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The Executive Mastermind

Enhancing Decision-Makers’ Power to Adjust or Change in order to Cope with New or Unforeseen Circumstances. 


In everything we do, we firmly believe in endeavoring to gain ever deeper insight into the nature and character of a business system rather than to judge its people.

After all, no matter what you want to accomplish, you need a business system to make it happen!

Also, who can govern a system successfully without understanding its nature and character?

Adapting to new and unforeseen circumstances challenges a decision-maker’s ability of:

  • Adjusting the business system for turbulence in the socio-economic and geo-political environment.
  • Aligning business processes with a strategic direction for pursuing the intended vision.
  • Conducting a strategic course correction to improve the chances of achieving that vision.



Investing limited company money and executive time on coping with new and unforeseen circumstances should pay off for both the business system and its executives in terms of:


  • Positioning the business beyond the possibility of defeat (see Sun Tzu in the Art of War)
  • Increasing morality; avoiding collapse of the business system due to moral conflict
  • Reducing the duration of confusion and disorder when faced with events
  • Agility; adapting the business system with speed & flexibility to events as they enfold
  • Increasing profitability through differentiation and a quality business system
  • Increasing the quality of the business system in order to reduce cost
  • Increasing differentiation of products and services; avoiding convergence with competing value propositions
  • Increasing the level of creativity & innovation for self-renewal and re-invention
  • Increasing the level of effectiveness at business governance
  • Increasing the level of efficiency of business governance
  • Balancing the business system’s activities with its intended results
  • longevity; increasing the sustainability of a business system
  • Humanity; engaging the human intellect to improve sustainability and profitability
  • Honesty and values; acting on what we believe to be true and self-evident
  • Increasing resourcefulness of all employees; pride and professionalism
  • Improving trust among all employees on all hierarchical levels
  • Hierarchical- and Intellectual Integrity; walk your talk
  • Becoming a purpose-driven force; having a unifying vision
  • Becoming the obvious choice for the intended target audience
  • Increasing employee- and buyer loyalty to the business
  • Unity; all in the same boat – no more “we vs. they”
  • Increasing the level of individual leaders’ competence at command & control
  • Increasing self-confidence of all decision-makers; understanding business governance
  • Increasing decision-makers’ peace of mind with every decision they take
  • Increasing CEO-tenure




□       Events befuddle and bewilder executive decision-makers to the extent that they become ineffective at governing the business system under their Command & Control.

□       Individual executives are personally attacked for failing to adapt to new and unforeseen circumstances. The rate of early dismissals for under-performance is on the increase.

□       CEO-tenure is down to 6.1 years. For a new CEO to obtain his/her intended results for his/her own strategic plan requires a lead-time of 3-5 years. Therefore, new CEOs are left with only a narrow margin for error; time to learn from mistakes and become successful.

□       Shareholder derivative suits have been successful in demanding the replacement of individual executives, thereby discouraging any creativity and innovation because it bears too much personal risk for an individual executive.

□       The Directors and Officers liability insurance market base their risk assessment more on the insured executive’s individual character and personality rather than a business’ financial statements; management has become personal and you’d better measure up!




□       Climbing the hierarchical ladder requires a manager to assume responsibility for an ever widening area of expertise that eventually encompasses the entire business.

□       Events tend to have a systemic effect that influences multiple areas of expertise. Furthermore, different events influence different areas of expertise differently. Therefore, the possession of deep domain expertise in any single category of specialized knowledge is not a likely source for successful solutions to any current or future event.

□       Management Education specializes in teaching deeper deep-domain expertise in a single silo of specialized knowledge, such as leadership, finance or marketing. Therefore, Management Education fails to prepare Executives for assuming ultimate responsibility for the successful governance of an entire business system. Hence, executives are expected to acquire these essential skills by osmosis. This means effectively that they are required to learn these skills on the job. But, no-one in the C-suite has experience assuming ultimate responsibility and a reduction in CEO-tenure allows less time to achieve the expert status that a new CEO is expected to possess from day one!




□       No matter what you want to accomplish in business, it can only be realized through the business system, which is comprised of people (including executives), the value chain and the human-value chain interfaces.

□       Any business system requires active business governance for its design, construction, implementation, maintenance and management.

□       Systems function successfully when managed according to certain principles of governance.

□       Systems fold back into themselves according to certain patterns of collapse.

□       Assuming ultimate responsibility for the successful governance of an entire business system requires of executive decision-makers that they have intimate knowledge and insight into the principles of governance and patterns of collapse. This expertise is essential for organizing deep-domain expertise, such as leadership, finance or marketing, and the intelligently directing of that expertise towards the realization of a unifying vision of service to others. That is The Missing Link in Management Education!




□       Specialized knowledge in a single area of expertise, a.k.a. Silo Management, has a narrow scope with a high level of detail. Therefore, its curriculum is limited in its offering to three levels; 1) Beginners  2) Intermediate  3) Advanced. As a result, the possibilities for up-selling or repeat purchases by one and the same student/buyer is also limited.

