Naked Strategy

Naked Strategy is a bi-monthly x-ray for business leaders. Presented by Laurence Haughton and Max McKeown, the show shines the spotlight on the strategic issues that lurk behind the business news headlines. If you think that it is irreverent and perverse - that's great! Naked Strategy's mission is to illuminate, to connect the dots that link what we read and are told with what is really going on at work and in the world. Laurence Haughton is a writer, speaker, and a management consultant specializing in strategic execution. He is the author of "It’s Not What You Say... It’s What You Do – How Following Through at Every Level Can Make or Break Your Company" and co-authored "It's Not the Big That Eat the Small...It's the Fast That Eat the Slow", the bestselling book on making speed a competitive advantage in business. Max McKeown is Europe's unorthodox answer to Tom Peters. He works as a strategic adviser for four of the five most admired companies in the world and is a well-known speaker on subjects including innovation, engagement, human potential, customer experience, marketing, team building, and competitive advantage. Max has written six books, including "E-Customer, an insight into evolving customer behavior", "Why They Don't Buy", an end to end guide to building profitable customer relationships across multiple channels, and "Unshrink, featuring the myths that stop our people doing their best work and a set of new principles to engage their interest and ability.

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Naked Strategy 5: Flying too close to the sun

Updated a long time ago.

Sometimes it seems that innovators and value-adders just can't win. They're dammed if they do and dammed if they don't. Fly too close to the sun and your wings melt. Fly too far away and you achieve nothing.

As Max and Laurence discuss in the latest Naked Strategy, what entrepreneurs and risk-takers need to know is how close is too close, how far is far enough. They need to know where the line is and – if they're very lucky – develop some sort of sense as to when they're in danger of crossing it.

Yet instead of celebrating those who try but fail to achieve everything they set out to achieve, society's army of second-guessers and armchair quarterbacks like nothing more than to criticise those who have tried to achieve something but failed.

And then there are the politicians who spout the mantra of accountability when what they're really looking for is someone to blame.

All of which makes up enough criticism and derision to make you wish you never tried to fly at all.

So let's remember that there is a huge difference between someone who tries but fails to make something better and someone who is just doing a lousy job.

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