Tom, as is his usual habit, continued to work on his article for the Financial Times after he posted it here last week. So, we'd like to present the new intro along with a link to a PDF of the final product, complete with four appendices. Here, then:
REALLY First Things Before First Things
I was initially trained as an engineer. (And have an MBA as well.) That essentially means that I am a slave to linear, logical analysis. Hence my presentations start at the start and I carefully build a logical structure for all that follows.
Fair enough. Except I frequently find that critical things I want to say are buried or not gotten around to. Hence, about a year ago I shrugged off my logical halter and decided to say what I thought was important, come what may, at the top of my remarks.
Hence what follows ...
Consideration of business strategy, approaches to product development, and the like are of the utmost importance to enterprise success. Yet there are other factors—perhaps mundane at first glance—that are the true differentiators between mediocrity and excellence. I'll touch upon four, which I call "REALLY First Things Before First Things." Most will agree that each one is important. But my goal is to induce you to convert them into strategic obsessions—if you do, I sincerely believe the world will be your oyster, or at least your enterprise will function quite a bit more effectively.