□       Specialized knowledge in Organizing and Directing, a.k.a. Business Governance, has a wide scope with a low level of detail. Therefore, its curriculum is practically limitless in offering new and previously unknown perspectives on how to govern a business system through good and bad economic times. As a result, it has virtually limitless possibilities for up-selling and repeat purchases because there are always new angles and perspectives to explore in order to gain ever deeper insight into the nature and character of a business system.

□       Silo Management PRE-scribes Best practices that are the result of analysis.

□       Business Governance DE-scribes the principles of business governance that is the result of Synthesis; giving meaning to the detailed analysis of a business system’s component parts.

□       Business governance makes sense out of theories such as those on leadership, strategy, marketing, resource management, organizational climate and organizational processes.

□       Insight into the nature and character of a business system enables change, including creativity & innovation for the necessary re-invention and self-renewal.

□       Understanding business systems on an organic level generates demand for deeper domain expertise in one or more silos of specialized knowledge. This is a “Pull” vs. “Push” strategy for those that offer such specific expertise.

□       Business governance compels the inviting into the Mastermind of material experts from branches of the Military on strategy, Quality Management on Deming’s System of Profound Knowledge, the National Transportation and Safety Board (NTSB) on Human Error, Anthropology on the collapse of societies, Employee engagement on Open Book Management and Employee Ownership, etc.

□       The Missing Link in the Value Chain is therefore presented in the format of a Master Mind that, apart from all the genius of participants, includes that of all material experts.

Wouldn’t you want to have access to those brilliant minds for solving your important and urgent issues that could cost you your executive job in case of under-performance?




We are making The Missing Link in the Value Chain™ curriculum available to current and future executive decision-makers in cooperation with Industry Associations, Executive Coaching organizations, Management Consulting Organizations and other organizations for Management Education worldwide.


If you are a decision-maker in one of such organizations, who knows that his/her performance today is better than it was yesterday and that tomorrow it will be even better than today, and you believe what we believe, then email Hans Norden at Hans@AnticipatedOutcome.com or call him direct at (858) 344-1137. He is awaiting your inquiry for collaboration on this exciting journey that makes a difference in the lives of all stakeholders.

Professionalism in Executive Leadership

The Peter Principle states that: “In a Hierarchy Every Employee Tends to Rise to His Level of Incompetence”. In other words, people stop being effective, which has been the topic of many leadership studies, examples of which are mentioned below. In my experience, effectiveness or competence is not so much a matter of knowing everything there is to know about the Value Chain but how one organizes the knowledge one already acquired and how to direct that organized knowledge towards the realization of the purpose for which the business was created. This organizing and directing is what I call “The Missing Link in the Value Chain©”. It reduces systemic risk!

On Friday 28th February and 1st March, 2014, in partnership with the Center for Executive Development at UCSD’s Rady school of Management, we make a start at defying the Peter Principle that plagues so many professional careers unnecessarily. Here are the facts:

Booz Hamilton:

Executive Tenure/Succession

  •  The average 10-year tenure for executives has dropped from 8.1 years to 6.3 years.
  •  The lead time for a new CEO to implement his/her agenda is 3-5 years.


Michael E. Porter, Jay W. Lorsch, and Nitin Nohria:

The 7-Surprises of New CEOs

CEOs must assume ultimate responsibility for the success and failure of the entire Value Chain because they can exercise ultimate authority to change it. In other words, they feel the pressure to perform and experience the surprise of their limited organizational influence; when they use their ultimate authority unilaterally, they loose it.


Tom Baker and Sean J. Griffith:

Predicting Corporate Governance Risk: Evidence from the Directors & Officers Liability Insurance Market

The main determinants for assessing risk and quoting a premium are the insured’s personality and the organizational culture they create; which is a reflection of his/her personality.



Capitalizing on Complexity

  • Leaders in for-profit, non-profit and government organizations admit that they are overwhelmed by complexity and events.
  • They Identified Creativity as their most promising solution. Given the fact that the average 10-year tenure is 6.3 years and that the lead time for seeing results from a new agenda is 3-5 years, one has to be rather courageous to pursue a creative agenda when there is little time remaining for correcting any mistakes. Mistakes are very likely when doing something new for the first time.


Creativity, the solution identified in the IBM study, is not just another silo of specialized knowledge, a tool, or best practice. Moreover, there is no “Idiots’ Guide to Creativity”. Creativity is imagination in action, which requires a rigorous understanding of the character and nature of the entire value chain; the relationships between means & ends and cause & effect. Anything less is trial & error, which is a poor defense when being held accountable for under performance.

