If You Want to be a Better Leader Try This.

August 1st, 2020

Stephen Covey tells us in his brilliant book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People that we should seek first to understand and then me understood. That is so critically important to influencing people it hardly bears close examination.

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You need courage to led a business

July 29th, 2020

I read a lot of books and the ones I enjoy most are usually biographical. This one by Bob Iger, CEO of Disney, is amongst the best I have read on leadership not because, during his 14 years as CEO, $184 billion was added to shareholder value but because of the way he led the business – his philosophy of leadership.The book is full of sage advice (in fact he added 45 “lessons to lead by” at the end of the book.

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A case study on how a Principa member worked with the team of a small client to kick off a business development project

May 1st, 2020

For background on the case the client was a  £350,000 light engineering partnership paying annual accounting fees of around £800.  We’ll let the business development manager in the firm take over the story…

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Accurate Problem Identification is Difficult and Failure to do so is Dangerous

March 3rd, 2019

In business the symptoms of problems are not difficult to see but for the most part they are assumed to be the problem. This is also one of the reasons why KPIs can often result in “corrective” action being misdirected.

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What Makes a Good Business Advisor or Consultant

February 1st, 2019

I once read that a consultant is a person who consults, and an advisor is a person who advises. I can’t think of a more stupid way of defining a concept but for my purpose I will consider them to do the same thing which in a business context is to help the management team of the business achieve the full potential of the business by bringing an outside perspective and different skill set to bear.

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A Business is a Machine in Two Parts

January 1st, 2019

I’ve been reading Ray Dalio’s book Principles and thinking about it in the context of creating and developing an adaptive professional services firm. This figure from the book is accompanied by this comment:

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Should You be Considering a Merger, Sale or Acquisition?

July 1st, 2018

Before jumping into a merger or sale, you should stop and think about the consequences and whether it makes sense from the viewpoint of them offering a better quality or a broader range of services to your clients and/or whether it will improve your long-term profitability or survival prospects through internal efficiencies from scale. 

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41 Zig Zigler Quotes to Live Life By

June 1st, 2018
  1. A goal properly set is halfway reached
  2. A goal is a dream with a deadline.
  3. A lot of people quit looking for work as soon as they find a job.
  4. Building a better you is the first step to building a better [my edit] family, business, community, country, and world.
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A dozen questions to ask before starting a business

May 25th, 2018
  1. Who will be your customers?
  2. Why will they want your product/service?
  3. How many of them exist and how will you get to them?
  4. How much will they be willing to pay?
  5. Why will your customers talk positively about your product/service?
  6. What will your product/service cost to create, deliver and support?
  7. How easy will it be to start this business?
  8. How much capital will you need to start?
  9. How will you defend it against competitors?
  10. How easy will it be to scale the business?
  11. How much capital will you need to scale it?
  12. Why do you want to do this?

If you don’t know the answers, or at the very least have a good feel for them then save your time and money and don’t start.

IKEA’s success may have more to do with accident than design

April 5th, 2018

As much as I love talking about strategy and execution and all that cool stuff I have always felt that a “magic potion” simply does not exist and great strategy is usually only recognized in hindsight and has way more to do with how people in a leadership role respond to opportunities that pop up from time to time and challenges that pop up all the time. Read more…