Articles Tagged Business Daily

Aug 15, 2008
Teams: Why 2+2 is not always 4

“In the late 1920s, a German psychologist named Max Ringelmann compared the results of individual and group performance on a rope-pulling task. He expected that the group’s effort would be equal to the sum of the efforts of individuals within the group. For instance, three people puling together should exert three times as much pull […]

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Aug 08, 2008
What every leader must know about communication

“…Mr (Gordon) Brown’s most damaging flaw: he is a lousy communicator. A failing in any leader, for Mr Brown this weakness has proved catastrophic…Sadly (for him and for Labour), Mr Brown has a bad habit even more damaging than saying impossible things: saying nothing at all, often at excruciating length…Beyond the universal if dispiriting fact […]

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Aug 01, 2008
The power shifts revealed by the new Fortune Global 500

The 2007 Fortune Global 500: 1. Wal-Mart Stores 2. Exxon Mobil 3. Royal Dutch Shell 4. BP 5. Toyota Motor 6. Chevron 7. ING Group 8. Total 9. General Motors 10. ConocoPhillips Fortune (July 21, 2008) What’s new in Fortune‘s Global 500 List? Well, 6 of the top 10 corporations by revenue are oil companies, […]

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Jul 25, 2008
The Ambani brothers are still snatching each other’s toys

“A bitter rivalry between two Indian billionaire brothers has scuttled negotiations to combine two of the developing world’s largest mobile-phone carriers. South Africa’s MTN Group Ltd. and India’s Reliance Communications Ltd. called off talks Friday over a potential multibillion-dollar deal that would have created a wireless giant. Behind the collapse of the talks is the […]

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Jul 18, 2008
If you want to achieve nothing – hold a mega-conference!

“So the summit ended as such summits always do. The delegates agreed on the importance of the problem, the urgent requirement to spend more money: they emphasised the need for co-ordinated action, and resolved to meet again in future to reach the same conclusions. If you have no substantive analysis or common principles beyond acquiescence […]

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Jul 11, 2008
Multi-tasking can kill you, kill your career

“…In a 2005 Australian study published in the British Medical Journal, researchers interviewed, during a 27-month period, 456 hospitalized cell phone users who had each been involved in a crash. The scientists combed the drivers’ call records to see how cell phone use affected their driving. Whether they talked hands-free or with a phone clasped […]

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Jul 04, 2008
Managers should develop a “Let’s Go See” attitude

“Throughout your career people will approach you with all manner of real-life problems resulting from your work. A wonderfully effective response is to invite them to have a look with you – in other words, “Let’s Go See!” It is seldom adequate to remain at one’s desk and speculate about causes and solutions and hope […]

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Jun 27, 2008
Gentlemen, burn your ties – and free your spirit!

“According to a recent Gallup Poll, the number of men who wear ties every day to work dropped to a record low of 6%, down from 10% in 2002. U.S. Sales have plummeted to $677.7 million in the 12 months ending March 31, from their peak of $1.3 billion in 1995, according to market researcher […]

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Jun 20, 2008
Business has many casualties – but many do last the race

“Of the 500 companies that appeared on the first (Fortune 500) list, in 1955, only 71 have a place on the list today. Nearly 2,000 companies have appeared on the list since its inception, and most are long gone from it. Dozens of companies on this year’s list did not even exist in 1955. Some […]

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Jun 13, 2008
Want to think better? Use your legs!

1. You learn 20% faster immediately after exercise than after sitting still. 2. If our ancestors sat still in the savanna for eight hours straight…they became somebody’s lunch. Our brains developed while we walked about 12 miles a day, seven days a week, for several million years. 3. The brain’s executive functions – higher-order capacities […]

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Jun 06, 2008
Why financiers periodically set fire to the economy

“Twenty-five years ago, when most economists were extolling the virtues of financial deregulation and innovation, a maverick named Hyman P. Minsky maintained a more negative view of Wall Street; in fact he noted that bankers, traders, and other financiers periodically played the role of arsonists, setting the entire economy ablaze. Wall Street encouraged businesses and […]

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May 30, 2008
Lessons from Heathrow’s Terminal 5 meltdown

“The gleaming 3.4bn pound new terminal at Heathrow Airport was opened to the public…and immediately went into meltdown when its baggage system failed. Over the course of five days, more than 250 flights were cancelled, and 20,000 pieces of luggage were separated from their owners. The chaos was a serious embarrassment for BAA, the Spanish-owned […]

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May 23, 2008
Never sit on the mountain of conventional wisdom

“Never trust the vast mountain of conventional wisdom. It contains great nuggets of wisdom, it is true. But they lie alongside rivers of fool’s gold. Conventional wisdom daunts initiative and offers far too many convenient reasons for inaction, especially for those who have a great deal to lose. Fortunately for you, you do not have […]

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May 16, 2008
When will Kenya produce an African market leader?

