Is “Gap Analysis” the only window?

View from Apple Blossom B&B, York, ME. Reminds me of the cabin in the Adirondacks with the views I describe.

View from Apple Blossom B&B, York, ME. Reminds me of the cabin in the Adirondacks with the views I describe.

In my favorite vacation spot there is a rocking chair with a great view. It sits near a window with a view of an old apple tree that draws the local deer. A little further across a well mowed field is a carefully tended flower garden that has something colorful in bloom from early spring to late fall.

The Perfect Window?
You might think it is the perfect window for a view. It is not.

Another View
If I turn the rocking chair just 90 degrees I gain a view of a hardwood forest with an inviting walking trail. It is beautiful any time of year but breathtaking in the fall when the many maples explode with red leaves. You might think this gives me everything I could ask for in a vacation spot. It does not.

Wait, There’s MORE!
Sort of like the infamous ginsu knives of tv commercial fame – by turning my rocking chair another 90 degrees I have a view of a small lake stocked with what makes for great fishing. There is an inviting dock and a small row boat ready to go.

What’s this got to do with strategy?
One of the many “tools” every strategy consultant has in their strategy toolbox is a technique called “gap analysis”. It is a useful tool – if you understand it’s limitations.

Like a window
Windows are great for seeing things. Windows also limit your view. I can’t see the hardwood forest or the small lake if I only look though the first window.

A useful window
My experience with gap analysis is that it is a very useful tool to give a view into an organization. By looking through this one window however, sometimes useful things can be missed.

Two other “strategic windows”
I have learned to “turn my rocking chair” at least twice. One turn is to look through the “barriers” window”. These are things that keep important things from being done. They exist in the form of outdated polices or aging infrastructure. They are barriers to strategic innovation.

The other window is “bridges”. These are things that already exist within the organization that can be repurposed to accomplish strategic initiatives. One organization repurposed their mailing list as the starting point for a useful data base. Much of the work was already done and inexpensive new software made this a useful tool.

Is there another window?
I wouldn’t make my “rocking chair and window” picture walk on all fours but I keep wondering: Is there another “window” that is helpful in assessing an organization?

I’d love to hear your strategic insights.



Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Are there “secret” ingredients to trust?

This is a blog post that kept saying “Write me!!” It’s all about trust and the ingredients it takes to build trust.
Third time’s a charm
The first time I heard it was in an interview with a client. They made one change that they thought was small. Within the month, revenue was down by 25%. When I probed, the response was “We lost people’s trust.”
The second time was an all-hands meeting of a large organization rolling out a major change initiative. The senior leader said that the board had lost the trust of the rank and file, leading to a double digit increase in personnel attrition.
Then came the third – news featuring government executives elicited commentary about loss of trust. If you haven’t heard this issue bubbling up, you haven’t been watching the news lately.

At that point, I knew I had to finish my thoughts on this blog post.

Warren Bennis’ “Five C’s” of trust
Leadership guru Warren Bennis said “Trust is the emotional glue of all organizations”. In order to gain followers’ trust, leaders should master the 5 Cs- competence, constancy, caring, congruity, and candor. I used that rubric to teach the importance of trust since I read Bennis’ book.
Are the “building blocks” of trust really that simple?
Trust building blocks
Bennis’ “Five C’s” resonated with me because they seem so simple. They’re simple – and simply lacking in many people who find themselves in leadership positions.
Competence. The leader has to be capable, skilled, and able to make up his or her own mind. That last part is what is often lacking in many leaders who have been promoted because of competence.
Constancy. Leaders must always adapt to the circumstances but their principles and standards of behavior should have a constancy that people can rely on.
Caring. The leader should be caring. Caring is compassion, empathy, and the capacity to understand what other people are feeling. I had a boss who won my unswerving loyalty when he sought me out during my own hard time and said “I’ll make it work for you.”
Candor. Candor is about being truthful and speaking up when things are not right. For true leaders, there’s no room for “go along to get along” when things aren’t right.
Character. Leaders should have discipline and integrity. They should be able to face adversity and to learn and grow in good times and bad. Every leader I’ve ever known has extracted many of their most valuable lessons in the hard times.
Are there only 5?
The more I think about it the more I’m convinced there are more than five “c’s” to trust. You may see them as components on Bennis’ original 5. Here are the ones I think might be added.
Consistency. This might be a component of “constancy” but I think it’s more. Being able to articulate in a memorable way the principles underlying your decisions is important.
Chronology. Doing the right thing over the long haul is important. One or two good decisions don’t make a leader. A career of many sound ones does.
Confidence. Some call this “the theater of command” – acting with confidence when the volatility and uncertainty of the situation work against it can inspire others to follow.
Candor. Bad news doesn’t get better with time. A leader who can deliver the unvarnished truth is one that often inspires confidence in difficult times. Whistling past the graveyard is not a useful strategy for leaders.
Congruity. Leaders who feel comfortable in their own skin can both talk the talk AND walk the talk. This may be a component of consistency, but (again) I think it’s more.
Now it’s your turn.
What would you add to Bennis’ list of trust factors?
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

