A longer testing period on the concept of boutique shops within stores in limited locations would have made more sense rather than a massive overhaul of all stores. Surely the urgency was there to bring a new perspective and a new business model to J.C. Penney after a languishing stock stock price and eroding market share. But urgency does not mean you act in a way that disorients your target customer.
So what are you to learn from the implosion at J.C. Penney?
The lesson for investors is very clear. One not only needs to examine corporate strategy but how that strategy will be implemented. The right implementation is absolutely key in making sure that a strategy is effective and profitable.
(Read More: Cramer: Ullman 'Right Choice' for JCP, but 'I Worry')
Be your own management consultant and audit the strategy of the any firm you are considering investing in.
Always remember that leadership is a collection of people making judgments; that's what you're buying. People make good decisions and sometime bad ones; assess carefully the judgement of the leaders making decisions. They will be spending your money towards the adopted strategy; make sure they are spending it wisely.
Michael Yoshikami, Ph.D., CFP, is CEO, Founder and Chairman of the DWM Investment Committee at Destination Wealth Management. Michael is a CNBC Contributor and appears regularly on the network. DWM is a San Francisco Bay Area-based independent money management firm that provides fee-based wealth management services to institutions and individuals around the world. Michael was named by Barron's as one of the Top 100 Independent Financial Advisors for 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012.