is your strategy disruption proof?

Its the last quarter of the year, everyone’s planning for 2017. But whose strategy is going to hold in the coming turbulent year.

Strategy is often times confused with  planning, but strategy is much simpler, it defines the long term direction of an organisation.Its not just what you intend to do, but must also be clear on what you will not do.

My imagination was captured by this article on the demise of Kodak at HBR, that  is a must read for anyone in business. Kodak’s downfall wasn’t about technology. Their problem wasn’t that they had not identified the shift to digital, they had in fact invested billions in a new range of digital products.

Their problem was in doing the right things. Which can also be said to be a question of strategic drift, that tendency for strategies in an organisation to develop incrementally on the basis of history, but fail to keep pace with a fast changing environment.

More recently also in the news is Ericsson’s decision to lay off nearly 3,000 workers in Sweden, and close to 900 contractors. Ericsson said the layoffs are a necessary part of its transformation to meet “fast technology shifts and the digitalization of the telecom industry.”

Put simply, Ericsson is struggling in an area it once had dominance. The  markets they dominated are  now in the hands of the likes of Huawei and ZTE, very strong Chinese contenders.Read more here.

I can’t help but draw parallels with Kodak’s story.  Nokia, Yahoo.   Do you have a strategy that clearly differentiates  from competitors?  How long will that difference last, in a fast changing operating environment ? Are you wired to see and embrace disruption ?

To quote the HBR article “The right lessons from Kodak are subtle. Companies often see the disruptive forces affecting their industry. They frequently divert sufficient resources to participate in emerging markets. Their failure is usually an inability to truly embrace the new business models the disruptive change opens up.”




innovation is more than you think it is

Africa is the home of innovation.Lately you get the feeling that this is driven by the innovations centered around mobile usage and the growing mobile wallets that transact  multiple times above the GDP of the nations they are hosted in.

I love the Fintech space, because we get to call our sector a space, and generate lots of new buzzwords like Silicon Savannah. Facebook, Airbnb,  Uber, Mpesa, are all sexy businesses with millions of users. More importantly they are billion dollar businesses. They generate endless media excitement, and the executives who run them get to dictate what’s cool, whats hip.

Innovation has come to be associated with technology. But its short-sighted to think that the only innovation in a market revolves around mobile money services.  Yes they are revolutionary, they are game changers, and they are changing the ways in which Africans transact and conduct business.

But there are myriads of  creative expressions happening around us, everyday. Sometimes you need to look outside of your own industry to get into the nuts and bolts of creativity. Spend time asking how do the things you take for granted, work.

Recently i heard about a new brand of chicken on the market. Its driven by a farmer who has about 85 out-growers in small co-operatives and how  they are boosting the farmers production capacity to ensure growth in their margins per chicken. When you sit on your dinner table tonight, imagine this, some farmer somewhere is calculating how to grow their profit per chick from 0.30cts to 0.50cts through the kinds of feeding and care they implement on their farms.

Innovation mostly comes from small organisations looking to change the way in which they serve their customers. Its enabled by a growth mindset, a continual search to do  better than yesterday. Next time you see  news about mobile money providers and their innovative “new” idea skip that. They are most likely implementing whats already been done in another market.

The real innovation is happening everyday in the ways we interact with each other, in small companies  trying to gain a foothold in markets previously unknown. Changing rules daily, shaping opinions at the base of the market, if you listen keenly your next break-through idea could just come from a taxi ride to Domboshava!






soaring on a new high

This is the final post in response to Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 10.

Reflecting on what i have done the past 10 days( okay 13, there was the two day hiatus, plus a Sunday). My favorite part of the challenge was obviously the first three days, because i love new beginnings. I jump into new ideas and projects all in. It helped me to clarify, but also to understand that my dreams are within reach.

The best lesson i have learnt out of this process is the Pomodoro technique of managing my time. As i shared, i jump into new ideas and projects at the drop of a hat, i’m always running multiple ideas at a time. Pomodoro has been really effective for me to chunk my tasks and be effective to finish the most important.

What i take away from this;

1.. The value of getting started- just go out there and start. Fail , get up, but just start

2. We all have a unique perspective on the same idea. I really enjoyed reading the other multiple bloggers on the challenge. Everyone’s perspective is important, but more importantly so is yours, so don’t shy away and draw back, share your ideas, views , thoughts with the world. The world needs your unique voice.




life as a nomad, is it for me ?

Not all who wander are lost. JRR Tolkien.

I have a desire to travel to at least two continents in this lifetime, i cannot die before travelling across Europe and South America. But i must live in Africa, and lately i think anywhere in Africa for me would be a dream.(Cape to Cairo).

This blog is responding to Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 9. What is your location independent life look like ?

Change of location is not something i would want to constantly do in my life, i believe if you want to bloom you have to stay planted somewhere. I’d very much like though to work on my own terms. Digital jobs are more and more making it possible for workers to be located anywhere in the world.  This means we can explore our dream destinations and stay a little longer rather than limit vacations to a week and come back to work.

How about carrying your work with you, and immersing yourself a little in a place


choose your adventure

Today’s blog post is in response to Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 8

In  many ways i am already living my adventure! Living and working in a foreign country, but also one where daily life is  quite difficult.  I read somewhere that rankings rated Zimbabwe as among the worst countries to live in the world, even lower than Syria!

Nothing could be further from the truth than that. Often media shapes the narrative of a nation, and sometimes it can be difficult to change. Whereas life is tough in this economy, families living on less than a dollar a day, its not as bad as living in a war torn country.

My morning walk, was my adventure today, and the trees and flowers lining my path, just made me grateful, that my time here is the most peaceful my life has ever been.

#Living life on a beautiful lane











just get started.. Day 7 challenge

What a no brainer, but also so fundamentally difficult for me. I always find a myriad of reasons to put off the things that matter the most to me.

One of the lessons i have learnt watching my husband start his craft business has been, “stop talking, just get moving.” There’s no point in dreaming, journaling, wishing for the things you desire, if you are not going to take that first step !

Today’s blog post is my response to Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 7. What actions will i take to beat procrastination ?Procrastination drives me up the wall in my life, and more so when i recognize it in others.

Some of the most valued lessons again i am carrying into this, is my experience with MVP scenarios at work. Shipping out the minimal viable product and then iterating  fast to your next product. But it all begins with daring to get started.

My imperfect action on beating procrastination is going to be continuing with the Pomodoro technique! I have loved its effectiveness in the total of 2 days that i have used it.It allows me to work on my most important projects quickly and stay energized  without getting  bogged down by too many ideas at once. Stick to one task, follow it through for 25minutes till complete. Rest, Repeat,.