I am an entrepreneur, business game designer and university lecturer. My formal education includes a master in finance and accounting from University of St. Gallen (HSG) and a certification as coach for collaborative communication.

At the University of Applied Sciences Lucerne I am heading the program 'Digital Customer Experience (DCX)' (https://hslu.ch/dcx) and the course 'Digital Business Strategies & Models'. At the University of Applied Sciences of the Grison, I am co-heading the program 'Leading Sustainable Business' (https://www.fhgr.ch/en/study-programmes/masters-study-programmes/business-and-information-science/sustainable-business-development/).

My own company runs the https://smart-up.work platform. I am co-organizer of the annual Swiss Lean Agile Scrum Conference (https://leanagilescrum.ch/)

My passion is to apply Game Based Design (feel free to invite me to elaborate on what that is :-) for leadership, organizational design, and marketing. Typical contexts are community building, large group interventions & event design, and navigating complexity.

I am also member of the coaching and mentoring pool of the University of St. Gallen.

My Mentoring Topics

  • engaging people (customers, employees)
  • community building & management
  • managing crucial conversations / conflict
  • value co-creation (leadership, marketing, partner ecosystems)
  • game based design, gamification, serious games (leadership, marketing, education)
  • event design (open space, conferences, kick-off)
  • virtual and hybrid events (workshops, conferences, training, education)

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Good Strategy/Bad Strategy - The difference and why it matters
Richard Rumelt

Key Facts or Insights from "Good Strategy/Bad Strategy" Good strategy is not just a goal or vision: It is a coherent mix of policy and action designed to overcome a high-stakes challenge. Bad strategy is often characterized by fluff: It uses high-sounding words and phrases to hide the absence of thought. The kernel of a good strategy: It contains three elements - a diagnosis of the situation, a guiding policy for dealing with the challenge, and a set of coherent actions designed to carry out the policy. The importance of analysis: Good strategy is grounded in deep, nuanced understanding of the situation. Strategy as a hypothesis: A good strategy is a hypothesis that needs to be tested and adapted over time. Good strategy leverages advantage: It identifies and exploits existing advantages, and looks for ways to create new ones. Strategic coordination: Good strategy involves creating coordination among resources and actions. Bad strategy avoids complexity: Instead of facing challenging issues, bad strategy avoids them and often substitutes vague goals for clear objectives. Good strategy is dynamic: It evolves with the changing circumstances and constantly seeks to improve. The role of the leader: A good strategist needs to be a good leader, able to inspire others and to make tough decisions. An In-Depth Analysis of "Good Strategy/Bad Strategy" Richard Rumelt's "Good Strategy/Bad Strategy" is a compelling exploration of what constitutes effective strategy and the pitfalls of poorly conceived strategies. Rumelt opens with an essential premise - a good strategy is not merely a lofty goal or vision, but a practical approach to overcoming a difficult challenge. This is the kernel of good strategy, which comprises three elements: a diagnosis of the situation, a guiding policy to tackle the challenge, and a set of coherent actions to execute the policy. This approach underlines the importance of analysis in strategy formulation. Superficial understanding or oversimplification of the situation can lead to bad strategy. The author stresses that a good strategy is grounded in a deep, nuanced understanding of the challenge at hand. He advocates for a realistic appraisal of the situation, even if it means confronting uncomfortable truths. One of the most insightful aspects of Rumelt's work is his view of strategy as a hypothesis. As in scientific research, a good strategy needs to be tested, validated, and modified in response to feedback and changing circumstances. This perspective underscores the dynamic nature of good strategy and the need for ongoing learning and adaptation. Another key insight from Rumelt's work is the role of advantage in good strategy. He argues that a good strategy identifies and exploits existing advantages and looks for ways to create new ones. This can be a unique resource, a favorable position, or a coherent set of actions that differentiate an organization from its competitors. Rumelt also discusses the importance of strategic coordination, which involves creating harmony among resources and actions. This can mean coordinating different parts of an organization, aligning resources with objectives, or integrating various actions to create a powerful cumulative effect. On the other hand, bad strategy is characterized by fluff, a tendency to use high-sounding words and phrases to hide the absence of thought. Bad strategy also often avoids complexity and substitutes vague goals for clear objectives. This avoidance of hard choices and the failure to clearly define and confront challenges is a hallmark of bad strategy. Lastly, Rumelt emphasises the role of the leader in strategy formulation. A good strategist needs to be a good leader, able to inspire others with a vision, make tough decisions, and guide the organization through the complexities and uncertainties of its strategic journey. In conclusion, "Good Strategy/Bad Strategy" provides a clear, practical roadmap for strategy formulation and execution. It emphasises the importance of deep understanding, strategic coordination, continuous learning and adaptation, and strong leadership in crafting good strategy. At the same time, it warns against the dangers of fluff, avoidance of complexity, and lack of clear objectives in bad strategy. The insights and lessons from this book are invaluable for anyone involved in strategic decision-making.

