About Bridges, Q3 and this website.
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This website constitutes the Bridges Strategic Growth E-Textbook. It provides a broad conceptual background with a variety of tools and techniques for strategy. These are elaborated upon at "Services" and "Papers." They are the source from which customized strategies are distilled for our clients and implemented step-by-step.
Q3 provides the framework for Bridges Strategy Coaching, further discussed below. Bridges clients, primarily CEOs or entrepreneurs, meet three conditions for an executive coaching Query:
1) I have a distinct, immediate and on-going business problem or opportunity. The time frame ranges from immediate (5 to 15 days), short (five weeks to five months) to medium (six months to a year). The desired results are long term.
2) I am not particularly interested in conceptual advice as a stand-alone. I need to see how a solution or strategy will work step-by-step to deliver results.
3) An executive coach should be the catalyst to our firm taking action easily, quickly and decisively.
To summarize, I want straight shooting, auf gut deutsch, unverblümt, with fast and proven results so that premium pricing upon delivery is warranted.
STOP! This website provides none of the above! Bridges strategy coaching, not the website, provides the service, with the most powerful guarantee in the industry (cf. results based fees below).
Intense C-Suite Executives with No Time
Proceed to the next section "Why Bridges." For a brief overview of the firm´s approach for those who prefer slides, click on BrPPT. Bridges PPT. They give a summary (six slides) of the firm and its USP. Alternatively, take the two steps below.
a) Click on USP - 1, unusual selling proposition, to find out about our results based fees and client selection, one page.
b) Go to "Mission" on the horizontal bar and read the first part of it, less than one page, at which point you will see a second message for you, signposted red.
N.B. This website works well with Firefox 4.0 and not at all with Explorer 1.0. (On Safari some formatting gets lost.) If the website is misbehaving with one browser, try another, such as Chrome 11.
If You Are an Entrepreneur
Add one more step:
c) Click on VI. Start-up Strategy and review the subpages on corporate intrapreneurship or entrepreneurship, as applicable to you. If you have a web-based venture, be sure to read the subpage "4. Internet Startups: The Berkeley Stanford Genome Reports."
Diligent Executives with Some Time
For a complete table of contents, click on "site map," the second of the tiny symbols at the very top-right of the web page. (The other symbols are for "homepage," "print," and "RSS feeds.") Website Key Points are given below after the Q3 summary. An extensive treatment of Q3, its Methodology, Strategic Ice, Ice Qoogols and their allegorical voyage begins at I. Strategy Audit & Website Audit and at IV. The Strategy Journey and continues in the subpages.
Our coaching reflects our Mission to help clients grow profitably, as explained on that subpage. The way we work is based on forming a:
- Quorum, of
- the CEO/entrepreneur
- and the leadership team
- Qoogols,* posing
- innumerable questions
- using eclectic tools and techniques
- Quartenary, integrating four strategy schools
- positional and entrepreneurial
- cultural and power
* Qoogol is a word derived by taking a Q for questions and replacing the first g of googol (das Googol) with it to refer to asking many questions. (A googol is 10100) It is also the name of our coaching mascot, Qoogol the Elephant. He provides an occasional respite from the strategic challenges.
The three basic strategic Questions of Q3 are:
1) Formation - what to do where
2) Tactics - who does it, how, with which resources
3) Execution - making it happen, getting it done
About this Website
Visitors to websites often stumble around them because there is no plan to lead them through the website or any call to action. Confusing can be even a small website, such as this one (2 MB - 150 website subpages with 465 pages of content versus the 5000 MB, million plus pages of some large sites). Hence a "Website Key Points" is provided below, including suggested Perusal Steps and with a final note about Information Overload.
We try to provide useful content on the website, including links to Amazon for books we recommend. Feel free to use a link to purchase one of them. The modest commission is your "donation" to website maintenance!
Website Key Points
The Bridges USP
Unusual Seling Proposition
What sets us apart from our competitors is our emphasis on measurable results, on the basis of which we bill, and our accepting only one client per industry.
-- Results based fees --
The majority of our fees, frequently as much as 80%, is contingent on success. This approach makes for the most powerful guarantee in the industry. Fees may entail a percentage of revenues earned or of savings realized. They may be paid directly or satisfied with equity, stock appreciation rights, or a seat on the board, preferably when board members are remunerated with stock. Billing is typically on an engagement basis, although an hourly fee (e.g. on a 40/60 contingency basis) may also be arranged. Who defines the success metrics? The client.
-- One client per industry --
Trust is imperative for coaching, earned over a period of time and synallagmatic.* Now would you want to deliberate strategic decisions with a firm that would turn around to work for your fiercest competitor? Of course not. Therefore Bridges will not accept an engagement from a second company in the same industry unless its former (or existing) first client gives explicit permission.
At Bridges there is a second dimension to USP, Unusual Selling Proposition. It consists of an initial Strategy Questionnaire, an Uncomplicated Screening Process. Because of our results based billing and one client commitment, we are selective about engagements. Among the clients most likely to be a good fit for Bridges are EBOs for multinationals and internationally oriented start-ups. The drive is not merely to seize, but to create opportunities. The CEO or director is willing to change the rules -- or the playing field --of the game; switch to --or invent -- a new game.
* Synallagmatic: imposing reciprocal obligations and characterized by mutual rights and duties (and implicit to quanxi, the basis for negotiating and running enterprises in China).
