Articles Tagged Business Daily

Feb 01, 2008
It’s decision time. Let’s play big

“…one quality that leaders I admire have in common is knowing when to act decisively…Effective leadership inevitably means taking decisions – and often pretty tough ones at that. Good leaders have to have the drive and ambition to lead from the front. They don’t accept the necessity of always doing things the same way simply […]

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Jan 25, 2008
Want to do more? Do it one thing at a time

“Many executives view multitasking as a necessity in the face of all the demands they juggle, but it actually undermines productivity. Distractions are costly: A temporary shift in attention from one task to another – stopping to answer an e-mail or take a phone call, for instance – increases the amount of time necessary to […]

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Jan 18, 2008
Our leaders must get to grips with basic crisis management

“Companies increasingly accept that crises, in whatever form, are inevitable. While there is a variety of theories and opinions on how best to manage a crisis, some fundamentals are common. First, accurate information is essential. Any attempt to conceal relevant facts and to manipulate the situation ultimately backfires. Second, the company must react as quickly […]

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Jan 11, 2008
A real leader exists for the good of his people. Period

“If we must have leaders, let us seek ethical leaders; those who seek the greatest good of their followers. The followers must on the other hand undertake to suffer the consequences of seeking, together with their leaders, the ultimate good, the greatest good. …How sad, then, that we are surrounded by such weak leaders; people […]

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Jan 04, 2008
Corporate space is about more than just economics

“Each and every day, we unwittingly cage (and enrage) ourselves with old-fashioned thinking rooted in a bygone Industrial Era. Behind the modern corporate veil lurks old fashioned “hierarchical planning”: those Dilbertian cubicles where we partition ourselves from one another and where space is reduced to its leanest and meanest economic essentials. With time, any sentient […]

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Dec 21, 2007
The great CEO is actually a teacher

“Think back for a moment to your school days. Remember the best teacher you ever had, the one who seemed to know everything about his or her field and had something all the other teachers lacked: the ability to boil down the complex ideas of a discipline – whether it was psychology, economics or chemistry […]

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Dec 14, 2007
Sun Tzu’s 5 fatal leadership flaws

“There are five character flaws that are dangerous for a general. If he is reckless, his men can be killed. If he is cowardly, his army can be captured. If he is short-tempered, he will react in anger. If he is self-important, he can be deceived. If he is attached to his men, he will […]

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Dec 07, 2007
Lesson in capitalism from ‘The Godfather’

Scene from The Godfather: To set the scene, Michael Corleone (played by Al Pacino), the don’s war-hero son who was not ordained to enter the family business, nonetheless finds himself tapped to avenge the attempted assassination of his father (played by Marlon Brando). His mission is to shoot Sollozzo, who engineered the gunning down of […]

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Nov 30, 2007
Thinking deeply about strategy

“Where is (success) coming from? It’s coming from having, within a company, difficult-to-replicate and usually intangible resources. Things that can generate and sustain competitive success – things like reputation, a good customer group, network externalities, experienced and competent people performing your processes. …we know that companies get good at something by doing it. Now that […]

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Nov 23, 2007
From bricklayers to architects – lessons in development

“The rule of the market economy,” this Communist official explained to me, “is that if somewhere has the richest human resources and the cheapest labor, of course the enterprises and the businesses will naturally go there.” In manufacturing, he pointed out, “Chinese people were first the employees and working for the foreign manufacturers, and after […]

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Nov 16, 2007
Singapore continues to boom

“The strong global economic tide has lifted the boats of most South-East Asian countries, but perhaps the most impressive performer is Singapore. Its national income per head is already higher than Spain’s and New Zealand’s, and five times that of its nearest neighbour, Malaysia…since the 1997 Asian Crisis, it has fared markedly better than its […]

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Nov 09, 2007
Leisure-loving CEOs come under scrutiny

“During 10 critical days of (one of the worst crises) in (Bear Stearns’) 84-year history, Bear’s chief executive wasn’t near his Wall Street office. James Cayne was playing in a bridge tournament in Nashville, Tenn., without a cellphone or an email device. …In summer weeks, he typically left the office on Thursday afternoon and spent […]

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Nov 03, 2007
Running 21st-century organisations with 20th-century structures

“…Almost all of today’s companies, from the mediocre to the superlative, were built primarily to mobilise labour and capital, not the intangible assets that generate profit per employee. Trying to run a 21st-century company with organisational models designed for the 20th limits how well it can perform and creates massive, unnecessary, and unproductive complexity, which […]

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Oct 26, 2007
Give your CEO five years – then it’s judgement day

“Worldwide, boards of large corporations are dismissing four times more CEOs today then in 1995, a trend that raises an important question: Are boards undermining the chief executive’s ability to lead for the long term? …Booz Allen Hamilton’s decade-long study of CEO turnover at the 2,500 largest companies in the world points to a different […]

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Oct 19, 2007
How educated do executives need to be?