5 things Hotmail forgot about change management strategy

I opened my Hotmail account yesterday morning and discovered they had switched to Outlook. It wouldn’t have been a problem except I was unable to open any of the emails that were there.

Change ahead

Hotmail forgot most of the basics of a change management strategy.

They forgot what people fear.
People fear two things: (1) Isolation and (2) loss of control. When my email wouldn’t open I was “isolated” – I was unable to “talk” to the people I wanted. I had lost “control” of my email. That’s the first thing you learn in a change management implementation – and it is why people get so irrational about it. I may even have been irrational for a moment….

They forgot this is a world of choices.
Everything today is about choices. We customize the blogs we read, the music we download, and the food we eat (“Have it your way” at Burger King”). Hotmail took away my ability to choose. They did it in the slimiest way. They offered a choice, and then took the choice away. I tried converting Hotmail to Outlook a couple of months ago. I hated the look of it, so I went to “Settings” and converted back. Now they’ve taken away the button that allows that. There goes my ability to choose.

They forgot that it’s always best to under-promise and over-deliver.
They promised “free, modern email service”. Their email (which I couldn’t open for a full 24 hours) said it would help “… keep you in control of your private data”. While I didn’t expect that it would pick up my dry cleaning and make me my favorite breakfast, I did expect that I could at least open it. If you can’t deliver the “free, modern” email you promised, I want the old email back.

They forgot that people are always down on what they’re not up on.
They missed a HUGE opportunity to use strategic communications. And for the record (if you’re listening, Hotmail, this nugget is worth millions and I’m giving it to you for free), you have to say something SEVEN times before people actually hear it. That is not seven email blasts. It is an email blast, followed by a press release, bolstered by an appearance by an actual human being, reinforced by…. I think you get the idea.

They forgot to follow through.
I like(d) Hotmail. Really. So I went to their “Feedback” button and told them my issue. Same thing with the “Help” button. So far its over 24 hours and I haven’t heard anything back from them. Not even an acknowledgement that they received my emails. That’s just poor communication. Period.

If you’ve been through a successful change management initiative, I’d like to hear the advice you would give the Hotmail folks. If you’ve been through a mishandled change management initiative, I’d like to know if you’ve experienced something similar.

You can reach me at my reliable email address: dr alan cole at gmail dot com

Posted in Change Management, Implementation | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Measure everything or measure what matters?

Bookcase plansIt is a beautiful Saturday, with Chamber of Commerce weather. There is a light breeze, scattered high clouds and the kind of sun that warms you slowly. On this day I have accumulated all of the materials and plans for a book case. I have nails, screws, sawhorses, hammer, screwdriver, wood glue and plans showing the steps to a completed bookcase. This bookcase is much needed because I also enjoy books. The end of this day holds promise – I will be able to do away with the “college expediency” book case of stacked cinder blocks and particle board.

I enjoy woodworking. It relaxes me. It is a pleasant way to get the kind of instant feedback not found in other endeavors. In woodworking you know very quickly whether or not your efforts have paid off.

I have a “helper” too. It comes in the form of a 10 year old who is a whiz at math and hyperkinetic to boot. As long as I keep him occupied I make real progress. I want to give him something meaningful to do so I break out my extra tape measure – the Craftsman kind that has a “switchblade” button that will retract all 24 feet of tape in a couple of milliseconds. It is a stroke of genius!

Metrics that Matter

He is immediately busy. He measures everything. By the time the day is half over, I know the precise size of everything.

I know that my carport is 22′8″ long by 11′2″ wide.

I know the size of the thorns on the pyracantha bushes beside the carport.

