- Transform your managers into strategic leaders: Are your managers strategic?
- The Principles of Strategy to Achieve Business and Personal Success
- Strategy For You: Building a Bridge to the Life You Want
- Inspire New Thinking with Strategic Leadership Development
- Do you have competitive advantage? Be Strategic or Be Gone
- The world’s foremost expert on strategic thinking
- Becoming a Truly Strategic Leader
- Is Your Strategy Obsolete?
- Are your managers strategic?
Rich Horwath, on strategic thinking, educates, entertains and energizes your group on the most valuable skill in business today.
As a strategist he helps managers increase profits and create competitive advantage through strategic thinking.
He has the unique combination of practical experience as a former Chief Strategy Officer and academic expertise as a graduate school professor.
Recent studies on leadership by the Wall Street Journal and Chief Executive Magazine have found that the most valued skill in leaders today is strategic thinking.
An interactive and highly relevant session, Rich Horwath helps employees at all levels understand what strategy is and how to think strategically on a daily basis to help their businesses.
The result is that participants leave with a strategic thinking framework and practical tools to reach their true strategic potential.
• What is strategic thinking?
• Why is strategic thinking important?
• The three disciplines of strategic thinking:
1. Acumen: how to generate new ideas
2. Allocation: how to prioritize activities
3. Action: how to stay focused on the important, not urgent
• Effective ways for generating new ideas that grow profits
• How to use resources (time, people and budget) more productively
Becoming a Truly Strategic Leader
The cause of bankruptcy is bad strategy.
Management teams that don’t have solid, written strategies today, may not have a business tomorrow.
Rich Horwath provides an interactive and practical session, and takes the mystery out of strategy, simplifies it and gives participants a five-step process for developing it.
The result is participants leave with a common understanding
of strategy, new tools for developing it and a process for actually
using it to drive their daily activities.
• What is strategy?
• Why is strategy important?
• The three secrets to great strategy
• Understanding the difference between goals, objectives,
strategies and tactics
• How to transform a business from a commodity into
• Practical tools to develop strategies that increase profits
• State Farm
• Young President’s Organization
• Society for Human Resource Management
Rich is a thought leader on strategy, having appeared on ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, WGN and FOX TV.
“Rich provided an outstanding program on strategic thinking and planning. The presentation was interactive…”
“Your program was the most memorable, most educational, and most dynamic of all. You took the complex topic of strategy and condensed it into an easy-to-understand and entertaining event…”
“Your keynote speech ‘Be Strategic or Be Gone’ was entertaining,
thought provoking and yet practical for a large audience of
senior executives. It was exactly what we hoped for and a big hit.”
“Rich is able to both present his material & engage his audience in a way that is both entertaining and informative. His Strategic Leadership exercises are a must for any person wanting to achieve their wildest goals.”
“From his content to his delivery, Rich’s presentations on strategic thinking are impeccable.”
“Strategic thinking is the most valued skill in leaders today,
according to the Wall Street Journal.”
“A lot of companies have innovation departments and this is always a sign that something is wrong when you have a VP of innovation. You know, put a for-sale sign on the door. Everybody in our company is responsible to be innovative, whether they’re doing operational work or product work or customer service work.”
Whether you’re six- or sixty-years-old, there’s nothing quite like bouncing into other vehicles and not requiring a tow truck for the ride home.
Hopefully, you’re not working for a bumper car business–where the majority of people’s activities are simply reactions: reactions to competitors, reactions to customers and reactions to the market. These constant reactions spin you off into time-sucking tangents that add no real value to you or the business.
“… A ten-year study of 103 companies showed that strategic blunders were the cause of the greatest loss of shareholder value, an astounding 81% of the time.
The hard truth is that nearly 90% of a company’s poor performance is within management’s control. Of course there are lots of good excuses as to why companies are performing poorly, but they are just that: excuses.
Important business concepts provide us with the opportunity to replace excuses and poor performance with direction and profits.
Strategy and innovation are often shown to be two primary contributors to sustained financial excellence and competitive advantage.
I’ve discovered three common elements of strategy and innovation that can help us better understand and influence business success.
Common Element #1: Insight.
An insight is described as the joining together of two or more pieces of information or data in a unique way to come up with a new approach, new product, new service or new solution. Insights come from the ability to wade through the waves of input we receive each day and mentally connect the dots in new and creative ways.
Prolific inventor James Dyson built his billion-dollar business through insights on what frustrated people. His first significant invention–the Ballbarrow–was a wheelbarrow that used a ball instead of a wheel. This insight came from the frustration people had with the wheels getting stuck in the mud and rendered useless.
Innovation, simply defined as “creating new value for customers,” begins with an insight. The insight often centers on a solution to a problem or way to fulfill an unmet need of a customer. To create new value, you need an insight.
Business strategy is defined as the intelligent allocation of limited resources through a unique system of activity to outperform the competition in serving customers.
The only way to truly “intelligently” allocate resources is to have insight into how your product or service provides value to customers in ways that are superior to competitive offerings.
Insight Starter: What unsolved problem can you help your customer overcome?
Common Element #2: Differentiation.
At the heart of successful business strategy is the ability to differentiate your offerings from those of the competition in ways that customer’s value.
Doing the same things in the same way as the competition and providing the same offerings is a common formula for bankruptcy.
Inherent in the definition of innovation is the creation of “new” value.
If the value is new, then it’s logical to conclude that it’s different from current offerings.
As James Dyson said when he seized leadership of the upright vacuum market from Hoover with his cyclone technology,
“And so I have sought originality for its own sake, and modified it into a philosophy which demands difference from what exists if only to redefine a stale market.”
Differentiation Starter: What unique capabilities do we possess that can create differentiated value for customers?
Common Element #3: Value.
The intent of both business strategy and innovation is to create value for customers.
Too often, in the day-to-day competitive battles and the weeds of the business, we lose sight of the fact that competitive advantage is nothing more than “creating superior value for customers.”
Innovation is the continual hunt for new value; strategy is ensuring that we configure our resources in the best way possible to deliver that value. James Dyson sums it up: “The only way to make real money is to offer the public something entirely new, that has style value as well as substance and which they cannot get anywhere else.”
Value Starter: What is our value proposition and how is it different from competitors?
Strategy development should not be a once-a-year event; it should be an ongoing dialogue about the key business issues and capturing insights from those discussions.
Innovation–the creation of new value for customers–is an integral part of the strategy conversation.
If your leadership team is not investing at least four hours a month discussing strategy and innovation together, then expect sustained mediocrity.
Books by Rich Horwath
- Deep Dive: The Proven Method for Building Strategy, Focusing Your Resources, and Taking Smart Action
- Strategy for You: Building a Bridge to the Life You Want
- Elevate: The Three Disciplines of Advanced Strategic Thinking