Mark McKergow, Helen Bailey

Key Facts or Insights from "Host" The book introduces the idea of the 'host' as a leadership model which is a shift from the traditional 'hero' leadership model. The 'host' model of leadership emphasizes on relationships, engagement, and collaboration. It encourages leaders to create an inviting environment where employees feel welcome and are able to contribute effectively. The book provides six roles for the host leader: Initiator, Inviter, Space Creator, Gatekeeper, Connector, and Co-Participator. Host leaders are expected to master the art of standing back and stepping forward as required. The 'host' leadership model is adaptable and flexible, it can be applied in various organizational environments. It emphasizes the importance of dialogue, listening, and understanding in leadership. The book provides practical strategies and tools for becoming a host leader. 'Host' highlights the importance of fostering a sense of belonging among team members. It provides several real-life examples of successful host leadership in action. Host leadership paves the way for shared responsibility and collective success. Understanding the Concept of 'Host' Leadership "Host" by Mark McKergow and Helen Bailey presents a new model of leadership that significantly deviates from the traditional 'hero' leadership model which often portrays the leader as the all-knowing, all-powerful individual. Instead, it introduces the concept of a 'host' leader - one who fosters relationships, engagement, and collaboration, and creates an environment that is inviting and conducive to effective contribution from all team members. The 'host' leadership model is essentially about taking up the position of a host, much like one would do in a social gathering. This involves creating a space where everyone feels welcomed and valued, and where everyone's contribution matters. The authors argue that this approach to leadership is more suited to today's complex, interconnected and rapidly changing world. The authors have identified six roles that a host leader needs to perform effectively: the Initiator, the Inviter, the Space Creator, the Gatekeeper, the Connector, and the Co-Participator. Each role comes with its own set of responsibilities and requires a certain set of skills. For instance, as an Initiator, a leader sets the direction and gets things moving. As a Gatekeeper, they protect the space and ensure that it remains conducive for productive work. Mastering the Art of Stepping In and Stepping Out One of the key insights from the book is the idea of mastering the art of stepping in and stepping out. This involves knowing when to take charge and when to let others take the lead. It is about striking the right balance between being involved and giving others space to contribute and grow. This is a crucial skill for a host leader and is what sets them apart from traditional 'hero' leaders. Host Leadership in Practice Throughout the book, the authors provide several real-life examples of successful host leadership in action, thereby giving readers a practical understanding of the concept. These examples illustrate how the 'host' leadership model can be applied in various organizational contexts, irrespective of the size or nature of the organization. Fostering a Sense of Belonging Another key aspect of host leadership, as highlighted in the book, is fostering a sense of belonging among team members. When employees feel that they belong, they are more likely to be engaged, motivated, and productive. This is where the role of a host leader as a Connector becomes important - connecting people, ideas, and resources to create a cohesive and effective team. Shared Responsibility and Collective Success The 'host' leadership model paves the way for shared responsibility and collective success. By involving everyone in the process and valuing everyone's contribution, host leaders ensure that success is not just the result of one person's efforts, but a collective achievement. In conclusion, "Host" provides a comprehensive guide to understanding and implementing the 'host' leadership model. It offers practical strategies and tools for becoming a host leader, making it a valuable resource for anyone in a leadership role or aspiring to be a leader. The book's emphasis on dialogue, listening, and understanding aligns well with current leadership theories that stress the importance of emotional intelligence and transformational leadership. I would highly recommend this book to anyone interested in exploring alternative leadership models that are more suited to today's complex and rapidly changing world.