Leadership education has shown an insatiable appetite for what the late Col. John Boyd USAF would have called “Gold-Plating” the business system. What he meant was adding expensive advanced tools, driven by best practices, aimed at increasing efficiency. However, the unintended consequences are erosion of effectiveness. Moreover, every next round of cost cutting seems to be more expensive while earning a diminishing rate of return. Examples can be found in disappointing performance data, such as top- and bottom line results, customer loyalty, employee engagement, the war-for-talent, executive turn-over rate, burn-out, inauthentic organizational behavior, lack of moral fiber, fraud, and generally unsustainable business practices.

The unwavering pursuit of more and better of the same solutions that have proven their ineffectiveness in the past is symptomatic of ineffective leadership. When extrapolating the cliché exhortation “Doing more with less” you get “Doing everything with nothing”, which is nonsense. After all, when you keep cutting cost, you will soon disable the business’ capacity and capability to realize the purpose for which it was created in the first place. This is known as “Predatory Cultivation”, which I call “The Black Knight Syndrome”, after a scene from Monty Python’s movie “The Holy Grail”.

The only solution to persisting and recurring problems was given to us by Dr. Albert Einstein decades ago, when he said: “The significant problems we have cannot be solved at the same level of thinking with which we created them”. In other words, instead of looking for answers, convincing ourselves of the validity of a proposed doctrine, we need to educate our mind by obtaining intellectual organization, defining terms, and suggesting connections among apparently disparate matters. When a doctrine stands in the way of progress, we need to break the rules -change our level of thinking and evolve.

Professional leaders are capable of quick and sound judgment in spite of incomplete or misleading knowledge and risk of serious consequences in the event of error. To that end, Boyd for Business & Innovation intents to increase participants’ understanding of the dynamics and interrelationships of the various organs of an organism, in order to achieve success in complex environments when coping with new and unforeseen circumstances. Insight and understanding are the traits of a craftsman, who is more versatile in his/her abilities and requires fewer tools. Craftsmanship is a trait of Professionalism.

By addressing the significant problems that individual leaders face personally -being overwhelmed by complexity and events- they become empowered to solve the significant challenges faced by their businesses. When providing them with just one solution, as with a best practice solution telling them what to do and how, they can solve one problem. By teaching them how to think, they can solve challenges that come their way for the rest of their lives.

Are you a forward thinking leader on your way to the corner office who wants to make a difference for your business your country and for yourself? Are you passionate about helping others become successful in their job and thereby creating a legacy that is worth celebrating? Then we cordially invite you to join this unique two day conference. Please register today at: http://Rady.UCSD.edu/Exec/Open/Boyd-Conference


You can address any questions regarding the conference to Hans@AnticipatedOutcome.com

Capitalizing on Complexity

Statistics show that 94% of all results are systemic; i.e. how the system is designed, built, implemented, maintained and managed. 

Studies show that 75% – 96% of all business failures involve human error. Be that as it may, human error is not the cause of failure but the symptom of a failing system.

A Global Chief Executive Officer study revealed a commonly held belief that a rapid escalation of “complexity” is the biggest challenge confronting businesses today, who are inadequately equipped to cope effectively with this present and growing challenge.

Creativity has been identified as the solution of choice to increase system-level innovation and dexterity.

Of all desirable leadership qualities identified in the study, ranging from “Creativity” to “Fairness”, none identified understanding Business Systems!?

Multi-year studies show that:

  • CEO-Tenure has dropped from 8.1 years to 6.3 years.
  • Early CEO dismissal for under-performance is up.
  • Frequency and success rate of shareholder derivative suits aimed at replacing executives is up.

Do you thing that there is correlation or even causality between:

  • Knowledge of business systems?
  • Being challenged by complexity?
  • Shorter tenure at the top?

How do you rank the probability of executives being successful with creativity on a system level when being confounded by the complexity of their own business system?

The Most Important Leadership Quality

Recently, IBM published the results of over 1500 face-to-face interviews with CEOs, General Managers and senior public sector leaders from around the world, in a paper called “Capitalizing on Complexity”.


They found that the most pressing challenges facing CEOs today are:

  • Coping with change
  • Increased complexity


The interviewed leaders identified Creativity as the most important leadership quality for coping with change in an increasingly complex environment.


Unfortunately, there’s no Dummy’s Guide, or Best Practice to becoming creative. Just as much Art schools do not produce artists, Business schools do not produce creative leaders. Art and business Schooling only provide the component parts, each with their own theories and methodologies. The component parts of a business are business functions or processes such as Finance, Branding, Information Technology, Logistics, Marketing, Leadership or Social Media. Each component part has its own tools of the trade.

The magic with which one organizes or arranges component parts into a business system or network is called creativity. Creativity is a form of craftsmanship; knowing which combinations of component parts has structural integrity given a certain environment and which combinations will fail that critical test.




Curricula of business education, the questions business people ask online in a forum such as LinkedIn and advise given in blog posts or other articles suggest that leaders are only interested in collecting the right component parts while trusting that implementation (read organizing and arranging) will magically take care of itself.


