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Elite Business: Optimising business decisions: The power of focused strategy

Elite Business: Optimising business decisions: The power of focused strategy

In this article, originally featured in Elite Business: Maximise your time and attention with a framework that simplifies the complexity and noise of day-to day- business

Recently, I had the privilege of addressing a substantial audience of around 680 individuals, comprising government officials, corporate executives, private business owners, and numerous employees. The topic I presented, which resonated with many, revolved around an idea first introduced in 1956 by George Miller: the magical number seven. Miller proposed that our short-term memory can handle seven items, give or take two. Some can manage five, while others can juggle nine.

This concept made me ponder the complexities faced by business owners today. With the growing uncertainties in technology, employment, supply chains, and politics, decision-making has become increasingly challenging. The key to navigating these complexities lies in avoiding cognitive overload—an impediment caused by an excess of information that hinders clear decision-making.

The M.O.S.T. Framework for Effective Business Strategy

The essence of my talk focused on maximizing time and attention through the M.O.S.T.E framework, which stands for Mindset, Objective, Strategy, Tactics and of course, Execution. Here’s a breakdown:


A winning mindset is crucial. This goes beyond merely having a growth mindset; it’s about maintaining a vision that transcends the current moment. Such a mindset equips you to tackle present challenges with an eye on future success.


The power of one objective cannot be overstated. Studies indicate that having more than one primary objective can reduce your intellectual capacity by 38%. In business, this objective should focus on increasing your asset value. This singular focus ensures clarity and enhances productivity.


Your strategy should be singular and concentrated on building your business into a valuable asset. A successful strategy encompasses three main attributes:

  • Income Generation: Ensure your business consistently generates revenue.
  • Capital Value Improvement: Continuously work on increasing the value of your business.
  • Tradability: Develop your business to be an asset that can be sold or traded independently of your direct involvement.


Developing effective tactics is the next step. Here are five essential tactics to consider:

  • Positioning: Stand out from competitors by focusing on whom you serve and how you serve them uniquely.
  • System of Delivery: Develop systems that are teachable and trainable, allowing your team to manage operations efficiently.
  • Purposeful Team: Assemble a team capable of running these systems, freeing you to focus on growth.
  • Growth: Constant growth is vital. It attracts the right team members, customers, and maintains supplier enthusiasm.
  • Value: Always concentrate on transforming your business into an asset, ensuring it’s not merely a complex job but a thriving enterprise.


This is where all great efforts live or die. Too often we find ourselves stuck in the daily, weekly, monthly operational grind needed to sustain our businesses. Adopting an approach to get you our of the engine room and onto the bridge of your ship by way of an analogy, places you in a position to lead execution.

By adhering to these principles, you can simplify decision-making processes, enhance business efficiency, and ultimately build a more robust, valuable enterprise. I hope these insights prove beneficial. Until next week, cut out the noise of competing narratives around our politics, inflation, Brexit, national service, climate change and so on, to focus on what you can control and build.

Elite Business: Converting the talent you hire into company value

Elite Business: Converting the talent you hire into company value

In this article, originally featured in Elite Business: In a skills crisis, how can we find, train and retain talent, ensuring their contribution builds the business, not just their careers

To build your business into an Asset of Value that will generate income today and capital tomorrow, you need to build a team. Unless you have a purposeful team on board, you are up the creek without a paddle. Or rather, paddle you will, 24/7/365, which means you have a job. 

In 2023, British businesses advertised upwards of 1.4m jobs. Put differently, businesses needed to fill almost 1.5m job vacancies to sustain and grow their companies. Without people, you cannot grow and sometimes sustain what you have worked so hard to build. Yet our country barely released 400,000 people into our working economy. We have a skills and labour crisis, and it’s driving several outcomes that are likely to stay, including inflation, upward delegation, slow/stuck/regressive growth and disillusionment. Plucky politicians, including our current PM, dodge the issue, for which all sensible resolutions would be politically fraught and risk an uproar from vested Brexit interest, tax legislators, anti-globalists, and nationalists. The current rhetoric is that A.I. will plug the gaps. It’s a useful position where everyone slings the acronym around as a catch-all to sound smart, activate investment interest, and even win over new friends and contacts. It’s of no value right now when you are trying to build a team to take on the daily, weekly, and monthly operational activities that anchor you in the daily operational grind of sustaining your business, never mind growing it. You need people and talent to get going and growing.

This invites a conundrum. How do we source, win, and onboard talent where business owners and employers must gain equally from the relationship? 

Talent invites several risks, including competition to afford their hefty salaries, attitude and arrogance once talent is onboarded after the hard sell of winning their favour, and vulnerability when talent delivers value and holds you ransom. Of course, the risk of expensive talent failing to deliver is also ever-present and all too common.

If your intent remains building an Asset of Value, ensuring that you translate talent’s value into company value is vital. The greatest, unmeasured cost I’ve seen across business is the cost of winning talent and receiving value from it when the talent vacates takes the value with it. It is a horrible failure in leadership, too, and a mistake that should only ever be made once. Watch the session below to appreciate the true cost a business owner faces after 20 months of investing in unmeasured and unmanaged talent.

There are several approaches to guarding against this cost.

Should building an Asset of Value be your objective? Once you are clear on your company’s purpose, bring it to life by first creating a system of delivery. This requires you to translate your desired customer experience into sequential, measurable activities that can be taught, delegated and remunerated, including how you market, sell, deliver, service and administer customers. Once done, the value lies in your company. Alternatively, hiring talent to create this consistent client experience means that the value of that experience lies with your talent unless you can ‘decode’ your talent into a system that can be shared, used and taught to other team members. Grinding out the former option takes longer but is more sustainable and valuable. It’s also more affordable and ensures your time and attention invested in getting it right remains your company’s IP.

Perhaps winning the war for talent is less about the scarcity of able, capable employees and more about adopting a different approach to how you lead, build, and capitalise your company. Wear both hats: that of an operator who can build solutions to win customers and hold them through a consistent, dependable customer experience and that of an investor who ensures that all your investments in human talent translate into value that vests in your company.