The neighbor’s cat has a tail that is 9 inches long. This was a difficult measurement because it requires that the cat’s tail be stretched out. “Tail stretching” is something cats don’t seem to like and always resist.

The oil spot on the carport floor is 18″ wide at the widest point.

The shelves in my bookcase measure 36″ long. It will stand 74″ tall – when it is properly braced. It needs bracing because I have been distracted by my helper’s frenetic activity. The one thing I have not given him is the plan for the bookcase that will guide him in what he should measure.

He is all activity – but precious little accomplishment.

Metrics that make no sense

I’m reminiscing about my bookcase building adventure is because of a recent client consultation. They want help making “sense” of what they have been measuring. With over 100 metrics – which they developed themselves – they still don’t know what, if anything, they are accomplishing.

They know how long it takes to walk from the parking lot to the front door, where the receptionist will direct them to wherever they need to be.

They know how many computers they own.

They can tell you with precision the cost per cup of the coffee in the kitchen and they argue for an ROI because people still drink it.

Lots of activity, little accomplishment. All action, no momentum. Despite persistence in effort there is no actual progress. This is possible because they don’t know where they’re supposed to be going. There is no plan. A strategy does not exist that will make what they are measuring meaningful.


I related the bookcase story as a way of connecting with them without criticizing. Suggesting that they determine “…what is supposed to be accomplished at the end of the day” was the light bulb moment. You could almost see the light bulb going on over their head. When I suggested the concept of starting with a mission, they were relieved. Some of the things that were hardest to measure didn’t need to be measured at all. Like my “helper”, they were relieved they wouldn’t have to measure the cat’s tail again. That’s the kind of good news you get when metrics development begins with understanding the strategy.


Metrics that matter flow from strategy

A professor of mine from seminary was fond of telling us that “A text without a context is a pretext”. What is true in the world of hermeneutics is also true in the world of metrics. The numbers are just that – numbers. They are a great pretext if they don’t have a context. The context they need is your strategy. Without it, they can mean whatever you want them to mean.


Posted in Performance Metrics, Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

A Strategy for Developing Leaders that Works

Leadership Road Sign

I have used this leadership development strategy in multiple contexts, from faith-based non-profits to commercial enterprises. From startups to mature organizations of 25,000 or more. It is simple (William of Occam would be envious) and it works.

My plan for developing leaders is summed up by the acronym LEROY and includes the following:

Leadership training – Develop training around:

General leadership issues. Onboarding training should include a section on “How to get things done”. It should cover things as simple as how to work with your team. Dan Rockwell over at Leadership Freak has a great post that will work nicely as an outline for this.

It is also useful to know how to set up and use your email account or how to fill out an expense report.

Other general topics can include leadership challenges like conflict management. This is a great opportunity to set a standard for your organization to deal with conflict.

Job specific training. This is related to specialized duties. For my team of consultants I developed training on facilitation skills.

Evaluation – Evaluation at regularly scheduled intervals during their term of service. This sets an expectation of regular feedback for improvement.

Reading – Reading (or as alternatives, podcasts, CDs, DVDs or webinars) related to their specific area. For a faith based non-profit I had resources related to group dynamics, a key component of the organization’s development strategy.

Observation – This includes two kinds:

Observing. Observing how similar organizations work. This can be done as a “field trip” and can also be a great team building exercise.

Being observed. Observing to give objective feedback while actually doing the job.

Yearly retreat – An orientation for new leaders as well as a chance to recognize faithful service of returning leaders. This is especially important for organizations that depend on volunteer staff.

There you have it. A simple and easy to implement strategy for developing leaders.

What do you think? Is there any category you would add?

Posted in Leadership, Strategy development | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

10 words that will scuttle your strategy

InvestWords matter. They REALLY matter when you are developing a strategy. Weak words will lead to a weak strategy. When these words are part of a strategy that comes from leadership it makes matters even worse.

To paraphrase a quote whose source I cannot remember, “A mist on the mountaintop is a fog in the valley”. If it is unclear to those closer to the top of the org chart, it will be indecipherable to those closer to the bottom.

Here are 10 words that should not be part of your strategy.

Aspire. So you aspire to be something different or something great. Who doesn’t? If this is part of your mission statement, drive a stake in the heart of aspiration and say “We will be…”. There is no magic in small plans.

Enhance. Changing “happy” to “glad” is an enhancement. That’s weak! Don’t put it in your strategy.