Everything, even human beings, is reduced to component parts and classified according to their inherent commodity specifications. The advantage of specs is that you eliminate qualitative data and now only have to deal with quantitative data. Quantitative data can be compared and ranked as if they are fully interchangeable within any industry, any business, any Geo-Political environment, and any Socio-Economic situation, now and in the future; very efficient.


As a result, professional conversations tend to revolve around the following pursuits:

  • Which component part is more important than another?
  • What are the top # of steps/mistakes/secrets/characteristics/etc. of any component part or to achieve any specific desired outcome?
  • Which tool to use for addressing a specific symptom?


My mind conjures up this image of a business-improvement store with numbered isles and shelves filled with component parts and tools. I see leaders shopping for the cheapest, best, fastest, most efficient component parts and tools, filling a cart and pushing it to the check-out counter.



Complexity is the result of relationships and interdependencies among component parts and the tight coupling of scarce resources that actually perform the intended business functions, such as people and computer systems. Every additional resource, component part or function ads to the complexity.


Therefore, the challenge that complexity poses to leaders is the interaction among component parts. How a business performs is thus dependent on relationships and interdependencies among component parts. One can invest in only the very best of component parts but when they fail to interact with each other properly, the business system will perform poorly due to unnecessary friction and conflict.




Creativity is the art of organizing component parts and directing them intelligently towards the realization of a business’ purpose. Creativity is thus concerned with relationships between means & ends and cause & effect, which require the perception of a business as a singular, unique, integrated and open network of component parts. An interesting characteristic of craftsmen is that they truly KNOW their tools; they need fewer of them and realize better results than any apprentice equipped with the latest and greatest could ever wish for. When one asks them about that you’ll find out that they just don’t know any better; for them there’s just one way to do it; the Right way!


In other words, leaders need to appreciate the character and nature of the business system for which they are responsible. How a business system or network behaves is all about the interactions among people, processes and technology; in THAT order. Remember that neither tools nor technology make a business succeed but people do and people use their minds. Creativity, how one organizes and directs component parts and wield one’s tools, is a mind game for which there are no best practices. When it LOOKS good it seems to have integrity.


The first step towards creative leadership is studying the character and nature of a business system so that you’ll know instinctively what it is doing at any time and what action is required in order to meet a set performance. Pilots call that study basic Stick & Rudder skills, which is far more realistic, and far more likely to save lives than any heroic measure. And yet, over 80% of all errors are skill based. We need more true craftsmen at the top of a buiness!


Rising to the Challenge

Dr. Albert Einstein said: “The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking at which we were when we created them”. In other words, performing more of the same functions better, faster, smarter and more efficiently is not going to solve our problems; regardless of our best efforts, perseverance or zero-tolerance policies.


What will solve our problems, and Einstein already gave us the answer, is changing our level of thinking; questioning what we belief is right, true or valid. This quality is otherwise known as creativity and innovation. Whereas biological organizations put innovation and creativity at the “top” of the hierarchy (in the brain), most human-made organizations (such as corporations or nations) become increasingly rigid toward the top; anxiously holding on to the same level of thinking that created their trouble in the first place.


This self-imposed rigidity shows up in all sorts of unintended and unwanted symptoms, ranging from disappointing bottom line results, to a lack of employee engagement, the “War-for-Talent”, high cost of production, low customer-loyalty and fierce price-competition that erodes profitability and ultimately the viability of a business. Second chances provided by a Merger and Acquisition transaction become just a stay of execution when the acquiring business is governed by a similar level of thinking as that of the acquired company.


Significant problems arise from failures to adapt timely and adequately to unexpected and unanticipated events that create new and unforeseen circumstances. These problems cause changes in normal operating conditions that tend to be persistent and recurring when you least expect it or have the leeway to deal with successfully.


The character and nature of changes to normal operating conditions is enterprise-wide; it takes no notice of any departmental boundaries. This cross-over effect is particularly severe in complex organizations, which (computerized) complexly interdependent and tightly coupled processes can cause new symptoms elsewhere within the network.


Therefore, enterprise-wide change initiatives are the responsibility of top management; people who can exercise ultimate authority for conducting change initiatives and who therefore assume ultimately responsible for the success of the business as a whole.

Leaving it up to individual department managers each with their own limited authority and responsibility will only create conflicts of interest and unnecessary friction.


In order to solve enterprise-wide problems, top management must be capable of explaining why a business does as it does and why it does not generate the intended results or, if it generates these unwanted results, then what actions is the business actually performing?

This is important because once you understand the root of an organization’s dysfunctional behavior, you do not need to explore its countless manifestations.


Appreciation for the business system under one’s command and control -insight into the relationships between means & ends and cause & effect- enables leaders to adapt and adjust to new and unforeseen circumstances as they unfold. This ability of leading a business back onto its intended path in the direction of its intended destination is CEO Effectiveness.


CEO Effectiveness is not a tool, best-practice, theory, ideology or dogma. It is the perception of the environment in which we live; the moral compass of our values -that what we believe to be self-evident:

  • Stewardship:                         The moral WILL to do what is right.
  • Craftsmanship:                    The moral SKILL to find out what IS the right thing to do.


