Competitive Edge by Jeff Hanhausen

Amazon is innovating at breakneck speed. What are you doing to catch up?

Mobilize and challenge your organization to be innovative. Connect to outside help and resources that are already producing change. You must empower your employees, colleagues, and yes, customers to help you learn and change. These are the most powerful assets you have.
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Game theory: To win, you have to know which rules (not) to follow

Many relevant distinctions come out of games that can help in constituting a competitive design. One thing to remember is that somebody invented all games. They didn’t just come out of nowhere. This is true of business as well — the first thing to happen is that somebody declares the game. The next thing is to specify a set of rules for the game.
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The culture of time: How can you manage something that doesn’t exist?

There is no such thing as time. Now that’s a really strange thing to say or to understand. If you give it some thought, you will come to see that there is eternity and there is constant change as things come and go, but time is made up. We invented it to help us coordinate and understand movement. For the universe, time does not exist.
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Plan like NASA: The Juno mission shows the keys to a great strategy

NASA is a wonderful example of an institution that knows how to plan. The seven-year Juno mission isn’t complete yet, but it’s well on its way to a successful conclusion. And yes, NASA scientists had contingency plans that they had fun tearing up publicly as the spacecraft entered orbit. How many long-term strategies have you completed?
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Artificial intelligence is shaking up what we need to know

Each day, there is more news about robots and automation replacing labor. It’s simultaneously exciting and threatening, especially as artificial intelligence is now displaying the ability to “think” and “learn” — in many situations better than humans.
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It’s all about collaboration: To be innovative, find new ways of working together

Studies have found that profitability increases when workers are persuaded to collaborate more. What people sometimes report as a waste of time looks now like it leads to better results. Perhaps more meetings, where we have a dialogue and not just talk, are required and can produce positive financial results.
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These 3 steps make it easy to build your brand

Our marketplace is changing in ways that nobody could have imagined. New ideas and companies are booming and the average life span of companies in the S&P 500 has declined from 61 years in 1958 to 20 years today. Here are three steps that will help you buid your brand in this new environment.
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Committing to growth: How to build powerful teams that get you there

Producing a team is a commitment to a different set of narratives and practices. It’s costly to build a team, which is why most people don’t commit to it and don’t do it well. It’s much easier to just call a group of people a team and not do the work.
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How IKEA’s vision statement inspires teamwork, collaboration and shared goals

Perhaps the most important element of a successful business vision is that employees are able to take ownership of it. It must be something that people can work toward every day.
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Efficiency vs. effectiveness: Don’t sacrifice outcomes

We now live in a world so filled with “efficiencies,” it’s hard to even see them. You can grab templates online for legal documents, planning, recruiting and more. It almost appears that you don’t need to think or design much when doing things right has become so easy.
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ABOUT JEFF HANHAUSEN: Jeff Hanhausen is CEO of The Hanhausen Group, which invests its expertise, network and money in a small number of private companies to produce a significant shift in the rate of growth of enterprise value. www.hanhausengroup.com. Contact him at jeff@hanhausengroup.com.