Posts by Rick Knowlan

The worst US firms to work for? Retail, low wages,…

Posted by on Jul 21, 2013

The worst US firms to work for? Retail, low wages, benefits; sales & customer problems. Why some retailers rate high?...

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I’m with @RoyOsing on dumping dumb rules. Here’s a…

Posted by on Jul 17, 2013

I’m with @RoyOsing on dumping dumb rules. Here’s another thought: dump toxic employees!...

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Religion is out for Chinese Communist Party member…

Posted by on Jun 18, 2013

Religion is out for Chinese Communist Party members, but Capitalism is OK. Would Marx have called that selectivist?...

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Why no Stanley Cup to Canada’s team since ’93? Nat…

Posted by on Jun 2, 2013

Why no Stanley Cup to Canada’s team since ’93? Nate Silver’s answer: higher fan support for losing teams....

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Did branding decide the BC Election? I say yes. ht…

Posted by on May 17, 2013

Did branding decide the BC Election? I say yes....

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Did Branding Decide the BC Election?

Posted by on May 17, 2013

There seems to be much puzzlement about how the NDP lost the election on May 14 when the polls over the past year suggested it would be a rout in the other direction. But I wonder how much brand confusion has to do with it. The NDP has tried over the last few campaigns to redefine itself as more “business friendly”. That was the thrust of Carol James’s last term, and it was certainly part of Dix’s plan during the past year or so. But that isn’t the NDP’s “brand”. They’re not known by their core supporters as the “business...

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1-800-GOT-JUNK? founder Brian Scudamore illustrate…

Posted by on May 16, 2013

1-800-GOT-JUNK? founder Brian Scudamore illustrates the “leverage” principle of strategy design. Where’s your lever?...

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Strategic thought for today: Announce objectives a…

Posted by on Apr 15, 2013

Strategic thought for today: Announce objectives and try harder is not a strategy. What is YOUR...

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How can a strategy driven by 20 – 30 items on SWOT…

Posted by on Apr 2, 2013

How can a strategy driven by 20 – 30 items on SWOT lists be focused?...

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Does your strategy have too many priorities? Here’…

Posted by on Apr 1, 2013

Does your strategy have too many priorities? Here’s what to do about it....

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Is your strategy right for the challenge you face?

Posted by on Apr 1, 2013

A mismatch between your strategy and the key challenge you face can spell trouble Henry Mintzberg once defined strategy as a pattern of action in response to something . . . However, many strategies lack a clear definition of that “something” . . . the challenge to which they’re responding.  We believe this often results in setting too many priorities. Why?  Read on. Why too many priorities? We recognized 20 years ago that many of our clients’ strategies included too many priorities.  How could a situation analysis with 20 to 30 strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats be focused? So...

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60 minutes 2nite: simple factory tasks now doable…

Posted by on Jan 13, 2013

60 minutes 2nite: simple factory tasks now doable by robots that amortize at about the same cost per hour as unskilled offshore...

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Bettman’s apology looks fake! A REAL apology inclu…

Posted by on Jan 10, 2013

Bettman’s apology looks fake! A REAL apology includes “we know what we did wrong and here’s how we’ll avoid repeating...

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Realizing the promise of employee engagement

Posted by on Aug 14, 2012

Ensuring your Great Expectations don’t turn into The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly As the old joke goes, in a ham-and-eggs breakfast the chicken is involved but the pig is committed. That isn’t far off the mark for the difference between employee involvement and true employee engagement. Someone can be involved in something as a bystander, but they have to take action to be engaged. Today’s article is the first of a 3-part series for leaders who are considering making employee engagement an important part of their strategy. In today’s article – part 1 – we’ll talk about what...

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Problem solving isn’t highly overrated . . .

Posted by on May 8, 2012

. . . when you’re solving the right problems. Last week I read an article by Lorne Armstrong titled “Problem Solving is Highly Over-rated”. It tweaked my interest since much of my work involves helping leaders to clearly define, and to avoid or overcome, important strategic problems. When a blog article makes a few good, practical points that readers can use immediately, the writer has hit the mark. Armstrong succeeds. He points to common deficiencies that undermine the value of problem-solving, beginning with weak problem definition. For example, he notes that many people cite the absence...

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When and how managers should be more entrepreneurial

Posted by on Apr 23, 2012

In our last article we outlined some of the observed differences in the ways entrepreneurs and professional managers operate, and noted that managers are frequently urged to “be more entrepreneurial“. This week we’ll provide practical guidelines about when to be more entrepreneurial, and how. Entrepreneurial management – personality or situational choice? As we noted in our last article, personality differences between these two groups probably account for some of the differences observed in studies.  To recap, research shows that as entrepreneurs transition from start-up...

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