Strategy That Works – Part One

(This post is the first in a revised and updated version of a series on strategy that I published some time ago. It’s just as relevant as ever.)

Strategy – what a wonderful word. Unfortunately, it gets all too bogged down in protracted semantic debates (“Is that ‘strategy’ or ‘tactics’?”), oxymoronic exercises like “Strategic Planning”, red herrings like “Strategy retreats” and so on.


I’ve long worked with strategy in all kinds of forms at the highest and ‘lowest’ levels of organisations. Strategy infuses our work as consultants and coaches and should infuse everyone’s daily operations.

In a series of posts over the coming weeks, therefore, I am going to delve into a number of aspects of strategy that we believe are important in any sphere of endeavour.

I Laugh in the Face of Sports Interviews on Strategy

I always laugh when I hear journalists ask teams in competitive sports about their strategy.


Peter McLean’s Monday Morning Mission – 19/02/2018

Should You Choose to Accept It…

The Winter Olympics continue to provide upsets and astonishing feats of performance. Witness the giant slalom win of Czech snowboarder/skier Ester Ledecká, who screamed down a super-g course to win gold – after NBC had even packed up their cameras thinking it was all over.


Peter McLean’s Monday Morning Mission – 11/02/2018

Should You Choose to Accept It…

It’s evident from many government projects that there is a lack of good leadership and management at public service levels. What often happens is that public servants rule “by decree”. They issue a memo/email and expect that means that something will get done. It doesn’t.

If you’re leading an enterprise or endeavour, then that means you need to get your hands dirty – sometimes literally – to get the job done. Don’t sit and think that because you’ve given a speech (more…)

Shares Go Up, Shares Go Down

Wall Street and then Stock Exchanges around the world had a big sell-off, presumably because US wages have had their best rise in 9 years – since before President Obama. It’s an invidious form of reasoning to think that wage rises after such a huge period of stagnation should damn their economy, however the fact is that markets go up, markets go down, but if you’ve been around longer than a year or two, you know that the overall trend will be up.

Hilariously, Australian market analyst, Ben Le Brun from Charles Swab, said to the media that “It is an actual bloodbath.” I don’t think that means what he thinks it means.

Some people made some good money selling off, some others made money buying at a bargain that hasn’t been around for a little while. The same may happen for the next couple of days. That’s the way the market works.

Nothing to panic about. Nothing to really see here, unless you’re a market analyst who believes blood is now pooling in his bathtub.

© 2018. Peter J. McLean

Peter McLean’s Monday Morning Mission – 5/02/2018

Should You Choose to Accept It…

The US is full into Superbowl as I write this morning. One of the most-watched (THE most-watched?) sports events in the world, it’s an impressive display of strategy, skill, tactics, helmets, American hyper-aggression and meh performances in the half-time show by people whose songs are half the time just plain awful accompanied by a few jiggy dance moves (I’m a singer and was an occasional dancer, sue me!).

When I attended university in the US, I had a sports/football coach (touch football, the type my slight frame could handle and which kept the brains of the students intact) who had played in the Superbowl. Had the ring and everything. He told of a combatant – sorry, opposing player – who once landed on top of him and proceeded to try to gouge his eyes out between the guards on the helmet. My coach was underneath giving him uppercuts to try to dislodge this 300-pound ogre who wanted to kill him. It took several guys come over to lift the attacker off coach and then haul him away, while others helped coach to get up and going. (more…)

Peter McLean’s Monday Morning Mission – 29/01/2018

Should You Choose to Accept It…

Many parents see the return of their children to school this week in Australia and many grandparents see off the grandchildren they mind during the long summer holidays.

Growing up, the summer holidays seemed like the long bright days that would virtually never end, blighted only by the occasional prospect of the return to school subordination. (I suspect they actually gave us longer holidays.) My parents would take a two-week mid-Summer break from the kids by sending us to summer camp for two weeks in the middle of the sweltering heat. Some parents feel like that when they send their children back to school – as per the Officeworks (or Home Depot) commercial, “it’s the most wonderful time of the year”. We have always felt the opposite with our girls – it’s a break, a relief and a joy when they’re home with us. (more…)

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