Understanding the challenge is the challenge

Challenges in business and life typically manifest in the form of a symptom of a deeper cause. For example how often do you see someone say “businesses fail because of cash flow issues.” When this is identified as the problem it’s logical to see the solution simply in terms of injecting more cash.

Continue reading “Understanding the challenge is the challenge”

10 Keys to empathetic listening that will help you sell more

We are born with two ears, two eyes, and one mouth. Very early on we combine these endowments in creative ways to get a message across that helps us survive and in the early days, our most useful tool for getting what we wanted was our mouth. It turns out that for many (perhaps most) people their mouth continues to be the most used device. I find this interesting because compared with your ears and your eyes, your mouth has the least sophisticated connection with the brain and for some people it seems there’s no connection at all.

Continue reading “10 Keys to empathetic listening that will help you sell more”

Mindset, Success, and Serendipity

Success in business – and to make it simple I’ll define that as achieving a significant improvement in profitability and business value – often comes bundled with a big serving of luck. Of course, you may say luck is where preparation and opportunity intersect, and one definition I particularly like is luck is putting yourself in the way of serendipity. But at the end of the day luck takes many different forms, for example a roulette win is pure luck because it’s a game of chance. On the other hand if you win at poker it’s due in large measure to your skill relative to that of your opponent(s). There is also luck in the game of business but it’s more complex and is the result of preparation, opportunity, and serendipity.

Continue reading “Mindset, Success, and Serendipity”

How to build relationship capital as a foundation for building your firm

Ed Mendlowitz, a frequent contributor to the US CPA Trendlines Newsletter, recently wrote a short piece on the 8 ways to charm a client and noted, correctly in my view, that our performance gets assessed largely on the small things. I totally agree with his sentiment but have modified his suggestions somewhat to reflect what I think charms clients.

Continue reading “How to build relationship capital as a foundation for building your firm”

This is how my journey into advisory started

In 1972 I was employed as a research officer in the wool marketing section of the Bureau of Agricultural Economics in Canberra.  A Kiwi colleague of mine suggested that we start a retail store that sold sheepskins and related products. We were joined by a third friend and we each contributed $300 and it turned out to be very successful with revenues of close to $1million in its first year.

Continue reading “This is how my journey into advisory started”

Visually Thinking about Strategic Intent

Formulating a business strategy is essentially about making choices that will give you confidence that you’ll achieve a challenging goal which, if you’re intent on being the “best” in your class, that might be achieving an industry-leading ROIC from having created a sustainable competitive advantage. Of course, nothing is sustainable forever which is what makes formulating strategy a “forever” job of management.

Continue reading “Visually Thinking about Strategic Intent”

How an accountant created great value but failed to capitalize on it

This is a sad story. It’s about an accountant who met with a young lady and gave her advice that would lead to the creation of a world class business but he missed the boat. Watch the video to see what happened and to think about what you might have done differently.

Continue reading “How an accountant created great value but failed to capitalize on it”

Total Shareholder Returns – The Metric That Counts

It’s comforting to see that GamePlan and its predecessor has always provided the ability to assess and plan for Economic Profit in addition to other net profit metrics such as net profit before and after tax etc. because

Continue reading “Total Shareholder Returns – The Metric That Counts”