Our moral compass is guided by the laws of META-physics, contrary to science which is guided by the laws of physics. The laws of physics will produce the same result under similar conditions, which is evidently not the case for significant problems in business. How we perceive a business system and its environment changes the outcome of our actions, and each significant problem requires its own Authentic Solution.


Changing our perception is a journey that transforms what we believe to be true and valid. Only when we come from a different departure point can we obtain different results. When you want to stop performing the same ineffective activities over-and-over again because they result in the same unintended and unwanted results, you’d better change your mind!


When you find yourself in a leadership position today, you probably have acquired over time enough knowledge about WHAT and HOW to conduct routine operations. However, dealing with change demands that you know the WHY of applying what you know and how to do it; organizing what you know and directing it towards creating Authentic Solutions.


Only when you can account for your decisions, when you can explain succinctly why you acted as you did will you experience Peace-of-Mind; the knowledge that you acted with integrity in accordance with your moral compass.


Which way will you go:  DO more and better of the same or THINK differently about what you believe to be self-evident?  It’s your call!

Creative Imagination

Business is often compared to a competitive sport. So, let’s pick NASCAR or the Indy 500 and figure out what competing teams have in common:

  1. The idea or conviction of one’s own beliefs about what is possible (= vision).
  2. A meeting place for testing one’s ingenuity against that of rivals.
  3. Sporting the best performing vehicle they can bring to the race at any given time.
  4. Employing the best driver to lead the team to victory.
  5. Employing the best support team to produce and deliver success.
  6. Insight into the capacity and capability of their vehicle (and that of others).
  7. Attracting the best financiers who believe in realizing that belief of what is possible.


So without a vehicle, you cannot realize your dream. You can dream about testing your capabilities against rivals all you want, and talk about racing all day long and even registering for a race, but without a vehicle, you’re not even getting to the starting line. The least you need is a jalopy.


It’s needless to say that the outcome of every single race is determined by the capabilities of the vehicles that enter the race, that of their drivers and the interaction between a driver and his/her vehicle. So, how do you measure performance during the race apart from lap time? Well, there’s the instrument panel with multiple gauges that provide you with read outs for speed, engine revolutions, oil pressure, oil temperature, engine temperature and fuel consumption.


Furthermore, the performance of even the best vehicle in the world is limited by the abilities of its driver. In turn, the performance of even the best driver in the world is limited by the capabilities of his/her vehicle and that of its mechanics.


Top performance depends on:

  • The ability of organizing every single aspect of racing into a single competitive force. Organizing requires trade-off decisions among equally desirable properties; choosing more of one at the expense of something else. For example, will you hire a better but more expensive driver or invest in a set of brand new tires? However, “Gold-plating” one single component part of a vehicle is a waste of resources because success depends on how the vehicle performs as an integrated whole. Optimizing a single component part far beyond the over-all standard of the vehicle will only command a marginal rate of return. Furthermore, any trade-off decision to deliberately apply lower standards of craftsmanship or safety for one or more component parts of the vehicle is a form of predatory cultivation, which compromises top-performance of the vehicle as a whole.
  • The ability to intelligently directing that force towards the realization of one’s dream. All employees, including all executives, need to be united in achieving this one vision. In order to take ownership of the idea, everyone needs to agree on the definition of winning and therefore understand what’s expected of them as a team and thus of each and every one individually. Neither micro-management nor zero-tolerance policies are an option when unleashing the full might of one’s force.

Hence, you can only achieve first place, receive the coveted trophy and collect the prize money through compliance with the objective of the sport; complete the fixed number of laps without any safety violations in the least amount of time with an authorized vehicle.


The trophy and prize money represent the accolades and distinction for a job well done. Stealing the prize money and trophy or making a replica of the trophy does not bring you the honor and distinction that is earned by winning the race. However, the winner of the race will always be the winner, with or without trophy and prize money; period!


Being in business is no different and yet management education prescribes different principles. Instead of encouraging leaders to comply with the objective of business, giving buyers more in use-value than you take from them in cash-value, they teach the opposite. They emphasize making money, by teaching best practices that restrict allocation of resources that would increase a business system’s capacity and capability to serve clients, force employees to do more with less and undermine rivals!



Justifying the sports analogy

A)     Every business starts with an idea or a vision of improving the lives of other people and giving the entrepreneur the satisfaction of fathering that idea and bringing it to life.

B)     The success of an idea can only be ascertained in a place where demand and supply meet. In other words, in the absence of an audience to demonstrate the uniqueness of your products or services, you have no chance of being recognized for your abilities. Without recognition for your achievement, you will not be rewarded.

C)     The purpose of any business system is to realize the dream. A business system is thus a vehicle for demonstrating your unique abilities; if you have no vehicle you cannot race and will receive no accolades, no trophy and no prize money. The purpose of a business system is thus to run the race in order to qualify for the opportunity of winning.