“In 2005, the Chinese computer company Lenovo bought I.B.M.’s P.C. division, and the Mexican cement company Cemex acquired the British cement giant RMC. Last year, India’s Mittal Steel paid thirty-three billion for the Belgian company Arcelor, and Tata’s steel company bought the British-Dutch steel producer Corus for more than eleven billion.” James Surowiecki (The New […]

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May 09, 2008
Is coffee a great business to be in?

“For coffee farmers in Meru Central, every waking moment is a constant reminder of the good old days when the berries were synonymous with wealth. In the late 1970s…during the so-called “coffee boom”, many millionaires were made as the region, which lies at the foot of Mt Kenya, benefited from coffee sales. Coffee was to […]

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May 02, 2008
Are you one of the New Nomads?

“…research shows that in America (knowledge workers) spend less than a third of their working time in traditional corporate offices, about a third in their home offices and the remaining third working from “third places” such as cafes, public libraries or parks. And it is not just the young and digitally savvy.” The Economist (April […]

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Apr 25, 2008
Does experience matter in leadership? Not much!

“Most of us accept the common-sense notion that experience is a valuable, even necessary, component for effective leadership. Voters, for instance, tend to believe that the jobs of U.S. senator or state governor prepare individuals to be effective U.S. presidents. Similarly, organizations buy into this notion when they carefully screen outside candidates for senior management […]

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Apr 18, 2008
Lessons in talent management – from Singapore’s Lee

“It had taken me some time to see the obvious, that talent is a country’s most precious asset. For a small, resource-poor country like Singapore, with 2 million people at independence in 1965, it is the defining factor. …To get enough talent to fill the jobs our growing economy needed, I set out to attract […]

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Apr 11, 2008
Are you thinking enough about how you communicate?

“A sticky idea is one that people understand when they hear it, that they remember later on, and that changes something about the way they think or act. That is a high standard. Think back to the last presentation you saw. How much do you remember? How did it the change the way you make […]

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Apr 04, 2008
What does it take to get on the ‘most admired’ list?

THE WORLD’S TOP 10 MOST ADMIRED COMPANIES: 1. Apple 2. General Electric 3. Toyota Motor 4. Berkshire Hathaway 5. Proctor & Gamble 6. FedEx 7. Johnson & Johnson 8. Target 9. BMW 10.Microsoft Fortune (March 24 2008) Fortune magazine and Hay Group give us the World’s Most Admired Companies list every year. Only companies with […]

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Mar 28, 2008
Danger always lurks in the procurement function

“A potato buyer at the supermarket group Sainsbury’s has been arrested on suspicion of accepting bribes of up to 3 million pounds from a supplier. John Maylam, a senior buyer at the supermarket chain who has been with the company for more than 10 years, was arrested last week after police raided residential and business […]

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Mar 22, 2008
The Edge – A New Order for Kenya

The Edge (Issue 2) is out – and it focuses on the re-invention of Kenya. I am the Consultant Editor, and in conjunction with Business Daily and Strathmore Business School, collected a wide range of contributions from thinkers in Kenya and beyond. Writers have offered their (often radical) prescriptions for land reform, slum rehabilitation, political […]

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Mar 14, 2008
How your strategy can blind your company

“Strategies are to organisations what blinders are to horses: they keep them going in a straight line, but impede the use of peripheral vision. By focusing effort and directing the attention of each part within the integrated whole, the organisation runs the risk being unable to change its strategy when it has to. Setting oneself […]

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Mar 07, 2008
5 ways to improve yourself as a board director

5 New Year resolutions for board directors: 1. I will ask the third and fourth question that finally pierces the veneer of management’s often obtuse, protective response. 2. I will recognise – and accept – the importance of non-financial factors in forming shareholder judgments and see to it that soft values (vs. hard assets) are […]

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Feb 29, 2008
When the CEO loses touch with customers, trouble follows

“Although many companies like to use scientific research methods like surveys and focus groups to try to understand consumer needs, the best CEOs don’t rely on clinical data alone. They know that if they become removed from the action, they may miss important changes and opportunities in the marketplace. Many of them make special efforts […]

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Feb 22, 2008
Be afraid of your customers – not your competitors

“Yes, you should wake up every morning terrified with your sheets drenched in sweat, but not because you’re afraid of our competitors. Be afraid of our customers, because those are the folks who have the money. Our competitors are never going to send us money.” Jeff Bezos, CEO, (Interviewed in Harvard Business Review, October […]

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Feb 15, 2008
The roots of our anger lie within us, not outside.

“Anger is rooted in our lack of understanding of ourselves and of the causes, deep-seated as well as immediate, that brought about this unpleasant state of affairs. Anger is also rooted in desire, pride, agitation, and suspicion. The primary roots of our anger are in ourselves. Our environment and other people are only secondary. It […]

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Feb 08, 2008
Singing an anthem does not a nation make

“Our (society) is thrown open to the world, and we never expel a foreigner or prevent him from seeing or learning anything…we rely not upon management or trickery, but upon our own hearts and hands. We are called a democracy; for the administration is in the hands of the many and not the few. No […]

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