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September 7, 2004

Excerpts: Everything You Need to Know About Strategy - Part II

By: Dylan Schleicher @ 2:26 PM – Filed under: Management & Workplace Culture

Recap: All You Need to Know About Strategy

  1. Do you have awesome Talent ... everywhere? (We are the Yankees of home improvement here in Omaha.) Do you push that Talent to pursue Audacious Quests?
  2. Is your Talent Pool loaded with wonderfully peculiar people whom others would call problems? And what about your Extended Community of customers, vendors, et al.?
  3. Is your Board of Directors as cool as your product offerings ... and does it have 50 percent (or at least one-third) Women Members?
  4. Long-term, its a Top-line World: Is creating a culture that cherishes above all things Innovation and Entrepreneurship your primary aim? Remember: Innovation ... not Imitation!
  5. Are the Ultimate Rewards heaped upon those who exhibit an unswerving Bias for Action, to quote the co-authors of In Search of Excellence? Are your OODA loops shorter than the next guys?
  6. Do you routinely use hot, aspirational words-terms like Excellence and BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal, per Jim Collins) and Lets make a dent in the Universe (the Word according to Steve Jobs)? Is Reward excellent failures, punish mediocre successes your de facto or de jure motto?
  7. Do you subscribe to Jerry Garcias dictum: We do not merely want to be the best of the best, we want to be the only ones who do what we do?
  8. Do you elaborate on and enhance Jerry Gs dictum by adding, We subscribe to Best Sourcingand only want to associate with the best of the best.
  9. Do you embrace the new technologies with child-like enthusiasm and a revolutionarys zeal?
  10. Do you serve and satisfy customers ... or go berserk attempting to provide every customer with an awesome experience that does nothing less than transform the way she or he sees the world?
  11. Do you understand ... to your very marrow ... that the two biggest under-served markets are Women and Boomers-Geezers? And that to take advantage of these two Monster Trends (FACTS OF LIFE) requires fundamental realignment of the enterprise?
  12. Are your leaders accessible? Do they wear their passion on their sleeves? Does integrity ooze out of every pore of the enterprise? Is We care your implicit motto?
  13. Do you understand business mantra #1 of the 00s: DONT TRY TO COMPETE WITH WAL*MART ON PRICE OR CHINA ON COST? (And if you get this last idea, then see the 12 above!)

About Dylan Schleicher


Dylan Schleicher has been a part of the 800-CEO-READ claque since 2003. Even though he's stayed on at the company, he has not stayed put. After beginning in shipping & receiving, he joined customer service and accounting before moving into his current, highly elliptical orbit of duties overseeing the ChangeThis and In the Books websites, the company's annual review of books and in-house design. He lives with his wife and two children in the Washington Heights neighborhood on Milwaukee's West Side.