D)     Business systems like vehicles are impartial regarding their performance and deployment. That means they function according to how they were designed, built, implemented, maintained and managed. In other words, a business system functions according to its Business Governance. Given the importance of business governance, any system requires a single person to assume ultimate responsibility for the success and failure of the system and therefore be granted the right to exercise ultimate authority for governing the system. That person is the driver of a business system.

E)      No system designs, builds, implements, maintains or manages itself; it requires a support team that can draw upon multiple areas of expertise. These areas of expertise need to be organized and intelligently directed at achieving a unifying vision of service to others.

F)      Business systems would perform better when their governance is guided by measurements of their capacity and capability like in a car instead of financial measurements. Imagine a racing car which dashboard provides read outs for the team’s, Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable, Return on Investment or Price/Earning ratio. What is the benefit of that information to the driver for winning this race or the next? Financials are important but not for improving the capacity and capability of the system under your command & control. Furthermore, no performance can exceed that what the system is physically capable of demonstrating. So, don’t set unrealistic goals!

G)     Investors in a business provide financial support for the realization of a unifying vision of service to others, and they’d better back a vision in which they firmly believe. After all, their Return on Investment is directly linked to the purpose of that business system. If they don’t subscribe to the purpose of a business system, they should not bet their money on its success either. Therefore, it is unrealistic to expect that every trade-off decision would be measured against the realization of any purpose other than creating use-value for others. How many clients do you know that are inspired to do business with you when explaining that the purpose of your business is to give them less in use-value than you take from them in cash-value? Profits are the accolades, trophy or prize money that one receives in recognition by your clients for a job well done!



Independent C-Level Thinking

Leadership is like a golf game where you play against yourself in moving the ball from the tee box to the hole. However, business is a team-sport. So, as a business leader you’d better take heed of what General George S. Patton US Army said: “Never tell people HOW to do things. Tell them WHAT to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity.”


This adage not only applies to subordinates but also to their leaders. After all, ingenuity is the power of creative imagination; a skill set or aptness in organizing knowledge into a force and directing that force intelligently towards the realization of a unifying vision of service to others.


Therefore, leaders who rely on strict adherence to best practices for leading their team to victory are lacking ingenuity and thus authenticity. Col. John R. Boyd, USAF said that: “leadership implies the art of inspiring people to enthusiastically take action toward the achievement of uncommon goals.” Success at the art of inspiring people depends on a leader’s authenticity, which cannot be outsourced! There is no best practice for being Authentic.


Our expertise is describing the principles that govern the cause and effect relationship between a business system’s component parts. Once we have identified the component parts at your disposal and shown you their intricate relationships and interdependencies, you can unleash your unique creative imagination for organizing resources into a competitive force and directing that force intelligently towards the successful realization of a unifying vision.



Your Take-Away Lessons

We learned that even the best leader needs a vehicle, or business system, in order to BE in business. The success of any vehicle depends on it’s leader’s ingenuity to organize the many component parts, such as marketing, sales, leadership and finance, into an integrated force. Most competing forces contain the same component parts that are obtained from the same Original Equipment Manufacturers, and its work force is educated and trained by the same institutions for management education. The difference between forces is in their organization; how the component parts works together as a singular, unique, integrated and open system.

Unfortunately, the current dominant thought of management education teaches leaders how to commit predatory cultivation on the vehicle under their command and control. This happens when the next available step in operational efficiency must be obtained from lowering the standards for quality and safety, which cannot fail to result in poor design, incorrect implementation, deferred maintenance and careless management. Therefore, collapse is a failure to adapt to variations in the business system’s capacity and work-load or its surrounding market-conditions. Collapse is often times self inflicted.


We also learned that the prerequisite for success is defining a unifying vision of service to others and unleashing the force of integrated knowledge towards the realization of that vision.


In conclusion, no matter what you want to achieve in business, you’ll need a vehicle to make it happen. Therefore, cherish your business like a NASCAR vehicle so that you can have peace of mind when pushing it to the limits of its performance envelop.

There’s no Substitute for Knowledge

How many times have you been aboard a jet liner taking you across the country, the Pacific Ocean or to Europe and beyond? Have you ever wondered how those engines generate the power to push you back into your seat and make the aircraft take to the skies?

Dr. Albert Einstein said that everything should be made as simple as possible but not one bit simpler. So, how does that apply to contemplating the design of a jet engine? Well, it does not take an engineering degree to understand the rudimentary principle of the jet engine and thus to feel deep appreciation for the elegance of its design.The following simplification of a rather complex unit also provides a valuable teaching moment for executive decision makers.

Imagine a shaft that has a compressor on one end and a turbine on the other. The compressor compresses the cold outside air into a hot gas and forces it into a combustion chamber located between the compressor and the turbine, where fuel is injected. As a result, the mixture combusts, heat up and therefore expands thus creating thrust that exits the engine through the turbine, pushing the aircraft forward. Notice the magic of the jet engine; hot air leaving the combustion chamber drives the turbine and thereby the compressor, forcing cold air into the combustion chamber. Compressor and turbine are interdependent of each other because they are mounted on the same shaft; one cannot work without the other! However, the system needs an outside force in order to get started.