Adequate. Really? Don’t go out of your way or anything. Barely adequate is still adequate.

Innovate. Or any variation of it including “innovation.” {Example: Our people are “innovation dynamos”) Be honest – this is a weasel word.

Better. Better than what – or who?

Enable. Either you can make it happen because you control the process or you can’t. Enabling something means you contribute but you don’t control. If you use this word that is contingent on participation of someone who is not involved, you have just surrendered your strategy to a non-participant.

More. More is another relative word. “Gain more market share” doesn’t commit to anything.

Develop. What do you do with it when it is developed?

Monitor. What are you going to do if there is a change? Is a negative change different from a positive change? This raises more questions than it answers.

Best in class. Really? Best in what class? Unless you’re a senior and want to be valedictorian, this shouldn’t be in your mission statement.

These ten words will put a hole in your boat if you are writing a strategy. Do you have others? Feel free to list pet peeve kind of words here. For instance, “impactful” almost made my list.

Posted in Language, Strategy, Strategy development | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

10 Titles I won’t imitate on my LinkedIn profile


It is one of the most important pieces of real estate you can imagine. The 120 letters of your LinkedIn profile. But it can be misused.

One of the best pieces of advice I ever got was from The Official MBA Handbook on business cards. It is this:  Avoid overly pretentious job titles such as “Lord of the Realm, Defender of the Faith, Emperor of India” or “Director of Corporate Planning.”

Following are 10 titles I definitely won’t be using as a template for my LinkedIn profile. Names (ala the old Dragnet show) have been changed to protect the innocent.

“Rocking Chair-Mystic”. Falls under the “Avoid overly pretentious titles” rule. These also include “Lord of the Realm, Defender of the Faith… See the introduction to this post.

“Biggest Loser Contestant”. Unless you’re coaching weight loss, this one says “I did something highly visible once”. Unfortunately, he’s still doing what he did before the weight loss. (Albeit a thinner version of his old self)

Creator. Really? Do you want to put a pronoun in front of that? Maybe clarify what you create? Are you THE Creator?

My name. My name – Author of “[insert your book title here]”. Unless you’re the “Chairman of the Department of Redundancy Department” or something similarly Monty Pythonesque, don’t use this kind of repetition.

Entertainment Professional. This is NOT Craigslist. Give a little more detail or this just sounds BAD.

“Guru”. Any kind of guru (BPM, SEO, Social media, LinkedIn, etc.) or ninja.… The people who do this are way too numerous to mention by name. “Blackbelt” is ok if you’re Six Sigma certified’

“Graduage”. This was an alumnus of my alma mater. How bad is that when an advanced degree doesn’t teach you how to spell?

“Open to new opportunities”. Really? Sounds like you’re trying to find yourself. Let me tell you where to search: ANYWHERE but LinkedIn. You can thank me later.

Current job title and employer. This is LinkedIn’s default setting. Really? You couldn’t come up with anything better? I’m not going to imitate you for sure.

Geek, Author. Maybe you SHOULDN’T lead with your strength.

BONUS TIP: Avoiding linking to your blog if you EVER mentioned any body parts, bodily fluids or called someone an unflattering or derogatory name associated with these. The example that comes to mind is an otherwise enviable profile that featured a blog link. The first sentence in a blog about gun control measures called the NRA spokesman a name associated with feminine hygiene. Bad move!

SHOUT OUTS: To improve my LinkedIn profile I used tips from several people who I consider friends as well as experts.

John Sparks, MBA. John spent time with me on the phone, his advice was very helpful and he delivers real value. He was recommended by a friend. She’s an even better friend now because she connected me with John.

Christine Hueber has an extremely helpful downloadable booklet that will give you tips you can immediately implement. I added two tips right after I read it.

John Foster helped me keep tweaking my LinkedIn profile. He’s a friend and has helpful tips.

Each is a LinkedIn connection that was willing to help even BEFORE we connected. That’s advice I find really useable.

What things would you recommend people avoid?

Posted in LinkedIn, Strategy | Tagged , | 1 Comment

The Diet Strategy that Helped Me Lose 50 Pounds

“Lose weight”. It is the most popular New Year’s resolution. Six years ago I made dieting  my resolution. Why?

Obesity. I stepped on the scale and I couldn’t shrug it off any longer. CDC guidelines said I was obese, with a BMI over 30%.

