October 13, 2017

The Art of Opportunity

“New growth opportunities come from non-customers: those who do not buy your product or services”

The Grid: Marc, in your workshops across the globe, you introduce a new approach to strategy based on your own methodology and framework carefully set out in your book “The Art of Opportunity”. Why do you think we need a new approach?

Dr. Marc Sniukas: Every business is interested in growing its revenues and finding new sources of growth. Many, however, find it increasingly difficult to do so by applying traditional approaches to growth which follow that you just try to sell more to your existing customers, increase profits, or maybe buy new growth through mergers and acquisitions.

The Grid: What do you suggest for businesses that may be stuck between traditional attitudes towards growth and a desire to disrupt the existing mindset that holds them back?

Dr. Marc Sniukas: The framework that we outline offers a new approach to finding and seizing opportunities for growth by answering the classic questions of strategy: “How” and “where” to play and win in a new way? (more…)

“In reality, a psychopath boss is more likely to prey on submissive ‘yes’ people”

The Grid: Top executives often lose sight of themselves and morph into monsters, who, depending on the culture of the organisation, can go unchecked and even rewarded. We recognise that not all psychopathic traits are bad when it comes to business but employees can pay a high price, right? An Australian study came out recently with ways to identify if your boss has psychopathic traits. Here is what they warn us to look for:

  • Egocentric: flamboyant, attention-seeking, manipulative and sometimes downright cunning
  • Lack of Empathy: cold, ruthless and calculating
  • Amoral: insincerity, back covering, superficiality and ultra-competitive

What can we do to prepare ourselves in dealing with a psychopath boss now or in future? (more…)

“The vast majority of these studies are designed from a western-perspective and do not apply equally to our social context as Arabs, Muslims, or to the Middle East or the wider region”

The Grid: In our event ‘Family Firms: Coming out of Denial, Taking Stock and Lessons Learned’, in which you were a guest speaker, there was a lot of interest in the investment trends of families in the Emirates. What do you see as the key areas of interest at present?

Adil Al Zarooni: Education is key for stabilization in any region, with the Middle East being no exception. I naturally start with the United Arab Emirates. It is the most mature market in the region with a lot of institutions providing education services.


“ hierarchical top-down style of management is ‘industrial age’ and being replaced by self-managed teams“

The Grid: In recent times, CEO life cycles are averaging less than four years. How can leaders optimize their shorter tenures in a VUCA (volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity) reality?

Ed Capaldi: The average lifespan of a CEO or an organization, for that matter, has never been shorter and continues to shrink. In these times, leaders who recognize that industrial-age strategizing is dead and develop an agile mindset will optimise performance and will have a greater chance of surviving longer in the role. Disruption across industries requires leaders to be a ‘game shifter’ focused on delighting the customer and able to make people want to do what must be done. In other words, it is about having the ability to deviate from past practices and adapt to change.