Ideas, strategies and tactics 

The Strategy Guy's Blog




strategy Nov 01, 2020

Some sobering facts about businesses are:

96% of firms fail within ten years [and that was before the pandemic].

79% say they have insufficient time to do strategic planning [that was also before the pandemic].

67% say they have insufficient strategy skills in-house.

Last night I had the pleasure of speaking to 30 grateful, heroic and youthful (and co-operative ;-) members of the Brisbane Rotaract in the Brisbane CBD.

Early in my talk, I polled the audience. Everyone in the room (100%) felt that strategy was important. Around 30% of my humble audience shared that they were good at strategy, but tragically only 5% felt their organisations did enough to train them to think strategically!

Does your firm or organisation do enough to teach its leaders and teams to think and operate strategically?


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strategy Oct 02, 2020

It is important to know that businesses grow through six stages. 

Stage 1 - Existence

Stage 2 - Survival

Stage 3 - Success

Stage 4 - Take-Off

Stage 5 - Maturity

Stage 6 – Reinvention

In the early stages of business growth, a good strategy can be helpful. However, there are often few new decisions to make, and a business owner spends most of their time working in the business. As a firm enjoys more success, with the right strategy, it can eventually take off and become a mature business. As each business grows, the number of decisions required expands rapidly, and the business owner needs to work 'on the business' and not in it. 

After speaking with business owners and leaders at the Hilton Cairns last month, it was clear that some mature tourist-related Cairns and Port Douglas businesses had slipped back into survival mode and had come along to learn the six-steps of the Strategic Mindset Process to help revive their business. 




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strategy Sep 01, 2020

Last month I was delighted to provide a presentation to an Advance Queensland Forum on Financial Strategies for High Growth Enterprises. On this occasion I shared the stage with three other high-profile presenters including Dr Sarah Pearson, Innovation Lead and Deputy Director-General Innovation from the Department of State Development, Tourism and Innovation. The Q&A session that followed highlighted the diversity of Queensland’s innovation ecosystem and the positive outcomes that the Queensland Government’s Advance Queensland initiative is achieving for the State’s economic growth and future jobs.

In my talk, I shared strategic priorities and financial tactics for both scale-up and long-term success. During the life of a successful enterprise, there are periods when there is plenty of money around and periods when outside capital is needed. Great investments are those that increase the functionality of the team, help enhance a firm’s on-going...

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strategy Aug 02, 2020

My daughter Lauren, who illustrated my latest strategy book, dropped in today to practice dinosaur face painting. On me!

Today many businesses are realizing that their current strategy won’t last forever. The terrain keeps changing. One day, solid rock will become quicksand. Ask any former Kodak, Sears, Borders, or Blockbuster executive. Recently, paleontologists excavated a whole pack of carnivorous dinosaurs that chased some plant-eating dinosaurs into an area of quicksand, where they all sank.

The Strategy eBook will stop your firm from getting stuck in quicksand.

Many businesses thinking about tomorrow realise that they need a formula for success in the digital economy. New machines are not just coming up with answers. They are finding the questions. Supercomputers, big data, and machine learning are predicting many of life’s events before they happen. As the line between human and artificial intelligence merges, I see that businesses are becoming more digital or...

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strategy Jun 01, 2020

A SWOT analysis is a strategic planning tool used to evaluate the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) facing a business or organisation.

To apply a SWOT analysis to Estée Lauder Companies, you would need to first identify the company's strengths, which are internal factors that give the company an advantage over its competitors. Some examples of strengths for Estée Lauder Companies might include a strong brand reputation, a wide range of high-quality products, and a loyal customer base.

Next, you would need to identify the company's weaknesses, which are internal factors that may hinder its ability to compete. Some examples of weaknesses for Estée Lauder Companies might include a reliance on a small number of key distributors, a lack of presence in certain geographic markets, or a limited product line.

After identifying the company's strengths and weaknesses, you would then need to identify its opportunities, which are external factors that...

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strategy Apr 30, 2020

PESTEL analysis is a strategic planning tool used to evaluate the impact of external factors on a business or organisation. For Kenneth Frazier CEO of Merck Co, to apply a PESTEL analysis to his firm, he would need to consider the following six categories of external factors:

  1.  Political: This includes factors such as government policies, political stability, and regulatory environment. For Merck Co, this might include considerations such as the impact of healthcare reform in the United States, or the potential for changes in patent laws that could affect the company's ability to bring new products to market.
  2.  Economic: This includes factors such as economic growth, exchange rates, and inflation. For Merck Co, this might include considerations such as the impact of economic downturns on demand for the company's products, or the potential for currency fluctuations to affect the company's bottom line.
  3.  Sociocultural: This includes factors such as demographics,...
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strategy Mar 31, 2020

Porter's Five Forces is a framework for analysing the competitive forces in an industry. It can be used to evaluate the attractiveness of an industry and to identify opportunities and threats within it. In this analysis, we will apply Porter's Five Forces to the technology giant Microsoft Corporation.

  1.  Threat of new entrants: Microsoft has a high barrier to entry due to its strong brand recognition and widespread customer loyalty. In addition, the technology industry has high research and development costs, which can be a deterrent for new entrants. Finally, Microsoft has established partnerships and network effects that make it difficult for new firms to compete. Overall, the threat of new entrants is low for Microsoft.
  2.  Threat of substitute products or services: There is a moderate threat of substitutes for Microsoft's products and services. While Microsoft has a strong presence in the personal computer and productivity software markets, there are many other firms that...
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strategy Feb 29, 2020

Coca-Cola is a multinational beverage company that offers a wide range of products, including carbonated and non-carbonated soft drinks, fruit juices, sports drinks, and ready-to-drink teas and coffees. As of 2021, the company had more than 200 products in its portfolio.

To determine which products should be supported, we can apply the BCG matrix to Coca-Cola's product portfolio. The BCG matrix is a tool used in strategic management to evaluate the relative market position and potential of a business unit or product line. It is based on the idea that a business should allocate resources to products or business units based on their potential for growth and relative market share.

The BCG matrix consists of four quadrants: high market growth and high market share (stars), high market growth and low market share (question marks), low market growth and high market share (cash cows), and low market growth and low market share (dogs).

Stars are products or business units with high market...

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strategy Jan 31, 2020

Facebook is a multinational technology company that offers a wide range of products and services, including a social media platform, messaging app, virtual reality technology, and digital marketing services. To determine which specific products and services should be offered to emerging markets and which should be further enhanced for existing markets, we can apply the Ansoff Matrix to Facebook's portfolio.

The Ansoff Matrix is a tool used in strategic management to evaluate growth opportunities for a business. It is based on the idea that a company can pursue growth through existing products and existing markets (market penetration), new products and existing markets (product development), existing products and new markets (market development), or new products and new markets (diversification).

Based on this analysis, Facebook could consider the following options for its various businesses:

Market penetration: Facebook's social media platform and messaging app, such as Facebook,...

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strategy Dec 31, 2019

BHP is a multinational mining and resource company that operates globally in a variety of industries, including coal, copper, iron ore, and petroleum. The company faces a number of challenges related to climate change, including regulatory pressure to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, investor and public pressure to adopt more sustainable practices, and the physical impacts of a changing climate on its operations and supply chains.

To address these challenges and transform its global business, BHP could consider using the McKinsey 7S model to assess the alignment of seven key elements within its organisation: strategy, structure, systems, shared values, skills, style, and staff.


To briefly summarise how the McKinsey 7S model could be applied to BHP's climate change challenges in different countries, we can consider the following business unit examples:

  1.  Strategy: BHP's coal mining operations in Australia could review its current business strategy in light of climate...
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