in today's business world where disruption is a constant.

Emerging technologies, evolving consumer preferences, and changing regulatory environments can all disrupt established business models and entire industries.

Having a strategic mindset includes understanding the forces shaping your industry and the trends likely to affect your organisation in the coming years. With a strategic mindset, leaders can anticipate challenges and opportunities and make decisions that position their firm for success.

Effective resource utilisation is also crucial. Leaders must focus on activities and initiatives that drive growth and profitability while letting go of those that no longer serve the organisation's goals. Disciplined resource allocation and avoiding chasing every shiny new opportunity can create a sustainable path to success.

Cultivating a strategic mindset among leaders can lead to benefits such as anticipating change, identifying the best growth...

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leadership strategy Apr 25, 2023

Running a company is not always a sprint, often it's like running a marathon. In preparing for a successful marathon, I've learned to mix up my training. Sometimes I need to train longer distances. This morning I ran a 21 km piece in preparation for my upcoming Marathon in June.

Other times I need to do sprint training on the track.

The same goes for being an efficient and effective CEO.

My friend Rowan, a retired CEO and veteran of the telco industry, shares the three primary functions that guided him as a CEO for twenty years: gaining employee buy-in, having a clear vision, and ensuring alignment between all parts of the business. This is typically a slow process and takes time. Here slow and steady wins the race.

Yet for a new CEO, it's important to very quickly cultivate self-awareness and embrace your shadow. Ego management and self-care are critical. You must be fast here. Expanding your awareness helps you prepare for and adapt in the face of volatility, uncertainty, complexity,...

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strategy Mar 31, 2023

As a speaker sharing the stage can be a great strategy.

What better way to engage an audience of over 600 at City Hall than to invite a brave audience member to join you on stage?

Thanks to learned Rotary Volunteer Tim Boyd for taking to the stage and assisting me with my Strategic Mindset Motivational Keynote over the weekend.

As a speaker, I never stop learning, and Tim’s knowledge of the evolution of hominids was a treat. We learnt that the evolution from Homo erectus to Neanderthals and Homo sapiens represents a central aspect of human history.

Understanding this evolution provides insight into how humans have adapted and how we have come to dominate the planet.

Full talk here: Centenary Conference Rotary District 9620 Brisbane Town Hall

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leadership strategy Feb 28, 2023

Looking back at history, we can see examples of businesses that failed to create options and make smart bets, leading to their downfall. Do you remember Encyclopaedia Britannica, Kodak and Blockbuster? 

Encyclopaedia Britannica, Kodak and Blockbuster failed to adapt to changing market conditions and were eventually overtaken by competitors who did.

In the past, movie rentals required customers to physically visit a store and then rewind the tape before returning it. The rise of digital streaming services like Netflix has made this process obsolete, rendering traditional movie rental stores like Blockbuster irrelevant. 

Similarly, the advent of digital photography rendered Kodak's film-based business model obsolete.

And although Encyclopaedia Britannica was the only way to accidentally learn about the mating habits of sloths, it failed to embrace the internet successfully. 

In the constantly evolving landscape of the business world, leaders need to develop a strategic...

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strategy Jan 31, 2023

This month I had a smooth speaking trip to Rocky (Rockhampton). I am grateful to Phil Henry, Robyn Lock, Tanya Paul, Jason Foss and Greg Bowden FIML ARI from Capricornia Chamber of Commerce and Advance Rockhampton for your wonderful support in getting me there!

Rocky delivered a great audience of motivated business leaders. Working with them was a real treat. Instead of my usual 20 min motivational keynote, I ran a 90 min interactive workshop to help everyone with their business strategy. 

The Chamber shared:

"Excellent session with John Hale - The Strategy Guy - last night at Customs House. It was the ideal opportunity to step back and look at your business's direction."

Chamber President Phil Henry wrote: 

"John Hale, the Strategy Guy, demonstrated his expertise and adaptability at the Capricornia Chamber of Commerce's first members' meeting of 2023. John transformed his keynote presentation into an impactful 90-minute workshop...

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leadership strategy Dec 31, 2022
As 2023 beckons, I am grateful to have just worked alongside the Zero ASBESTOS Team at Emporium Hotels. Zero Asbestos are leaders in asbestos removal, replacement, and remediation works throughout Queensland and northern New South Wales, and they performed absolute miracles after the recent floods in Lismore. 

It was my honour to support such a committed group that helps so many. Zero Asbestos Directors Richard Ayres and Megan Ayres sent me a beautiful testimonial this afternoon. 

"With an apprehensive team from past experiences, they were all surprised to get so much out of the time spent with John at our two-day Strategic Leadership Intensive. 

John kept us all on track, gave us a good road map, helped us see the business more clearly, and gave solutions for some stagnant trouble spots. We had fun undertaking team building activities, from spaghetti towers to basketball challenges and learnt the importance of saying 'and'...
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leadership strategy Dec 01, 2022

I love presenting to community leaders across the regions. They are frequently beautiful living examples of courage, resilience, hospitality and kindness.

This month was no exception. Petra Van Beek invited me to speak to 70 business leaders in Gympie. Gympie's Leaders were such an enthusiastic audience. As a speaker, walking into a room full of people who already feel safe with each other and are ready to learn and have fun makes my job super easy.

A few days later, I received a kind testimonial from Petra:

'Our community leaders appreciated John Hale’s Strategic Mindset Presentation. John gave our members a series of simple yet powerful ways to grow and scale their businesses in new ways. We all learnt the absolute importance of making strategic choices to future-proof our businesses.

I recommend John as a highly professional speaker who provides a great mixture of entertaining stories, empowering ideas and thoughtful audience engagement and interaction.'

To succeed...

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strategy Nov 01, 2022

This month I am a proud Dad :-)

My beautiful, intelligent daughter Claire received her Master of Teaching degree from Deakin University. Claire has now joined the 325,000-strong Deakin Alumni community. The same community I joined in 1986 when only 3000 Alumni existed.

During the ceremony, the occasional speaker shared four strategies with graduates:

1. Embrace all your failures and learn from them.
2. Choose a job you love and keep looking til you find it.
3. Remember to take time to celebrate each of life’s achievements
4. Use your degree to do great things

Good advice for post-grads as well as grads!

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leadership strategy Sep 30, 2022

This month I will commence writing my next book, 'The Strategic CEO', for CEOs or those on the path to becoming one. To succeed, CEOs need to embrace several paradoxes, which I will unpack in the book.

Strategic CEOs are north star leaders who embody twelve extraordinary habits.

Strategic CEOs actively steer their organisations. Strategic CEOs don't get stuck in a Boardroom or behind a desk. They repeatedly engage with the business, its employees, customers, suppliers and shareholders. For CEOs, their time, not money, is the scarcest resource they have to ensure their firm grows profitably. 

Demands on CEOs come from many quarters. If a CEO falls behind, they are forced to shift from being proactive to being reactive. Proactivity creates a virtuous cycle with many opportunities. Reactivity can create a vicious cycle, with increasingly riskier fires for a CEO to put out.

To mitigate the risks of tripping up, lagging behind or falling into a reactive spiral, CEOs need to think...

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