Articles Tagged Business Daily

Jul 09, 2012
Don’t appoint a woman on your board just for the photo opportunity

“When news emerged in May that Facebook had hired an executive search firm to look for a woman to add to its board of directors, I had hoped that with the appointment would come a great deal of diversity of thought and experience and an independent voice. Facebook has now announced that it has chosen its […]

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Jul 02, 2012
Why are we so fond of running multiple businesses in Africa?

“ONE of the many terms Silicon Valley has bequeathed to the business world is “serial entrepreneur”, a label for those restless souls who start one business after another. Perhaps Africa can now contribute another expression: the “parallel entrepreneur”. More than in any other part of the developing world, the continent’s budding business folk create networks […]

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Jun 25, 2012
Booming banks and booming property prices are not enough

“Spain’s banking crisis did not come out of the blue. In the 1990s the Spanish suffered a bout of collective madness. Interest rates fell from 14% (with the peseta) to 4% (with the euro) in a matter of weeks. In 1998 the centre-right government passed a law that significantly increased the amount of land for […]

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Jun 18, 2012
Here’s how to manage queues

“There are three givens of human nature that queuing psychologists must address: 1) We get bored when we wait in line. 2) We really hate it when we expect a short wait and then get a long one. 3) We really, really hate it when someone shows up after us but gets served before us.” […]

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Jun 11, 2012
How a famous company failed to spot strategic upheaval

“RIM’s woebegone story is the stuff of science-fiction epic. A technology juggernaut that emerged from a sleepy Canadian backwater, RIM came to dominate the smartphone industry in a few years. Its BlackBerry managed to become an indispensable tool of the global elite in Davos and Washington D.C. as well as a status symbol to tweens […]

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Jun 04, 2012
Board members must be fit for purpose

“The three directors who oversee risk at JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) include a museum head who sat on American International Group Inc.’s governance committee in 2008, the grandson of a billionaire and the chief executive officer of a company that makes flight controls and work boots. What the risk committee of the biggest U.S. […]

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May 28, 2012
How the “Shareholder Spring” is rocking many a board

“The corporate world is emerging from several weeks of boardroom turbulence dubbed the “Shareholder Spring.” In annual meeting after annual meeting around the world, boards have been taken to task by investors and other stakeholders on a wide range of issues: remuneration, board composition, competence, diversity, voting control, dual stock, and more. In the meantime, […]

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May 21, 2012
A business filled with family members will not take you far

“The fatal fact about nepotism is that the really good people won’t go to work for you in the first place or will quit or quit trying for your job when they spot your uncle, brother, nephew, wife, mistress or son on the payroll… …If there’s even a bare possibility that you’re prejudiced, the smell […]

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May 14, 2012
Sony’s insular culture just didn’t see it coming

“…Sony, which once defined Japan’s technological prowess, wowed the world with the Walkman and the Trinitron TV and shocked Hollywood with bold acquisitions like Columbia Pictures, is now in the fight of its life. In fact, it is in a fight for its life – a development that exemplifies the stunning decline of Japan’s industrialized […]

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May 07, 2012
Manage the essence, not the message

The biggest problem with the reputation industry, however, is its central conceit: that the way to deal with potential threats to your reputation is to work harder at managing your reputation. The opposite is more likely: the best strategy may be to think less about managing your reputation and concentrate more on producing the best […]

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Apr 30, 2012
A great leader takes the blame when things go wrong

“Pep Guardiola has defended Lionel Messi after his penalty miss as good as cost Barcelona a place in the Champions League final. Messi has enjoyed an extraordinary run of form in the past four seasons, scoring 63 goals in all competitions this season alone. However, he failed to find the net in either leg of […]

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Apr 23, 2012
Your business is centered on customers? I don’t believe you…

“I’ve been living in the Thank You Economy since a day sometime around 1995, when a customer came into my dad’s liquor store and said, “I just bought a bottle of Lindemans Chardonnay for $5.99, but I got your $4.99 coupon (later) in the mail. Can you honor it? I’ve got the receipt.” The store […]

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Mar 26, 2012
The enemies of innovation are usually found inside the company

1. The Victims (“Can you believe what they want us to do now? And of course we have no time to do it. I don’t get paid enough for this. The boss is clueless.” 2. The Non-Believers (“Why should we work so hard on this? Even if we come up with a good idea, the […]

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Mar 19, 2012
The spectacular resignation that shook this famous employer