The effectiveness of decision makers at the controls of business systems or engines of our economy is no different. Here are three examples of business aspects mounted on one and the same drive shaft:

  • Leadership on one end and appreciation for the character and nature of a business system on the other.

Leadership without understanding and valuing of the business system under one’s command and control is merely trial and error. Appreciation for the system will prompt a leadership style that is most effective for the situation at hand.

  • Solving business challenges on one end and solving personal challenges on the other.

The authenticity of any solutions to a business challenge hinges upon the extent at which a decision maker grasps the root cause of the problem him/herself. Confusion about the situation at hand and therefore the cause and effect relationships of various proposed solution alternatives reduces a decision maker’s effectiveness significantly. Decisions that give a decision maker peace-of-mind tend to be better business solutions.

  • Business governance on one end and business processes on the other.

Effective governance originates from understanding the requirements of the processes under one’s command and control. Effectiveness of processes depends on how they are organized and guided or governed.

You may want to ask about that outside force to get the engine started. That force is what I call “Anticipated Outcome” or quality; it is the driving force behind you starting the business in the first place and why you keep getting at it against all odds. I bet making money is not it!

Now that we understand and appreciate that engines and businesses are singular, unique, integrated and open systems, let me end this posting with a heartfelt plea to resist the inexplicable urge of writers in forums such as LinkedIn groups for ranking everything and anything. What is it that they do not understand about the idea of “interconnectedness”? Next time, when confronted with the request to rank interconnected aspects of a business system, please ignore the question because the ensuing discussion will be like a broken pencil: POINTLESS!

Change the System or Fail

Executive tenure depends on your ability to change or adjust


If everything inside your business were running like clockwork, wouldn’t you be on the golf course, out surfing, or sipping margaritas with friends?

The fact that you’re reading this article is because you’re still looking for answers to the significant, persistent and recurring problems that pose a direct challenge to you personally as a leader! Don’t panic, because you’re not the only one; our management education has failed us all.

In the good old days, one could get away with an excuse such as a changing trend in consumer behavior, the longer than expected adoption cycle of a state of the art computer platform, or just the unpredictability of a global economy.

Today, Boards have become less lenient towards CEOs when it comes to under performance. As a result, CEO tenure has dropped and shareholder derivative suits are increasingly successful at replacing a CEO. How effective are you at solving those recurring and persistent problems, let alone when confronted with new or unforeseen circumstances?

Given the fact that about every business has seen their room for maneuver shrink, every executive decision maker has seen its margin for error reduced. In conclusion, executives face more uncertainty, more accountability, and less tolerance for mistakes. Today’s business climate demands higher CEO-Effectiveness than ever before, and that’s what made me believe that you would want to read this article.

Before investing in the next solution aimed at the many significant, persistent and recurring challenges to profitability and sustainability, be reminded that whatever one intents to achieve in business, it can only be realized with and through the business system under one’s command and control. There’s no other way!

Any solution that promises an immediate contribution to the bottom line through more automation, higher efficiency, faster production, real-time information, or any other best practice on topics such as global leadership, strategic planning, branding, or social media, is just an investment in doing more and better of the same. Then, no wonder that the same challenges persist or keep coming back again-and again. There shouldn’t be any surprise!

If you are serious in your desire for a different outcome, then change the system; change the structure with which the organs of your organization are connected; how they relate and interact with each other.

In order to bring about such physical change, you must start embracing the transformation of your own thought patterns by studying patterns that disrupt business as usual. For example:

                    Leading with creativity and innovation instead of following best practices.

                    Increasing CEO Effectiveness instead of obsessing about organizational efficiency.

                    Developing a system’s capacity and capability instead of growing it in size or number.

                    Fostering adaptability to new and unforeseen circumstances instead of pursuing the quest for certainty.

                    Focusing on change management instead of persisting in routine or business as usual.

Instead of trying to keep up with the latest techniques, skills and tricks, why not invest your time and money in learning the principles that govern any business system in good and bad economic times? Would you rather enjoy peace of mind or endure decisional conflict and stress about your personal performance and thus tenure! It’s a choice and it’s yours to make. What will you commit to doing next?


The CEO-Adventure™

A master mind for decision-makers


Clarity of WHY


I believe that for every random cost-cutting measure there is a viable SOLUTION ALTERNATIVE that not only makes a business profitable but also sustainable and respectful of humanity at the same time. Treating humanity as a bargaining chip for higher net-profits incites moral crises*!



