Approximately correct strategy

Jason Bates (@JasonBates) tipped me off about the concept of “Approximately correct strategy”, from an interview with by Dick Harrington (former CEO of Thomson Reuters) by HBR columnist Anthony Tjan:

Recently, I had dinner with Dick Harrington, former CEO of Thomson Reuters

We talked about his three most significant lessons learned over his very successful 25+ year career as a Fortune 250 executive.

Dick Harrington (DH): First, you have to have an “approximately correct” strategy — you have to know where you are going, but directionally correct is the key. Two, you have to be highly focused and intensely execute that strategy by motivating and aligning the troops you have. And three, it always comes back to the customers and the fact that you have to manically know your customers and drive everything from that.

TT: Nicely done. So let’s start with the first point. People often worry about architecting a perfect business plan or strategy and then get lost in the minutia. How do you know when you are “approximately correct,” as you say?

DH: You want to be approximately correct instead of precisely incorrect. There is a point at which additional information or research will not change the basics of your strategy. When you get your strategy there, you have to “Nike it” – you just do it. If you continue to refine and refine, you’ll never get into action, and the incremental value of research just won’t be worth the time and money. Schedule time frames and be religious about them to launch, get feedback, and see if the strategy is acceptable to the customer or if you need to adjust.  

From: http://blogs.hbr.org/tjan/2009/08/lessons-learned-from-30-years.html

Do you have a Catfish in your tank?


Photo by slappytheseal . Click for original.

Or are you the Catfish?

“Vince Pierce: They used to tank cod from Alaska all the way to China. They’d keep them in vats in the ship. By the time the codfish reached China, the flesh was mush and tasteless. So this guy came up with the idea that if you put these cod in these big vats, put some catfish in with them and the catfish will keep the cod agile. And there are those people who are catfish in life. And they keep you on your toes. They keep you guessing, they keep you thinking, they keep you fresh. And I thank god for the catfish because we would be droll, boring and dull if we didn’t have somebody nipping at our fin.” – From “Catfish” (2010)

Balkan Interiors

Slowly starting the process of looking for a new home in Belgrade as my wife and I are returning from a year in Denmark.

We are in the market for a decent flat, preferably in the suburbs (eager to avoid the noise, pollution and cockroaches of Dorcol).

As part of my looking, I decided to check out a few agency websites.

The thing that strikes me is that so many of the apartments have the same, dire décor.

Wood panelling seems to be a must. Chnitzy furnishing, puff leather and fake gold fittings are all in abundance.

I was wondering where the lean, clean, minimalist apartments were advertised?

Then I found a genuinely excellent site for flat hunters in Serbia:  http://www.residence.rs

Currently service Belgrade and Valjevo, it is the best site I have come across so far for stylish luxury apartments.

April First Friday Event!!

BGFVC QUIZ NIGHT with presentation of EKO Bags Serbia

Friday, 01 April

Sports Cafe (Makendonska 4)

 

Come along and have a few laughs and give the ‘grey matter’ a bit of a work-out. 

Eko Bags will be presenting their unique and wonderful bags at the event, so please bring your buying heads too and help this great cause out.

Pub quiz night will be a lot of fun and will be hosted by an experienced ‘quiz master’.

  • prizes
  • teams to be between 4-6 members 
  • feel free to register as an individual as we will help you put a ‘super intelligent’ team together or come with your own team
  • special drink prices for BGFVC members
  • please RSVP to

Jules (064) 398 8025 or  juleskovacevic@yahoo.co.uk

Philomena (063) 120 8624 or philomena@belgradefvc.com

How Anonymous hacked a major security firm

Ars Technica has a fascinating inside story of how Anonymous hacked security firm HB Gary, after the security firm vaunted that it was about expose members of the group.

It is a tale of wincing humiliation for HB Gary, security experts who allowed themselves to be utterly humiliated by an attack that not only compromised their website, but led to their entire e-mail archive being published online, many of their core company servers being completely compromised and terabytes of backups deleted.

It is a genuine cautionary tale. Their folly was not merely taunting capable and motivated adversaries, but rather of not following security best practices, which as experts, they know well.

Read on…Anonymous speaks: the inside story of the HBGary hack