“…Educated people do not rely exclusively, or indeed even primarily, on the instruction they receive, but seek to satisfy their insatiable intellectual curiosity by their own means of self-improvement. Yet, in the business-class section of long flights to geographically and culturally remote places, typically the business passenger will be seen watching silly videos that require […]

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Oct 12, 2007
Does IT give any real advantage?

“Every year, companies spend more than $2 trillion on computer and communications equipment and services. Underlying these enormous expenditures is one of modern business’s most deeply held assumptions: that information is increasingly critical to competitive advantage and strategic success. …I will argue that IT’s strategic importance is not growing, as many have claimed or assumed, […]

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Oct 05, 2007
The amazing magic of the market

“In a single day, on July 16, 2005, the American and British economies delivered nine million copies of the sixth volume of the Harry Potter children’s book series to eager fans. Book retailers continually restocked the shelves as customers snatched up the book. Amazon and Barnes & Noble shipped preordered copies directly to customers’ homes. […]

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Sep 28, 2007
Big firms should not pick fights with the small fry

“In a meeting convened to explore opportunities, I asked my client’s managers how they intended to grow faster. The sales & marketing manager confidently replied they would destroy smaller competitors. My client, the leader in their industry, held a dominant share of the market. Small regional companies had been nibbling away at their heels for […]

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Sep 21, 2007
Building a great company takes patience

“Consider…the evolution of Wal-Mart. Most people think that Sam Walton just exploded onto the scene with his visionary idea for rural discount retailing, hitting breakthrough almost as a start-up company. But nothing could be further from the truth. Sam Walton began in 1945 with a single dime store. He didn’t open his second store until […]

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Sep 14, 2007
The fallacy of the ‘hands-off’ leader

“Lots of business leaders like to think that the top dog is exempt from the details of actually running things. It’s a pleasant way to view leadership: you stand on the mountaintop, thinking strategically and attempting to inspire your people with visions, while managers do the grunt work. This idea creates a lot of aspirations […]

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Sep 07, 2007
Stop competing and start re-imagining

“…imagine a market universe composed of two sorts of oceans: red oceans and blue oceans. Red oceans represent all the industries in existence today. This is the known market space. Blue oceans denote all the industries not in existence today. This is the unknown market space. In the red oceans, industry boundaries are defined and […]

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Aug 31, 2007
The boss must ‘walk in stupid’ – every day!

“It’s the hardest thing to do as a leader, but it’s the most important thing. Whatever day it is, something in the world changed overnight, and you better figure out what it is and what it means. You have to forget what you just did and what you just learned. You have to walk in […]

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Aug 24, 2007
Are your board directors dinosaurs?

“A decade ago, when one non-executive director joined the board of a paragon of American industry, a long-serving colleague told him, in private, “New directors shouldn’t speak up during board meetings for the first year.” That attitude is untenable today and, in fact, that board is much different now. But such comments are indicative of […]

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Aug 17, 2007
Strategic planning has become a tiresome ritual

“…the annual strategy review frequently amounts to little more than a stage on which business unit leaders present warmed-over updates of last year’s presentations, take few risks in broaching new ideas, and strive above all to avoid embarrassment. Rather than preparing executives to face the strategic uncertainties ahead or serving as the focal point for […]

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Aug 10, 2007
Share prices must be supported by fundamentals

“Shares should rise in price only if there’s good reason to think future profits will be high. As we know, profits derive from scarcity; for instance, ownership of scarce land (protected by legal title), a scarce brand (protected by trademark) or an organisation with unique capabilities (protected by nothing more than the fact that most […]

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Aug 03, 2007
Want to fire up your employees? Stick a generator in them

“If I kick my dog (from the front or the back), he will move. If I want him to move again, what must I do? I must kick him again. Similarly, I can charge a man’s battery, and then recharge it, and recharge it again. But it is only when he has his own generator […]

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Jun 29, 2007
Michael Porter in Nairobi – Part 3: Time for business to lead

Sunny Bindra, Executive Fellow at Strathmore Business School, concludes his special three-part series on the ideas of Michael Porter. This final article looks at the professor’s prescription: a new collaborative approach for Kenya. Michael Porter came, spoke and left. So what did he leave behind? I believe he left us with the intellectual framework that […]

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Jun 28, 2007
Michael Porter in Nairobi – Part 2: Let businesspeople be our heroes

Sunny Bindra, strategy consultant and business writer, continues his three-part series on the ideas of Michael Porter. Harvard’s Professor Porter was in Nairobi on Monday and delivered a memorable address on “Global Competitiveness” at the Strathmore Business School. This second article examines the question: What are the sources of national competitiveness? “You can become very […]

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