No more jokes, even though my repertoire would make a standup comic envious:

     “I’m in shape. Round is a shape.”

     “My six pack turned into a keg.”

     “I’m not overweight. I’m under height.”

     “I’m a nutritional over-achiever.” 

I needed a strategy – an easy one. And I needed to maintain it. I developed 10 rules that worked for me, all beginning with “Just say no to…”

1) Salt. My habit was automatically picking up the salt shaker. It was easy to break so I started with this.

2) Soda. I was addicted to Dr. Pepper – even for a breakfast drink. I switched to unsweetened ice tea, which took about two weeks to become palatable. After that, it was smooth sailing.

3) Cheese. It’s a big source of fat and it flavors much of our food.

4) Dessert. That’s a gimme.

5) Eating after 7pm. If you eat that late there is little activity after to burn those calories.

6) Snacks between meals. I treated myself to a Snickers bar every afternoon. I eliminated those empty calories. This took about a week to feel familiar, but it worked.

7) Escalators and elevators. This was a small way of working in some exercise. “Every little bit helps” is the saying. I’m not going to run a marathon soon, but two or three flights of stairs no longer leave me winded.

8) Big plates. You can actually trick yourself into thinking you’re eating more by putting it on a smaller plate.

9) Eating like a king at dinner. The “old timers” I knew who successfully managed their weight told me “Eat like a king at breakfast, a prince at lunch and a pauper at dinner.” My habit was the reverse, eating my biggest meal at the end of the day. I reversed it.

10) Making diet decisions. I always choose the least healthy choice if I think about what I’m going to eat. I began eating the same thing every morning, setting it out the night before. Taking away that first diet decision of the day meant I didn’t choose Pop Tarts and Dr. Pepper on the run.

 That’s what worked for me. I phased these rules in during the first three months of the year. One year later I was 50 pounds lighter.

What works for you? What rules have you used that are sustainable?

Posted in Diet, Strategy, Strategy Execution | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Three essentials for successful strategy execution

What are the essentials for successful strategy execution?

How do you effectively execute a strategy? That was the hook that drew me to read a recent discussion thread on LinkedIn. If you’ve ever worked with or in an organization you recognize the problem that occurs as an organizational strategy is implemented. As soon as I say this you think of clients or coworkers or companies that couldn’t avoid the implementation dip.

That’s right. There is actually a name for the phenomena. Michael Fullan in his book Leading in a Culture of Change defines implementation dip as “…“the inevitable bumpiness and difficulties encountered as people learn new behaviors and beliefs.” The implementation of strategy always involves change. In my practice I have a saying that fits at this point in the process: “No one likes change except a wet baby.” The corollary to this maxim is that even a wet baby will resist change.

Do I need something else?

If you’re shopping for a strategy solution, you don’t have to go very long before you realize people will sell you all kinds of strategy. Of course the foundational element is organizational strategy. In successful strategy execution, there might also be:

  • Innovation strategy
  • Risk management strategy
  • Acquisition strategy
  • Growth strategy
  • Change management strategy
  • Human Capital strategy
  • Business Continuity strategy
  • IT Disaster Recovery strategy
  • Corporate Governance strategy
  • Marketing strategy
  • Communications strategy

And this is by no means an exhaustive list!

Isn’t an organizational strategy enough?

There are two additional things that I’ve found indispensable in the implementation phase of an organizational strategy. Strategy execution is much harder if you don’t have these essentials.

The first is a strategic communications plan. It is indispensable to implement an organizational strategy. If it is done right, this is more than just a “bolt on” to the strategy. It is integrated into the entire development phase of the strategy. At each step of strategy development it is helpful to ask the following questions:

Who needs to know about this? 

The “who” is audience identification. If your environmental scan has captured a customer and stakeholder analysis, you already have a good handle on this piece.

Are these folks internal or external to your organization?

This info will help you determine if the strategic communication will require development of an internal or external plan. In most cases, both are useful.

If you were to sum up your work here (in strategy development) in a few sentences, what do you want to say to these folks?

These are the beginnings of key messages. Keep in mind, that your key messages may be different for different organizations, customers and stakeholders.

When do these folks need to know this information?

Will you want to tell them all at once? Or in stages? The answer to this determines the timing of the communications messages.

How do you think you would like to tell them?

This determines communications products – brochures, intranet or internet web site, etc.