The Q-Strategy Co-Audit
This is a ninety minute one-on-one meeting at the Bridges offices - or a telephone (also conference) call. You ask, and are asked, questions related to your company's strategy. It is explained at the main Services page. It can conducted in English or German: Die Unterredung über die strategische Unternehmungs-führung bzw. die (internationale) Vertriebstaktik kann entweder in der englischen oder der deutschen Sprache geführt werden.
Mission, Vision and Ethic
These are concisely treated on the subpage of that name. We intend their being taken seriously.
If we do not think we can help you, we will tell you so, and try to refer you to someone who can. The common denominator to these referrals is a passion to deliver value, driven by creativity and high energy.
Strategy metaphors range from the ant and the grasshopper (Aesop, Greece, ca. 600 BC) to the cash cow and the dog (Bruce Henderson, BCG, 1970) and the hedgehog and the fox (Jim Collins, Good to Great, 2001). To hold your interest, to make the -- sometimes demanding -- content more memorable, and to have some fun with the writing, this website contains quite a metaphorical menagerie.
Elephants slip and slide across an icy bridge. Underneath it are a leaping goldfish and the circling fins of, what, friendly dolphins or menacing sharks? Eventually the bridge is crossed by, bit by bit, by a veritable Noah´s Ark ensemble. Besides elephants, travelers include a lion, cow, dog and owl. They are accompanied by an insect contingent, on the one hand, of up-beat brightly colored ants, bees, butterflies, cicadas and dragonflies; on the other hand, of dark colored, gloomy, cockroaches, flies and spiders.
1) Read about our USP, click on to Why Bridges and also read our concise Mission, Vision and Ethic subpage.
2) Scan FAQs, Services and Papers, pausing to read whatever interests you such as “How to Select a Coach” (at FAQs).
3) Examine Who We Are and glance over the Wins and Losses at Testimony.
Now proceed to two action steps:
1) Fill in the contact information on the Strategy Questionnaire, or call for an appointment!
2) Reflect on who else could be interested in Bridges -- and direct them to the website.
The website is being updated, especially the sections Services and Papers. The author, artist, cartoonist or photographer is identified whenever known. Please advise, respectively, Bridges or Gayan Web Design of any errors of commission or omission.1 Bridges does not use copy protected pdf files. Within reason2 feel free to use content from this website. We only ask you properly to cite Bridges and, as applicable, the original copyright holder, and also not to change the material. "Reason" is defined in footnote 2 below.
A note to busy people, CEOs, C-level officers, senior partners, and entrepreneurs, indeed to anyone who finds this "textbook website" a trifle long and somewhat difficult to navigate:
Walking into the million-volume library of a world-class research university, the freshman´s eyes roll back in his head. He staggers, stumbles, and crumples to the floor. The paramedics are called and he is rushed to the hospital. "Information overload" comment the grizzled graduate students. "Some of the victims never do come out of the coma."
Graduates of such elite universities are able to walk into a bookstore and stare at an offering of three or four hundred business titles without even getting dizzy. A few can even search for books and information without ill effects on Amazon. com (1,748,230 titles), Wikipedia (10,000,000 + articles in ten languages, a third of them in English), or even on www.abebooks.com (140 million books) -- as of 2010, with all three sites growing steadily.
Professors advise that the open sesame to such research is to delimit the search parameters to manageable proportions. Bridges advises: "Be selective!" Wilhelm Wundt (1832-1920), for example, wrote up his research in psychology in a style charitably described as leaden. Yet his work is important. To review it thoroughly, you need to go through the 53,735 pages he published in his lifetime. That is the equivalent of one hundred 530-page textbooks. Of course one would not attempt to do that in one sitting. Similarly, one would not attempt to go through the 1000+ page websites of a major management consultancy such as Bain, BCG or McKinsey, in one sitting.
In comparison with such efforts, the Bridges website is modest. It admittedly exhibits "a perilous penchant for a prolix plethora of paginal subordination with a proclivity towards sesquipedalian logodaedaly." * Nonetheless, the website is intended as a resource. It seeks to provide useful, and also entertaining, content according to the guideline of "First, provide value."
* In normal English the sentence is: "We admit that the Bridges website shows a dangerous inclination for too many wordy subpages. These show a tendency to coin long new words arbitrarily."
Francois Duc de La Rochefoucauld (1613 -1680, not to be confused with his contemporary of the same name, a Catholic Cardinal, also French) once remarked that the wish to appear clever often hindered one from becoming so. This aphorism is worthy of note whenever there is an agenda of self-promotion (true of just about any website). Successful Germans, such as CEO´s, tend to view askance self-promotion and self-aggrandizement. Therefore we repeat to them our awareness that the Cardinal's remark certainly applies to Bridges. „Der Wunsch, klug zu erscheinen, verhindert oft, es zu werden.“
We welcome suggestions on how to improve content and make the site easier to navigate, more "user friendly." Please comment at Feedforward under Contact. (The term was coined by Marshall Goldsmith, cf. Eminent Referrals.)
2 Within reason usage: You are not allowed to sell the material, no matter how you repackage it! Do not make any changes without the express written permission of Bridges. That means you should be sure to include any (third party) copyrights the material incorporates. The indication of sources should be clearly visible.
Note that the images are licensed and should not be downloaded other than for personal use. The License Agreements prohibit other usage, including republication and reproduction. A number of the license agreements are GFD-GNU ones. Unfortunately these have restrictive print conditions. You are supposed to include a "hard copy" of the 3700 word (ca. 7 pages) licensing agreement with the image you print! For details, please see Permissions at Contact.
* © Elephant mascot, dreamstime; Elephant & birds, Allan Baxter, photodisc, Getty Images; Gyan Web Design 2010