In public and private sector organisations across the world over the years, I have worked with some exceptional managers, and seen some terrible corporate mistakes. The experience of over 30 years in business has left me convinced that ultimately it's the quality of individuals in an organisation that counts, not least their ability to inspire, support and organise those around them. The pages in this section offer a personal view of some perennial themes and tasks in business management.
How we think about business
Keep it simple
There is no shortage of advice on how to arrive at a strategy for your business. Academics, journalists and CEO's fill airport bookshelves with their musings. Insights are offered from Shakespeare and Winnie the Pooh. Lessons are taken from warfare, biology or baseball. And if the books don't grab you, the Conferences will.
I want to tell you a story
There are five dimensions along which an acquisition or a merger can create value for the firm driving the deal. Unfortunately, they also tend to be the levers through which value is most often destroyed. Addressed properly, these are powerful areas in which to focus the analysis that will make the deal decision a good one.
A necessary evil or a positive good?
For most managers, it's all plan, and very little business, disconnected from, even a drain on, day to day performance. In fact a true Business Planning Process should not just monitor performance, but actively drive it.
Do any of the following characterise your organisation's business planning process?
I once saw a tin for staff tips on the counter in a coffee store somewhere in New Mexico. The handwritten label read "Some people hate change - we love it"
Is implementing and living with change really just a question of attitude? Some cultures - perhaps the European ones - do seem to focus more on simply "getting through" a change period, surviving with the minimum collateral damage.