Succeeding in a VUCA World – New Approaches to Strategy and Change

Developing strategy and delivering change continue to be a challenge for many organisations. As a result, many leaders are shifting their focus from strategy to agility. The logic is that if their organisations were agile they would be more responsive to change and strategy would not be needed. While there is some merit to this argument, being agile is not …

The Importance of Strategic Leadership in Times of Uncertainty

Without question we are living in a period of great uncertainty. It’s often said, but is no less true, that the context within which organisations operate today is changing at an unprecedented rate. For many leaders this is a challenging time, particularly for those whose careers have progressed during years of relative stability. The one thing we do know is …

Context Is Everything When It Comes To Strategy

Strategy is one of those words that is often overused and frequently misused. What do we really mean by strategy and what is its real purpose? In our book Beyond Default my co-author and I argue that the real purpose of strategy, particularly corporate strategy, is to change the trajectory of an organisation, from one leading it to its ‘default …

Core ideas behind the Beyond Default approach to developing strategy and delivering change

Beyond Default offers a different and innovative approach to developing strategy and delivering change. The approach is based upon a set of core ideas that collectively present a point of view on this important topic. These 20 core ideas are: The context within which an organisation operates is often more powerful than the strategies and resources that its leaders deploy …

Insight into how effective organisations are at developing strategy and delivering change

During a recent webinar participants were asked to give their assessment on how effective they thought their organisations were at developing strategy and delivering change. They were asked six questions to which they responded in a live poll. The results were both interesting and concerning. Interesting as they concurred with the answers I’d got many times before when asking similar …

Should Strategies be Implemented or Operationalised, and what’s the Difference?

While there are many approaches to executing strategy they are all based upon two fundamentally different philosophies. One is where an organisation is ‘pushed’ to its target future. The other is where it is ‘pulled’. Which approach an organisation applies can determine how successful it is in turning strategic intent into operational reality. The ‘push’ approach is usually called implementation. …

Confronting your Organisation’s Default Future


Ambition Magazine, April 2018 edition, pages 1, 4, 32-35. Have you ever wondered why some organisations – whether large corporations, family businesses or not-for-profit enterprises – are more successful than others? Why is it that once-great companies like Compaq, WorldCom, Eastern Airlines, Woolworth Group, Blockbuster and Marconi no longer exist? Why is it that companies like Xerox, Blackberry, Kodak, RBS, …

Beyond Default Gets Five-star Book Review

Review by Gisela Dixon for Readers’ Favorite “Beyond Default: Setting Your Organization on a Trajectory to an Improved Future by David Trafford and Peter Boggis is a non-fiction business book on strategic management. Beyond Default is written for companies and organizations of any size, large or small, to enable them to assess their current strategy, and then develop and execute …

What’s Your Default Strategy

Dialogue Review, 14 September 2017 Every organisation has a ‘strategy’ – whether it’s intended, or not. All organisations need a strategy; indeed all organisations have a strategy – though they may not realise it. It may not be explicitly defined or clearly articulated, but the daily decisions and actions of an organisation’s leaders reflect that strategy. The only question is …

Why is Transformational Change so Difficult?

Marketing and Networking University, 25 October 2017 All the available evidence indicates that organisations are not good at delivering transformational change. Whether the transformation involves merging with another company, replatforming core IT systems or changing culture to become more customer-centric, the success rate – in terms of achieving the targets set at the outset – is often said to be …