The hardest part about giving excellent advice is the hardest part about being an executive. One of the real disasters of the consulting profession is the consultant who really, sincerely, thinks he has it all figured out. He’s the guy for whom no problem is unsolvable. Usually, the advice on complex topics is distilled into […]
About Geoff Wilson
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Entries by Geoff Wilson
In an age where you can automate anything, is anything off limits?
Your sources of revenue (and income) say plenty…mind them closely. The New York Times released an article this week on McKinsey’s work with authoritarian and otherwise dangerous regimes across the world. The article raises some questions on McKinsey’s choices on whom to serve and how such choices align with McKinsey’s Firm values. There have been […]
Sure, you want to show how hard you worked. But sometimes it’s better to just do the work. “The optics aren’t good.” Ugh. That phrase is the start of something bad in many circumstances. Sometimes, bad optics and a good outcome is much better than a really pretty but really awful outcome. Allow me a […]
Lack of listening betrays lack of empathy. Are you too smart to listen? You know that feeling: It’s that feeling that you already know the end of the discussion, so you don’t really have to be patient enough to listen? Or, maybe it’s that feeling that your position of authority means you don’t have to […]
If your strategy can’t be wrong, it’s not right. Business strategy, like any real strategic pursuit, is fundamentally ambiguous. It involves estimating the future along many axes–regulatory policies, competitive behavior, customer tastes, supply shocks, organizational zeal, and investor requirements are just a few. Ambiguity has a terrible consequence for some senior management teams and most strategy consultants: It […]
Thinking long is hard when things are short. Have you ever been in a circumstance where short-term shocks completely derail long-term plans? You might see it in your family life when an illness strikes, or in your professional life when the loss of a customer leads to wholesale panic. On average, we are poorly prepared […]
The bare essence of professionalism is reliably doing real work on the right things, and doing it well. One of the benefits of my position as a management adviser is that I get to see a lot of different management and leadership styles. And I get to see them from all perspectives: executive, buyer, seller, consultant, […]
In a world of punditry, knowing where people invest will show what they believe. Where is the most compelling evidence of what you really believe (as opposed to what you say you do)? It’s in what you own. More specifically, it’s in where you invest. Even back to biblical times, it was understood that “where your treasure […]
You don’t want to miss an opportunity, and that means you might miss them all. What does a smart strategist do with resources? Most would say that “strategy” in and of itself depends on focusing the investment of resources against valuable ends. But what happens when you have too many possible directions to go with your […]