Discipline of HOW


The way decision-makers find solution alternatives that improve their circumstances is through opening their hearts and minds to new and unfamiliar sources of knowledge and expertise; in other words, through MORAL INTERACTION with:

  • Others whose trust and confidence they cherish
  • Others outside their own sphere of influence
  • Unfolding disruptive events


Consistency of WHAT


In order for decision-makers to open their hearts and minds, we deliberately CREATE OPPORTUNITIES for moral interaction in the form of Master minds, Presentations, Training, Coaching and Consulting. Participants will acquire the unique skill set of ORGANIZING specialized knowledge into a singular, unique, integrated and open business system and DIRECTING that force intelligently towards the realization of a unifying vision of service to others. This skill set is known as “THE MISSING LINK IN THE VALUE CHAIN™”.



The CEO-Adventure is a top-down grass roots’ movement for forward thinking current and future executives worldwide that feel compelled to address the moral crises of today. If this program resonates with you, then this program describes who you are and we want to hear from you today! Call (858) 344-1137


A departure from the generally accepted cultural codes of conduct or standards of behavior that constrain, as well as sustain and focus, our emotional/intellectual responses.


It’s NOT about the Money!

IF the purpose of business is “Making Money” then basically all you care about is:

  • How to Increase Sales
  • How to Raise Prices
  • How to Lower Cost

IF making money is all that you care about, then why not sell the whole kit and kaboodle and invest the proceeds? Why else would anyone want to put up with employees, unions, Federal and State regulations, landlords, clients, you name it? Could it be that there is a driving force that’s bigger that all that possible aggravation?


There is only one legal business whose purpose is to make money; The US Mint.

Their business system is specifically set up to print and mint legal tender.

In other words, the purpose of their business system is to actually make money. All other businesses have to EARN money.

How to EARN money?

Businesses EARN money in exchange for goods or services.

If you are the sole provider of a good or service in a market then people have no choice but to buy from you or choose to forego the benefits of your goods or services. As a monopolist or oligopolist you can pass on your inefficiencies to your buyers in the form of a higher price. As a buyer, your only choice is to buy or not to buy. Furthermore, you will also have to put up with any lack of effectiveness or stop patronizing that business altogether.

However, most of the time you are not the only supplier; there are others providing similar or substitute products and services to your market place. Now you’ll have to compete for buyers’ favor. After all, buyers determine where they spend their money; not you nor your competitors. Indeed, you’re not battling the competition, but pleasing the buyers.

Because you cannot please every buyer all the time, you need to specialize or niche your value proposition. You will attract those buyers that believe what you believe. Those buyers become your loyal customers who need little incentive to buy from you time and again. Price is not an important issue in their purchasing decision, although they might try a rivaling product or service when enticed by a special promotion. But when that product fails to meet the buyer’s expectation, it will also fail to win over his/her patronage. In poor economic times, having built a loyal customer base is priceless.

Downward Spiral

What is more efficient, building a loyal customer base or having to incentivize every sale you want to make? Offering discounts and rebates drain profit margins, which is especially painful in a poor economic climate. Compensating for this loss of income by cutting benefits from the value proposition makes you even less attractive than before. As a result, you risk loosing loyal customers over selling a lesser product for the same price. So, you lower your price or increase the quantity and both reduce your profit margin. How long can you keep up this downward spiral?

What People Want

You can fool some people some of the time, but you cannot fool all people all the time. People want the biggest bang for their buck. So, obtain your operational efficiency from raising the quality of your production and delivery system rather than eliminating benefits from your value proposition; using inferior ingredients or lowering quantity per delivery.

Raising quality of production and delivery raises product or service quality. Such products and services perform better within the client’s setting and thus increases satisfaction. Satisfied customers are your best advertising and public relations you can buy.

Also, employees take pride in doing their job well; it gives them satisfaction and makes them engaged and loyal employees who have your best interest at heart. Key talents that are dissatisfied will leave your employ and leave you to fight the War for Talent.

Furthermore, higher quality products and services require less rework and incur fewer warranty claims. Every activity that needs to be done outside the standard production and delivery routine is exponentially more expensive.

Realizing a Unifying Vision

Do you remember why you went into business? Didn’t you have a splendid idea based on a vision for the future? You wanted to produce something that you were proud of and to that end you designed, built, implemented, maintained and managed a business system that could realize that vision for you, right? So, what’s the purpose of your business system? You’ve got it, realizing a vision!

Now that you have grown your business to where it is today, you are closer to realizing that vision. In the process you earned money, including a profit margin that paid for that growth. Therefore, your best employees are those that share in your vision; when they believe what you believe then everyone is united in working on the same cause. Have you ever met any one who is excited to get up every morning with the prospect of making money for someone else in return for being treated as a low-price fungible commodity; an expense item? I know I haven’t!


If you want to improve your top- and bottom line results, you’d better improve the quality of your production and service delivery because it will lower your cost, increase your loyal customer base and win the war on talent. Why does Management Education make business so difficult and hard to comprehend? It’s not about the money; money is the reward for a job well done. So, create a quality business system for doing a quality job, delivering quality goods and services that satisfy the needs of all stakeholders and Bob’s your uncle!