Insights

Short articles that inform, encourage and provoke.

 

 

 

 

 

Can You Hear It?

As I was figuring out what life wants me to write tonight, I came across this. In French, the words “voix” and “voie” are homonyms. La voie means the way, the path, the direction. It’s also sometimes used to indicate the vocation that someone should follow in life or the direction that an organization should take. La voix means the voice. It’s...

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The Journey Carries On

2020 was the strongest year I’ve ever had with MetaHelm. Despite the chaos in the world, I was extremely fortunate and grateful to achieve this extraordinary result. That’s because I got lucky. Just like Thomas Jefferson, “I am a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it." There might still have been a bit of...

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How To Break From The Past And Innovate

Is investing in a strategic narrative always worth doing? Everybody in the business community seems to agree that storytelling is an important thing, especially if you are in a leadership position. Almost no-one challenges the return on the investment that shaping a new narrative represents. I believe that my clients have the right to know. So, I...

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The Seven Sins Of Strategic Narrative

Good business leaders help their company survive because they know how to adapt to change. Great business leaders go even further by generating the change inside and outside their organization before they suffer it. Many CEOs look for opportunities to use technology to trigger radical change intentionally in their market. That’s disruption. As...

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The Magic Of Leadership

Chris Anderson, the head of TED, writes this on page 242 of his book Ted Talks: “Almost every human born at almost every place and moment in history has had their potential capped by a single fact over which they had almost no control, namely, the quality of the teachers and mentors they had access to. But now, for the first time in history, it’s...

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Let’s See How This Resonates

Cymatics is very cool. This is what it looks like. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lRFysSAxWxI It is visualized when you coat a metal surface called a Chladni plate with thin particles like flour, salt or sand, and you make that plate resonate. As sound vibrations go through the foil, you can see what they do to the particles. They show the...

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The One Thing A CEO Must Do

There is a common assumption that I wish would really change amongst business leaders: once the strategy of a company is defined (At MetaHelm, we do this through the creation of a strategic narrative), it will be the job of somebody else to communicate it. For most companies, I see executive teams hire a consultant, a copywriter or an agency to...

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The Biggest Positioning Trap And How To Avoid It

Over the years, I have had the chance to work on many cool products and services. My CEO clients know how awesome their product is. But their problem is that nobody else around them does. At least, not enough people, and not soon enough. My job is to help them reframe or revive the business strategy that will fix that. I do this by creating a new...

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Can You Last More Than 14 Seconds at This?

As a team leader, what could you possibly learn from the practice of bedside medicine? To find out, watch the video of Abraham Verghese TED’s talk called “A doctor's touch”. Professor for the Theory and Practice of Medicine at Stanford University Medical School, Verghese teaches the value of the physical examination in diagnosing patients. I...

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Getting Your Creative Juices Flowing Again

Today, I’d like to share a few tips that might come handy if you need to get ideas flowing as you’re working on a piece of work that requires you to think creatively. Doing the deep work Let’s say you're working on something like an email, a memo, a report, a case study, a presentation, or even a book. For instance, in the process I use with my...

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How To Differentiate In Your Market

How to differentiate:   Give your opinion. Politicians know that very well. Change the narrative. Show the outdated way, and compare it to the new and relevant way. Reframe, don’t just repeat or summarize your understanding of your customer’s problem. It’s OK to take the time to show that you understand. Watch people nod when they hear that...

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Narrative and Innovation

A few weeks ago, I caught myself explaining to one of my CEO clients that she should work backwards and think of her product just as the manifestation of her company narrative. She was working on a presentation for an early-stage conversation with a potentially large client and she was afraid, rightly so, to brag too much about the greatness of...

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A Three-Question Self-Diagnostic

How strong is your company narrative? You might think this is a question for Marketing to figure out. I would argue that this is a question for everyone, because if your organization doesn’t have a strong narrative, you are probably not cutting through the noise and 60% more likely to waste a lot of money and opportunities. Here is a simple test...

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Story vs. Narrative? And Why it Matters

For most of us, story and narrative are the same, interchangeable. Pay attention to your next conversation and let me know if you notice that too. In a way, it is correct. Collinsdictionary.com says the following: Story: a story is a description of imaginary people and events. Narrative: a story or an account of a series of events. But lately, I...

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Who is your hero?

It’s that time of the year: back to school. That’s valid for kids and also for my emails. After a break of a few weeks, they will start hitting your inbox again. Although I took a break from sending you my thoughts on strategy and storytelling, I didn’t stop helping executive leader clients during my "vacation". It turns out that several of them...

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Stand For Something Or Die

In Paris, there are 40,000 restaurants. There, Jérôme was one of my former colleagues at a tech startup where he was the VP of sales. He had a side-job. He was also a food critic. Our team would always ask him to share his list of “hidden gem restaurants” and he’d sometimes pull some strings to get us reservations to places where you’d never be...

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Why Students Should Have Mental Health Days – The Strategic Story –

In the training workshop that I am teaching this week at Microsoft, I share my framework for strategic storytelling - the 12 questions that I use to create your strategy based on a story, first. As homework between day 1 and day 2 of the training, I ask that participants find an example and take it through the 12 questions. Kylie shared a great...

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The Shapes of Stories

This week, I will be teaching an online training workshop I named “The Bigger Story: Strategic Storytelling to Drive Profit and Engagement". Anyone in a position where the art of strategy, storytelling and persuasion is essential could benefit from this class. This particular session is for a group at Microsoft where most participants have an...

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