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Keep your strategy on course | Issue #139

How A Strategic Council Will Keep Your Business On Course

OK – so you’ve come up with a new strategy.  The whole Executive Team is on board.  The excitement is fizzing, and there’s a real sense of anticipation.  Ahead is your destination – you can see it clearly on the horizon. It’s pulling you forwards with a magnetic force. But what next?  How do you ensure this direction comes to life in your business?  And how do you stay on course when strong winds and storms threaten to blow you in a different direction entirely?

One of our suggestions to clients is a strategic council. It’s a grand name for a weekly chat amongst certain members of your Executive Team.  In his best-selling book, ‘Good To Great’, Jim Collins discovered that the most successful companies were those who had a regular weekly mechanism for strategy.  And Verne Harnish saw something similar in the biography of John D Rockefeller, ‘Titan’. As he was building Standard Oil, Rockefeller would have lunch once a week with his fellow directors.  Their conversation was focused less on operational priorities, which they’d covered in their daily walk to work.  Instead, they discussed more random things like changes in their industry, customers they’d spoken with or something they’d read. 

So few companies do this – usually because it’s easy to get strategy and tactics confused.  When we suggest a strategic council, a typical response is, ‘We’re already doing that in our Weekly Level 10 Meetings‘.  But, what they’re talking about here is operational effectiveness. That’s what Weekly Level 10s are for. A strategic council is entirely different. It focuses on the bigger picture – specifically on positioning your business for a group of customers who have a high willingness to pay, giving you more profit and sustained competitive advantage. It’s an opportunity to step out of the operational day-to-day and check you’re still steering a clear course. 

How To Hire With The Accidental Recruiter, Lou Adler

If you need help with your recruitment, then you need Lou Adler. At 75, he’s spent the last 50 years in the recruitment game. He knows how to play it. 

“My name is Lou Adler. [I’m here] to talk about hiring and business strategy and how to have a successful life, and how to hire great people and how not to screw up making important business decisions.”

Lou is CEO and founder of Performance-based Hiring, an end to end, four step business process for hiring top talent. Lou’s firm helps recruiters and hiring managers around the world source, interview and hire the strongest and most diverse talent. Lou is also the author of the Amazon top-10 best-seller, Hire With Your Head (on its 4th edition). 

Lou was working for a Fortune 500 company in Southern California. He moved there from New York for the weather, but hated his boss. Sound familiar? 

Most people would leave, Lou decided to become a recruiter because he realised there’s no point hiring great people, if you’re just going to lose them because they aren’t a fit with the manager. 

Now he has a business that teaches firms how to do recruitment using his high performance hiring methodology. From how to hire for fit, the ultimate question you should use in your recruitment process, and why you should hire for cultural fit, rather than just skills. Don’t miss this latest episode of The Melting Pot. 

Recommended Podcasts

Secret Leaders

Welcome to the UK’s startup podcast. We have raw conversations with founders of companies like Monzo, BrewDog and Jo Malone who reveal how they built their businesses – the big turning points, toughest challenges and key insights. You’ll learn how to succeed by listening to great stories you won’t find anywhere else.

Recommended Articles

Brain Research Confirms Stupidity Of Back-to-Back Meetings

Most people have way too many meetings at work. This sucks. And it’s frustrating. Brain research now confirms what we have all experienced: back-to-back meetings are stupid. Back when everyone worked in offices, we knew meetings sucked. For now, at least, the pandemic relieves us of going to the office all the time. 

5 Ways to Promote Accountability

Are concepts like “responsibility” and “being held accountable” viewed negatively by your employees? Most likely, it’s because leaders have tried to mandate responsibility from the top down. But that’s not how responsibility works. People are intrinsically motivated to fulfill their commitments for a range of reasons, none of which include being mandated — at least not effectively nor sustainably

Give Your Team the Freedom to Do the Work They Think Matters Most

Since at least the time of Frederick Taylor, the father of “scientific management,” control has been central to corporate organization: Control of costs, of prices, of investment and—not least—of people.

Recommended Reads

Marketing Made Simple by Donald Miller

Based on Building a StoryBrand by New York Times bestselling author Don Miller, this checklist is a strategic and actionable guide to applying the StoryBrand framework to any brand and an essential part of any marketing professional’s tool kit.Every day, brands lose millions of dollars simply because they do not have a clear message that tells consumers who they are and what value they will add to their customers’ lives. To solve this dilemma, Don Miller wrote Building a StoryBrand, which has become the quintessential guide for anyone looking to craft or strengthen their brand’s message. Now, Don is taking it a step further with this five-part checklist that helps marketing professionals and business owners apply the StoryBrand messaging framework across key customer touchpoints to effectively develop, strengthen, and communicate their brand’s story to the marketplace

The Heart of Business by Hubert Joly

Hubert Joly, former CEO of Best Buy and orchestrator of the retailer’s spectacular turnaround, unveils his personal playbook for achieving extraordinary outcomes by putting people and purpose at the heart of business. Back in 2012, “Everyone thought we were going to die,” says Joly. Eight years later, Best Buy was transformed as Joly and his team rebuilt the company into one of the nation’s favorite employers, vastly increased customer satisfaction, and dramatically grew Best Buy’s stock price. Joly and his team also succeeded in making Best Buy a leader in sustainability and innovation. In The Heart of Business, Joly shares the philosophy behind the resurgence of Best Buy: pursue a noble purpose, put people at the center of the business, create an environment where every employee can blossom, and treat profit as an outcome, not the goal. This approach is easy to understand, but putting it into practice is not so easy. It requires radically rethinking how we view work, how we define companies, how we motivate, and how we lead. In this book Joly shares memorable stories, lessons, and practical advice, all drawn from his own personal transformation from a hard-charging McKinsey consultant to a leader who believes in human magic

Get your ‘Prescription For Growth’! 
In-Person Workshop at Foundry Farm, Salisbury – 26th May

Join the author of The Machine, Justin Roff-Marsh, at this intimate one-day workshop to learn how your organisation can mirror the organisations that are already successfully applying the key ideas from The Machine, and outsell the competition.

Justin will take you, step-by-step, through the critical ideas presented in his book, The Machine. More importantly, he will show you how to fashion these ideas into a simple (but detailed) plan to outsell your competitors and expedite your organisation’s growth.

After this challenging workshop, you will leave with actionable and proven tactics to boost your sales activity and radically improve your business operations.

Join us on 26th May. Only a few tickets left! Book here


Hire an apprentice (or two)

I’m a big fan of hiring apprentices.  That’s because it’s really worked for us at Monkhouse & Company. We don’t hire 17-year-olds.  We look for people in their 20s with good degrees but without any real-world experience. They’re super-smart and super-curious, bringing with them the very latest skills. We currently have two marketing apprentices and are considering a coaching apprenticeship too.  And we’ve seen what apprentices have done for some of our clients.  One business has grown 400% since they took on a marketing apprentice.  The CEO had no shortage of ideas but needed an execution partner.  Their apprentice has made it all happen.

Upcoming Events


Autonomy  Mastery  Purpose – Plus an increase in productivity of 500%! What if the most significant obstacle to your success is your organizational approach? The world around us has changed. We are in the information age; individuals are networked together in ways that we could never have imagined. Rather than re-design our organizations to integrate the benefits from these technologies, most have simply taken their existing organization and woven these technologies around it.  Join Andrew and Julian from Matt Black Systems to learn how they re-designed their organization, achieving a remarkable transformation.

Quote of the week

“Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there”- Will Rogers

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    Sign up today and get your copy of F**K PLAN B: How to scale your technology business faster and achieve Plan A, the book that will change your business and your life.

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