The Six Business Trajectories

October 5th, 2021

In business, as in life, there are three phases known variously as start-up, growth, and maturity/decline. The challenges that arise in each phase are different and call for different leadership and management responses.

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Why people aged 20–40 should be close to first in line for a COVID-19 vaccination

September 5th, 2021

I recently read in The Economist that the official death toll from the Covid-19 pandemic is in the order of 4.5 million people. The estimated unofficial number is 15-18 million and counting! This global challenge is not going away anytime soon.

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Hamburgers, Wormburgers, Credibility, and Communication

August 25th, 2021

In mid-1978 a rumour started in the American south initially aimed at Wendy’s, and later at McDonalds, that their meat patties contained earthworm fillers.

This was totally false but when picked up by a so-called reputable press, many people believe what they read especially if it is simple to understand and could be credible – that is, it sounds like it could be correct. Apparently, the story appeared in a local paper (source unknown) and was then picked up by a local current affairs TV station.

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Why Aren’t More Firms Jumping into Advisory Services?

July 1st, 2021

It would be an understatement to say there’s a lot of talk about the need for accountants to get into the advisory space. Like the folk tale of chicken little, the prophets of doom are screaming from the bell-tower that the end is neigh for the traditional firm and yet there does not seems to be much movement.

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Your reticence to jump into new new service lines may be due to your innate survival instinct

June 1st, 2021

We’re told by neuroscientists that our brain weighs about 2.5% of our bodyweight but consumes close to 20% of our energy. Over our evolutionary history it has developed two different cognitive capacities to help us survive long enough to procreate. This dual-system thinking capability has enabled us to source food, find shelter, and defend ourselves against bigger, faster, and stronger predators as well as nature’s other dangers like earthquakes, fires, volcanic eruptions, floods, droughts, and each other! They have achieved that by giving us communication and social skills that have made collaboration, cooperation, and organization possible. Psychologist and Nobel Laureate, Daniel Kahneman describes these thinking systems as System 1 and System 2.

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Transitioning from complicated to complex is a challenge for accountants moving into advisory

May 1st, 2021

One of the things that is interesting me at the moment and which I’m including in my book is reflected in a fabulous book by General Stanley McChrystal called Team of Teams: New Rules of Engagement For a Complex World which deals with organisational design and management in a complex (as opposed to complicated) world.

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Why Strategy is Important and the Depreciating Intellectual Capital of Leaders

April 1st, 2021

Steve Ballmer, the ex-CEO of Microsoft, is one of the wealthiest people in the world. While doing some research on Microsoft’s strategic positioning over time I came across the following questions: how much is Ballmer worth? Answer: $81.252 Billion. And how did he make his money? Answer: he owns 333 million shares in Microsoft.

That’s the wrong answer!

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On Motivation

March 1st, 2021

A frequently asked question by people in management positions is “how do you motivate employees?”

The first thing to understand is that the word “motivation” is a compilation of two words: motive + action = [a person’s] motive for action. When defined in this way it could be said that the “action” piece may be positive, neutral, or negative. The second point is that the direction of action will be driven by the interaction of two more factors: the aspirations and attitude of the person and the environment in which s/he is working.

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They say the tool used to measure an object does not change the object: But maybe it does.

February 22nd, 2021

They say the tool used to measure an object does not change the object. In some situations and for some types of measurement devices that’s not true. Here are 2 examples.

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Nature May Hold the Key to Business Success

February 1st, 2021

There was a time when I was young, opinionated and stupid that I thought people who invested their time, energy, intellect, and taxpayers’ money studying ants, termites, fungi, and fossils were nuts. I’m now starting to understand that we can learn a lot from animals and organisms that have occupied our planet very successfully with practically no change in their basic nature for hundreds of millions of years. Here’s why.

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