Just when we begin to see glimmers of the emergence of whatever comes next, we are seemingly plunged into massive uncertainty once again, with geopolitical tensions and armed conflict that seemed unthinkable. The Washington Post offers a guide to how we can help people in Ukraine now. NPR adds some additional ideas. Businesses with a bigger footprint are cutting ties with Russia, in sectors as varied as oil and gas, automobiles, and services.
After the fall of the Soviet Union, Russia was seen as a potentially huge new market of consumers with rising incomes, spurred on by the kind of growth that capitalism supports very well. Remember BRICS? Many firms are now facing a big rethink, as everything from reputational risks to the sheer effort that will be required to operate in the country weighs on their decisions.
My course on growth and change, called Leading Strategic Growth and Change is scheduled to run next May, for a week, in person! Click here for more information.
If you are curious about my upcoming schedule, your go-to resource is my “events” page. Click here to view it.
Click here to subscribe to Thought Sparks delivered to your inbox weekly
This Month’s Thought Sparks
Keurig had a huge success with its coffee pod business. Anheuser Busch was at the cutting edge of science in the alcoholic drink business. Eureka! The idea for a cocktail-in-a-pod that users make at home was born. But apparently, nobody did the math on how many pods the company would have to move every year to make a material difference to the combined firms’ bottom lines. It didn’t end well.
$200 billion is a lot of money to disappear in an afternoon. This is what happened on February 2, 2022, at an investor conference of historic import. In the ongoing battle between Facebook and Apple, Apple, for the first time, gives users a simple way to manage how their data are used. By giving users the option to not be tracked, the overwhelming number opted out – with the result that Facebook projects a $10B revenue hit in 2022 alone.
Safi Bahcall coined the phrase “loonshot” to mean those ideas that are not seen as practical, dismissed, and not on anyone’s core strategic plan, but which can eventually turn out to be transformational. In this article, I cover some principles for keeping your fragile loonshots viable until their true potential can be recognized.
Literally, nobody knows what the return to office is going to look like. One idea that I think has a lot of promise is offered by Richard Florida, who suggests that we need to rethink the design of the central business district with all its commuters. Instead of a designated (and very expensive) place for work, and a similarly designated (but more affordable) place to sleep, wouldn’t it be great if we could ditch the commutes and live, work, and relax in the same area?
In the Press
Chatting it up with Jeff Gothelf on how to become permanently employable
Why thinking like an underdog (even if you’re not one) can keep your company competitive
Quoted by Whitney Johnson on 7 questions entrepreneurs should ask themselves before committing
Organizing innovation – by our friends over at Viima
For a lot of people, it would be great to have the Monday after the Super Bowl off…
How Heinz uses the marketing ploy “57 Varieties” to keep its brands fresh
Check out our new website at Valize.com (thanks, Flaminia!)
Get in Touch, Keep in Touch and an invitation to shape the agenda
And an invitation: If there are topics you’d like to see me explore in a Thought Spark, let me know!