conventional_wisdom_is_an_oxymoronCompanies have failed at executing strategies 70% of the time.

Two decades ago, 70 percent of McKinsey’s revenues came from strategy and corporate finance but most now flow from hands-on work in risk, operations and marketing and less from strategic thinking.

So strategic execution fails most of the time and the demand for strategy development has fallen considerably. The conventional wisdom of management consultants has been that you must have a business strategy for the future before you develop a business plan to follow.

Has the wisdom of the market become unconventional in the 21st century? This is an important question for any business. If the answer is yes then there is no wisdom in following conventional wisdom.

Conventional wisdom is not necessarily true. Conventional wisdom is additionally often seen as an obstacle to the acceptance of newly acquired information, to introducing new theories and explanations, and such wisdom operates as an obstacle that must be overcome by legitimate alternative views seen as unconventional. Such ideas as real-time and crowd sourced strategies considered unconventional to the conventional wisdom of traditional management consultants. Yet these are real alternatives for the unconventional thinkers.

Unconventional Paradigm Shifts

The pace of unconventional trends that quickly become reality have disrupted the conventional wisdom of the past is accelerating faster than most want to believe. Consider some of the emerging trends:

  1. Stakeholders now have more power than companies through social media and networks
  2. Business has moved from strategy to execution centric focus
  3. Data historically viewed statically is now moved to being viewed in real-time and dynamically
  4. From mental models of owned to shared models
  5. From top down to bottom up flow of information and control of decisions that impact stakeholders
  6. From work here to work anywhere
  7. From measuring tangible results to creating & measuring  intangible value
  8. From Enterprise IT to Consumerization of IT
  9. From making the transition to embracing the disruption
  10. From workplace to socialplace: the convergence of work and life as one, not two places

There is nothing conventional about the issues listed above except these trends are resisted by conventional wisdom.

Markets have become complex, more nuanced and less predictable than what conventional wisdom has led us to believe. Smarter consultants, and companies, understand the demands of a marketplace that has become transparent, social, informed, demanding and more influential than the marketing efforts of the supply side.  Smarter Consultants focus on understanding the value of human capital, the ongoing creation of relationship capital, co-creation of strategic capital in real-time with a broader definition of stakeholders and leveraging shared structural capital with a community.

Smarter Consultants help organizations improve productivity and joy in work by enabling people to make decisions that better serve other people, stakeholders. Smarter Consultants are about helping organizations improve results by empowering behaviors that improve results. Empowering behaviors is an unconventional wisdom because it is more about managing the intangibles than measuring the tangible.

Smarter consultants, and companies, don’t follow conventional wisdom they do things the unconventional way.


Learning What We Didn’t Know

by Jay Deragon on 07/30/2014

what_you_knowWe are taught to know what we are told we need to know. The historical methods of learning have taught us what others think we need to know.  What we don’t know is then up to us to learn.

Before the internet we learned from institutions, friends, family and co-workers.  Learning was a process largely influenced from local resources; schools, work, communities and civic activities.  We also learned from media fed to us and media we sought in books, videos and sound.  Our resources were limited by reach, access and choices.

Today the resources for learning are unlimited and for the most part free. Our reach to information is unlimited and access is 24/7  which expands the venue of choices.  As a result we are all learning what we didn’t know but want to know and we are being taught by others that do know.

Engagement Is The New Teacher

The internet’s evolution has accelerated human engagement more in the last ten years then in the last 500 years. Human engagement enhances learning and when you ehance the human networks ability to engage with global resources you create self organized learning in the cloud.

As a child we learned from our parents and siblings. As we grew our learning was influenced by friends, teachers and our environment. Today our environments are surrounded by digital technology. Our friends are digital connections. Our teachers are the people and things we allow to influence our thinking. The number of people and things we can engage with is limitless.

Learning has left the building and people are self organizing to learn what they didn’t know and gaining the information to know from each other and from global digital resources at the click of a mouse.

What happens when we learning what we didn’t know is that we now know more than we knew. Knowing more individually and collectively expands the possibilities for innovation. We expand the possibilities of innovation by creating new solutions to old problems.  Today’s problems are the result of what we didn’t know. Tomorrows solutions are the result of finding answers to what we don’t know.  Those answers come from overcoming the limits of our brains by learning what we didn’t know.  Innovation is about creating something new and valuable. It comes from learning and creating value from what we didn’t know.

Watch this video and learn something you may not have known.


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Rising Female Leaders in Nashville: Part 1

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For the last six months I ‘ve studied the rising influence of women on business.  Besides researching the trends I have talked with many women whose rising influence is helping change markets locally and globally.  Subsequently I’ve decided to write a series of post sharing my findings and some of the rising local female leaders. Lets start with […]

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Do Advertisers Use Deception?

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Reviews by David Adelman — See our LinkedIn

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Had Enough of The Fluff?

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Show Me The Deliverables….Yeah Right!

April 18, 2014

Let’s cut to the chase….. You are a consultant providing strategic services to organizations. You are in a meeting with a prospect interested in your services and they say “So what would be the deliverable?” The question of what’s the deliverable is really a way to say “I have no idea what I need or […]

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Chasing The Shiny Object

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We are so easily distracted by those shiny objects that we think have value because everyone else is chasing them. Whether it be a new car, home, clothes or other material things at one time they were all the shiny object of the day and we had to have it at all cost. The same […]

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Creating Uncertainty and Volitility

April 15, 2014

In the old days uncertainty and volatility were enemies of the marketplace.  Today uncertainty and volatility are the assets of those transforming the marketplace. The ability to create uncertainty and volatility  are the tools of today’s market makers. There is a sweeping shift going on where the critical success reason for market makers  is shifting from improving things to […]

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