If you know me, you'll know I'm a fan of Isambard Kingdom Brunel , the renowned 19th century engineer. One of my maxims is that designing and operating a great business is akin to a great engineering project: Purpose : an overarching proposition of what you offer the world, to whom, and why they'd want it; Principles : mutually-reinforcing core principles and values which define and underpin everything you do; Vision : a clear, coherent, consistent, and elegant design of how you will make and fulfil your offer; Focus : doing what should be done to build that (and not doing what shouldn't); Ambition : thinking, planning, and acting for greatness. I'm working on a side project that's very different from my usual focus, but still based on that maxim. So I may go quiet for a while, although I'll be contactable on Twitter and LinkedIn .
I’m often asked to talk to groups and to lead workshops on strategic thinking. (I even get paid for it occasionally). In a nutshell, here’s what I say: Clearly define your offer and how to fulfil it For the customer, investor, supplier and employee What, why, when, how, where, who? What not, why not, when not, how not, where not, who not? Keep it simple Consistent, coherent, understandable, doable, communicable Simpler is easier, less risky, concentrates resources for maximum impact Do it! Put in place the people, resources and priorities Build the processes, organisation, culture and style Dedicate people to make change happen Do the stuff you decided to do Cut out the stuff you decided not to do Fix problem causes before clearing backlogs Measure, report and communicate progress on the strategy (up and down, in and out) Think and act for greatness! Simple, really. Any questions? First posted April 17th, 2007 and, even if I say so myself, worth repeating aga