Archive | Blog

WHAT I DIDN’T LEARN IN BUSINESS SCHOOL

WHAT I DIDN’T LEARN IN BUSINESS SCHOOL

The gap

Jay Barney and Trish Gorman Clifford tackle the gap between business school theory and real world practice in What I Didn’t Learn in Business School – (How Strategy Works in the Real World). While the nuts and bolts of determining what customers a company will serve, which markets they will compete in, and how they will create value, are highly complex, traditional strategy tools taught in business school take little account of human interaction and political minefields. The authors approach the issue in a novel manner – literally.

Naive

This is a business novel, revolving around the hero Justin Campell, a recent MBA graduate engaged in helping a specialty chemicals firm define and execute a strategy for exploiting …

Continue Reading · 0
EXECUTION: THE DISCIPLINE OF GETTING THINGS DONE

EXECUTION: THE DISCIPLINE OF GETTING THINGS DONE

Dialogue is essential for execution (keep reading, the best bit is at the end of the blog)

Breaking long-term output into short-term targets

Your boss has asked you to drive from Chicago to Okaloosa, Iowa, a journey of 317 miles. He’s prepared a budget for you with clear metrics. You can spend no more than $16 on gas, you must arrive in 5 hours and 37 minutes, and you can’t drive over 60 miles per hour. But no one has a map with a route to Oskaloosa, and you don’t know whether you’ll run into a snowstorm on the way. Ludicrous, ask the authors? No more so than the way many companies translate their strategic plans into operations. The strategy …

Continue Reading · 0
WHAT YOU SEE IS WHAT YOU GET

WHAT YOU SEE IS WHAT YOU GET

Alan Sugar

Sugar was a household name in the UK for decades before The Apprentice. First as the upstart 36-year-old boss of Amstrad who became a millionaire overnight when he floated Amstrad in 1983. Next as the chairman of Tottenham Hotspur Football Club for a fiery 10-year period. His autobiography, aptly titled What you see is what you get, makes no attempt to portray himself in a positive light. He makes no attempt to tone down his strident views on the competence of some of the individuals he has worked with. He makes no allowances for people who have screwed him or sued him. He tells it as it is – and it makes for an addictive and refreshing read.…

Continue Reading · 0
Why work sucks and how to fix it

Why work sucks and how to fix it

Are you treated like children?

You go to work and give everything you have – and you are treated like children who, if left unattended, will steal candy. You go to work and watch someone who isn’t very good at their job get promoted because they got in earlier and stayed later than anyone else. You go to work and sit through overlong, over-staffed meetings to talk about the next overlong, over-staffed meeting. You see talented, competent, productive people get penalised for having kids, for not being good at office politics, for being a little different.

Ditch the mindset

If any of this resonates with you, then you are by definition an employee – and the organisation you work for …

Continue Reading · 0
Loose, maverick, funky and disruptive

Loose, maverick, funky and disruptive

The New Capitalist Manifesto: Building a disruptively better business, by Umair Haque

Disruptive

The clue to the message of this book is disruptive. Together with words like loose, maverick and funky, disruptive describes the need for new paradigms for a new world. In The New Capitalist Manifesto: Building a disruptively better business, Umair Haque says that our economic institutions are obsolete. We inherited them from the industrial age, and they no longer work for business, people, society, or the future.

Constructive capitalism

What we need is constructive capitalists who create higher quality value because it is less risky, less costly, more defensible, and more enduring, it is usually worth more to stakeholders of every kind: people, communities, society, future generations, …

Continue Reading · 0
How to break the rules of business

How to break the rules of business

Loose: The Future of Business is Letting Go: How to Break the Rules of Business by Martin Thomas

Organisational delusion

Most organisations delude themselves that they are in control because they have surrounded themselves with rigid rules and procedures, micro-managers and planners dedicated to predictability and certainty. Most business schools inculcate a rational approach to business.

Loose

But according to Martin Thomas in Loose: The Future of Business is Letting Go: How to Break the Rules of Business, in the complex, non-linear world we live in, the challenge is how to embrace the chaos and ambiguity of modern life.

Avoid structure

The future is not rigid but loose – loose organisations, loose management styles and loose ways of working. Loose …

Continue Reading · 0
sticky

Sticky marketing; USP or ESP?

The traditional funnel model of marketing is broken

In today’s experienced-based economy, we need to engage with our customers by adding value to what they do. We need to think in the language of the problems we solve for our customers, and not the benefits and features of what we sell. We need to add value each time we are in contact with them, not just overtly selling to them.

Engage

By engaging with people before they need to buy, we will be the first address they seek when they are ready to buy. To truly engage with our customers, our priority must be value creation. If we want to win the battle for customer attention, we need to stop …

Continue Reading · 0
bookbuzz-twitter-logo

Cary Cooper would love Bookbuzz

Cary Cooper, a CMI companion and professor of organisational psychology and health at Lancaster Management School, on the benefit of management books.

When was the last time you read a good book?

I was recently asked to be a judge on the Chartered Management Institute Management Book of the Year competition. Reviewing the various entries and discussing the worth of books to managers, I began to reflect on the value of management books in the digital age. Do managers even need them? Can they make a difference to how we manage? Does the web provide all the information and tools needed in this frenetic world?

Mintzberg

From nearly 150 books reviewed in the competition, the winner was Henry Mintzberg’s Managing …

Continue Reading · 0
Innovation; digital immigrants should play poker with their business

Innovation; digital immigrants should play poker with their business

When did you hear the word “digital” for the first time? If you can remember, you are not a digital native, but a digital immigrant.  And that might have serious consequences for your business! I have just finished reading two books on the impact of the digital revolution on our lives and our businesses. “Future Minds” and “The new normal.”

If you can remember, you are not a digital native, but a digital immigrant.  And that might have serious consequences for your business! I have just finished reading two books on the impact of the digital revolution on our lives and our businesses. “Future Minds” and “The new normal.” I always assumed that digital is good for kids.  A recent …

Continue Reading · 0
Social media is not crap, some of the books about it are

Social media is not crap, some of the books about it are

As one of the founders of Smallbusinesscan, I try to stay ahead or at least on top of the thinking on social media. Understanding the speed at which things change is important, and I make a point of reading up as much as I can.

Over the last week, I read two books on the subject; “Socialnomics” and “The Mesh.” Also reviewed them for Newstalk on the business breakfast show. I got carried away and used the word “crap” (twice) and advised not to read them. I might have been wrong.

I think I did the subject of social media and its impact on business a disservice. Rather on focussing on how bad the two books are (If you have …

Continue Reading · 0