The third “must have” after an organizational strategy and a communications plan is a change management plan. I once called it by a more accurate name, a resistance management plan. Although accurate, and a source of merriment inside the firm, this was nixed in favor of the more consultant like “change management plan.” This is the plan to engage the Late Adopters in the organization. The term comes from Everett Rogers’ Diffusion of Innovation. Best Practices surveys and studies consistently rate internal resistance to change at or near the top of obstacles to execution of strategy. Grade A strategies can be thwarted by Grade B execution, so the focus on this part of the implementation is entirely warranted.

This plan identifies the type of communication each individual needs to engage with the strategy. Some individuals require information, while others need a participatory approach. That is just a partial list, but it is here that the really hard work of senior leadership begins.

But that is a subject for another day. If you need help swerving to avoid the implementation dip, give me a call. I assist clients in developing everything from water cooler conversations to large group strategy roll outs. Along the bumpy road of implementation, these maneuvers (strategic communication and change management) have proven to be invaluable maneuvers in avoiding the implementation dip of organizational strategy.

Posted in Change Management, Implementation, Strategy, Strategy Execution | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

The Myth of “Do it yourself” Strategic Planning

Some things are easy to do. Some projects require a professional.

Some projects should never be the “do it yourself” kind. In the “never” category, some are self-evident. Trying to connect my gas stove is pretty self-evident. Even if I know how to use a pipe wrench (‘righty tighty, lefty loosey”) the potential downside (KABOOM!) is just too great. Leaving it to an expert is always the best choice.

Other projects that should not be attempted by a do it yourselfer are not quite so evident. Household projects involving electricity are in this category. Ever the thinking individual, I might reason that since I use electricity every time I walk in a room and flip the light switch, I am extremely familiar with electricity. This makes an electrical project seem totally within my skill set. I might even have some luck with things like changing the switch cover or replacing a single outlet.

“Leaving it to an expert is sometimes the best choice.”

My familiarity with electricity was challenged when I finished out the basement of my house. Pulling wires through holes I drilled was a piece of cake – sort of. What I was unfamiliar with could fill a book. In fact it did – it is called a Code Book. Once I came to my senses, a polite and very competent professional was helpful in sharing. And he didn’t charge me too much to correct those items I had “completed” that weren’t according to code.

How does this apply to Strategic Planning?

Of course this story is a set up. It brings up something I see often when consulting. People reason that they are familiar with strategy because they use it every day. Running a car pool. Scheduling a time for dinner. Cleaning the garage on a Saturday. These are all part of our every day – and could easily give me the confidence to think that attempting something larger would be a piece of cake.

There is some truth behind my confidence. Small or mid-size projects are often easily accomplished. Organizational strategy – the equivalent of the basement build out project – are another matter altogether. What is needed is a professional – someone who does this all the time and is aware of the “Code”. They know where shortcuts can and should be taken. They also know where attractive shortcuts are a detour to disaster.

“Don’t mistake confidence for competence.”

In my practice, I call this professional the “Reasonable Outsider”. It is a term I coined, though I’m sure the origin of it comes from somewhere I can’t remember.

What is it?

Reasonable Outsider (noun) 2005: (1) A person from outside the organization who is independent, free of political ties or debts to anyone in the organization, well informed enough about the organization to ask the right questions who serves as the catalytic agent in the development and implementation of the organization’s strategy. Synonyms: (a) honest broker (b) objective look (c) trusted advisor.

Why is it important?

(a) A Reasonable Outsider is objective – not distracted by personalities. Because a Reasonable Outsider is not connected to internal politics, they are able to reframe issues and challenges that face your organization or business.

(b) A Reasonable Outsider is experienced – usually well matrixed. By that I mean they have multiple complementary experiences. My complementary experiences include the Marine Corps, pastoral ministry, consulting for the Federal government, NGOs, municipal government and churches. As a Reasonable Outsider, I use this wide experience to tap the power of analogy and enable the organization to see itself objectively.

(c) A Reasonable Outsider is a change agent – a strategic catalyst. They can ask questions insiders might not be able to ask because of internal demands and relationships (see #1 above)

Where do I get one?

If you’ve read this far you probably already guessed I am a certified strategy geek. I specialize in helping organizations ask the right strategy questions. If you’d like to have a conversation with a Reasonable Outsider about the challenges your organization is facing, email me at And yes, I have a soft spot for non-profits and faith based organizations.

Posted in Strategy | Tagged , | Leave a comment