Corporate Culture In An Age Of Unicorns and Disruptors

Tweet   Poor, poor Travis Kalanick, CEO of UBER. The last time I witnessed a senior executive combust so quickly and so publicly it was Jeff Skilling. And, remember, Skilling was being ousted for the largest bankruptcy in US history, the loss of billions in investor dollars and over 20,000 employees losing their jobs, and […]

Can Banking Culture Adapt To Today’s Business Transformation?

Tweet   “What business are you really in? Are you in the railroad business or transportation business?” Harvard Business School professor Theodore Levitt’s classic line from “Marketing Myopia” is as profound today as it was in the late 1950’s when he first published it. His question elegantly forces business leaders to think more broadly about exactly who […]

Preparing For The Coming “Age Of The Robots”

Tweet   Its quite amazing to recollect but eighteen years ago I sat in a darkened movie theatre, warm popcorn in my lap, and fidgeted like a giddy teenager watching Canadian acting legend Keanu Reeves (truth!) kick the proverbial ass of Agent Smith in a little movie called “The Matrix”. That little movie, and the […]

Purpose Begins (And Ends) With Principles

Tweet   Say what you want about the Scots but they have a pretty binary worldview on many things. Growing up with a Scottish mother meant I would get unvarnished and unapologetic missives on a daily basis. Paraphrasing slightly but her two favourites revolved around two basic opinions: “Talk Is Cheap” and “You’re known by […]

The Dangerous Dichotomy of Disruption

Tweet   Last week I posed a question on LinkedIn asking my connections to list what they considered the genuine disruptions of the past decade. In a week filled with the frothy tsunami of CES updates and trend reports AND the 10-year anniversary of the release of the iPhone, I received a spirited number of […]

$50Billion Disappointments & Runaway CEO Expectations

Tweet   For the record I’m not angling to become some latter-day Naomi Klein but I would hate to be Tim Cook today. His organization delivers $50 billion in revenue and remains the world’s most valuable company by many accounts, yet Apple stock is hammered on the heels of a disappointing quarter. $47 billion (about […]

Can You Create An Immortal Brand?

Tweet Nothing quite like sitting through 151 minutes of DC Comics-inspired testosterone to set your mind spinning about brands and businesses. Not the obvious elements like how fans flocked to this movie despite the panning it got from critics. The power of social media and Influencers versus the establishment? Nor the discussion on licensing power, brand portfolio […]

What Are You Doing To Deliberately Kill Your Brand?

Tweet   When you begin your career in marketing, one of the headiest and most intoxicating feelings comes from “leading” an actual brand. A feeling of invincibility. A certain sense of immortality. I’m sure the brand managers for Pet Rocks, L.A. Gear sneakers, Palm Pilot’s and De Lorean cars felt exactly the same immortality. Here’s […]

Hope is not a Strategy

Tweet                       We all have quotes and sayings that we adore. They’re typically opening slides in presentations or adorn the bottom of our emails. They signal a perspective we share. And often communicate an opinion so succinctly it would take us months to emulate something […]

Can You Really Innovate If You Are Brandcuffed?

Tweet     Spring in Canada is a wonder to behold. For the record we don’t put our dog sleds away and mournfully watch our igloos melt, but there is a definite air of rejuvenation and fresh promise in the air. That includes the energetic sounds of the second-most popular Canadian pastime after watching the […]