The Work-Life Balance Myth

My father had a certain expectation of the workplace – he expected to be able to leave the house every morning, work uninterrupted throughout the day and be home in time for dinner, the evening news and Rukeyser’s Wall $treet Week. For many of us – and I’m guessing nearly everyone reading this article – it feels like there’s no such thing as a balance between work and life. When it comes to your career, you’re either all in or all out.

Read More

Building a Business That’s Ready for Anything

Crises, be they natural or man-made are an ever present threat to business. So what are companies doing to prepare for disruptions, not just those that can be addressed through disaster planning and business continuity strategies, but those truly unknown scenarios that it seems only the most resilient organizations survive?

Read More

Strategy from a Vision, Values and Talent Perspective

Every good strategic leader works hard to design a business strategy that creatively serves the needs of customers in the face of tough competitors and delivers enterprise value. Business school core courses have been shaped and consulting firms created to help executives responsible for strategy analyze and synthesize their way to this straightforward goal.

But there is a quite different approach to strategy that many companies and businesses might be wise to think about.

Read More

Welcome to HighLights – The Changing Shape of Consulting

Thanks for stopping by HighPoint Associates’ new HighLights blog. My colleagues and I will be using this space to share our views on the day’s biggest business issues and the critical challenges our customers face. We’ll also spend time discussing disruption, highlighting the new approaches companies are taking to solving their business challenges.

Read More
EPMO discussing enterprise-wide initiatives in a pandemic

Agile Strategy

Mention strategy development and most CEOs grit their teeth, imagining months of analysis led by corps of consultants, often with significant cost and a result that doesn’t match where the company and its senior team really sees itself going.

Sadly, many CEOs don’t have a lot of confidence in their strategy. According to a 2013 Booz & Company survey of more than 3,500 global leaders, over half doubt their company’s strategy will lead to success or think their strategy is understood by employees and customers. Even more alarming, only a third feel that their company’s core capabilities fully support their strategy.

Read More

How Technology Is Driving Role Changes in the C-Suite

A wave of changing technologies continues to bombard companies at an accelerating rate. Emerging and expanding technologies such as the cloud, big data, business analytics and intelligence, and HTML5, all will have enormous implications for how companies deploy, use and manage information.

How well companies surf the wave will have a significant impact on their future success.

Read More

Can You Keep Overhead Cut?

It’s a classic command from top management. Need to reduce overhead? Just cut 10 percent.

How can a company successfully reduce costs and overhead, and keep it cut? Look no further than a process developed almost four decades ago: the AVA.

Read More

Why Building Trust Should be a Corporate Priority

It’s not enough to be the best at your business anymore. No matter how great your product or esteemed your expertise, to earn business today your customers want to feel that you are a “Trusted Advisor.”

In his more than 45 years of consulting and executive management, Jim Bennett, a Senior Advisor to HighPoint Associates, has seen a significant shift in client and customer mindsets. “Clients want to know that you and your company’s interests are deeply aligned with theirs and that you are highly motivated by their success. They want to know they can count on you to listen to their issues and not just rush to offer a solution.”

Read More

When Should You Hire an Interim Executive?

Getting good help represents a Board-level headache. Reading the financial press, it may seem that CXOs come and go with the frequency of jetliners at O’Hare International. While executive churn does not merit that comparison, C-suite turnover is commonplace, with a new wave of executive musical chairs ensuing after the 2008 recession.

Many reasons can lead to job vacancies. Someone gets a better position. Someone gets caught with his or her hands in the wrong places. Someone decides to found his or her own company. Someone was hired to do one job, but the company’s needs changed. Someone goes to sleep – or worse – on the job. As a result, boards and private equity owners may find themselves scrambling to fill key management positions.

Read More

How Can Brand Strategy Turn Your Brand into a Religion?

Ben Bidlack’s approach to investing in brand strategy is robustly simple. Effective brands engage their internal and external audiences, transforming them into ardent fans. If brand religion is the goal, Bidlack’s approach to brand building is anything but mystical. He starts with a hard, nakedly honest assessment of a company’s actual position in the world. He extends the assessment outward to the full set of competitive brands and offerings, and inward into the mindset and needs of prospects. The challenge is to develop the one, possibly two, emotionally compelling and overarching brand strategies that account for insights in all three areas: company capabilities/culture, competition and customers. And finally, he helps the company express that single brand idea, and deliver on that promise, through every pore of the organization.

Read More