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Chris McCall

As Chairman of the Board, Chris manages The Spur Group’s strategic planning practice and has over 25 years of experience across business strategy, operations and channel management. He was part of Deloitte’s Mergers & Acquisitions service line, where he helped to develop the methodology that has been used on hundreds of integrations world-wide. He was also part of Microsoft’s Global Partner and Corporate Strategic Planning teams where he led Go-To-Market strategy for Microsoft’s largest alliance. Chris has a BA in Economics and Accounting from Claremont McKenna College and an MBA in Finance and Strategic Management from the Wharton School.

Articles by Chris McCall

I care about what’s done, not what you’re doing

Traditional project management only gets you so far Traditional, PMI certified project management relies heavily on managing to task lists. First, you’d organize your activities, then establish a timeline, and finally align contributors to each activity.
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A Tested Perspective On Successful Business Planning (Part 1)

This post is the first of a three-part series on strategic planning. Whether attending or coordinating, annual strategy events can be burdensome. I cover what to consider before you walk into a board room below, and in later posts, I’ll highlight how to keep your discussions grounded in reality and the critical decision points that can lead to an effective roadmap.
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Product Growth Mapping: Driving the Channel Strategy

In an age where new products are hitting the marketplace at an unprecedented rate, companies are tasked with the challenge of developing strategies on how to best invest in the channel and get the right partners selling the right products at the right time. Having a robust understanding of where each of your products is in the growth cycle takes the guess work out of where you should invest with ...
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10 Powerful Leadership Lessons Learned From Coaching Kids

I now have over 30 years of experience in the business world and have experienced many distinct types of leaders and team situations. Along the way, I coached my kids’ soccer, lacrosse and baseball teams. Most of the teams were competitive in their league. Some teams won every game, while others lost every game, so I’ve seen it all. Certain teams only existed for a year or two, while others I ...
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Fueling innovation from acquisitions

Innovation is tough. It takes a long time. It is expensive. There are no guarantees. Others may have better ideas. When your business is faced with this reality, what can you do?
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Checklist: Don't start your project without these 6 things

The first step in project management is understanding if your project is actually a project, or just an idea. The project may seem interesting, and your executives may want it, but that doesn’t mean you dive in head first. If you start a project without the proper structure, it usually results in chaos. We’ve created an easy set of key components to self-diagnose whether you have a project worth ...
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I don't care what you're doing: Managing projects at scale

Percentages are at best a guess, and are almost always lies. Let’s say your boss asks you about the progress of your project. You respond that the project is 70% complete. But what does that percentage actually mean? Percentages don’t reflect the accuracy of completion toward desired outcomes, and executives want a concrete response that will leave them feeling reassured about their projects’ ...
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Understanding project management as a service

You just got handed a huge ask from your leadership. Your budget is large but your task list is larger. It’s hard to envision a way to get your hands around the project.
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How to enable effective debates around real choices

“Growth is never by mere chance; it is the result of forces working together.” James Cash Penney, founder of JC Penney, said this insightful bit long ago – but it’s still true today. Everyone knows that growth is essential for any business to be successful, but what many forget is the forces that must work together to achieve that success.
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A tested perspective on successful business planning (part 3)

This is the final post of our three-part series discussing strategic planning.
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