“TODAY is my last day at Goldman Sachs. After almost 12 years at the firm — first as a summer intern while at Stanford, then in New York for 10 years, and now in London — I believe I have worked here long enough to understand the trajectory of its culture, its people and its […]

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Mar 12, 2012
In business, as in soccer, strategies require time to play out

“Our strategy requires time to play out. It is a strategy designed to build sustainable long-term value for our constituents, beginning with serving our customers best. The performance metrics that matter to us are not the typical Wall Street trailing financial output indicators. Instead, they are the metrics that reflect industry thought leadership, high customer […]

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Mar 05, 2012
Today’s hit product may be in tomorrow’s junkyard

“One of the odd questions I keep being asked about the iPad is “Where do you plug in USB stuff?” It’s a sister phrase to the weird criticism oft thrust at Apple’s device, “Ah, it’s too limiting for me: I can’t plug in USB sticks.” This is weird because other makers, notably Apple’s biggest competitor, […]

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Feb 27, 2012
It’s time to think “What-if”

“A tumultuous 12 months that saw revolutions in the Middle East, a worsening debt crisis in Europe and a tsunami in Japan has set the tone for corporate activity in 2012. Caution, flexibility, nimbleness and deep knowledge of host countries are more important than ever, executives and their advisers said at the World Economic Forum’s […]

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Feb 20, 2012
Isn’t there a better way to handle layoffs?

“Soon after Citigroup let go of 100 employees across India last month, many functional heads received an unusual brief. They were asked to scout for jobs for those who had been terminated. Counsellors were also roped in to soften the blow and professional services firms were hired to make the career transition of the terminated […]

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Feb 13, 2012
Watching Japan’s tumbling giants

“Japan’s Panasonic Corp forecast a record annual net loss of $10.2 billion on Friday, joining beleaguered rivals Sony and Sharp in a sea of red ink as they struggle to fix their broken TV businesses and overcome criticism that they have lost their way. Panasonic said it was headed for a loss of 780 billion […]

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Feb 06, 2012
Yes, CEOs: you WILL need to understand and engage with social media

“As I jogged down Wall Street in New York in October through the barricades, police horses, and thousands of activists, something became clear. The masses had self-organized and social media had added yet another social movement to its résumé. At the same time, something else became clear to me. Much higher than street level, in […]

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Jan 30, 2012
Learn from the disastrous leadership of this ship captain

“The Italian cruise ship the Costa Concordia sank off the coast of Tuscany last Friday night, after smashing into rocks off the island of Giglio. The 114,500-tonne vessel, carrying 3,200 passengers and 1,000 crew, hit a submerged reef at 9.42pm, after the ship’s captain, Francesco Schettino, had steered it to within 200m of shore to […]

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Jan 23, 2012
To become better at business, read more…novels

“1. Reading stories can fine-tune your social skills by helping you better understand other human beings. 2. Entering imagined worlds builds empathy and improves your ability to take another person’s point of view. 3. A love affair with narrative may gradually alter your personality—in some cases, making you more open to new experiences and more […]

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Jan 16, 2012
To really understand a business, don’t talk to the CEO

“I long ago realised that to understand a business I would learn much more by talking to people involved in day-to-day operations than the chief executive. They represented “what is really going on here?”” JOHN KAY, Financial Times (January 3, 2011) The excerpt shown, from Professor John Kay’s regular FT column, caught my eye. I […]

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Jan 09, 2012
Do you have any meaningful say in the work that you do?

Since the mid-80s, academics have been carrying out regular skills surveys, asking detailed questions of thousands of employees. In 1986…72% of professionals felt they had a great deal of independence in doing their jobs. By 2006, that had plummeted to just 38%. Which is shocking but also makes sense: if you’re a teacher you now […]

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Jan 02, 2012
2011 was a bad year for business leadership

“This was a year, sadly, when examples of poor leadership (bad decision-making, selfish actions and inexplicably bone-headed moves) seemed to outnumber the good.” JENA MCGREGOR, The Washington Post (Dec 19, 2011) As we end another year, we in the business world have to concede an uncomfortable fact: 2011 was not a great year for corporate […]

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Dec 19, 2011
You should enter high-growth industries – right?

“Managers often mistakenly assume that a high-growth industry will be an attractive one. Wrong. Growth is no guarantee that the industry will be profitable. For example, growth might put suppliers in the driver’s seat, driving up the industry’s costs and limiting profitability. Or, combined with low entry barriers, growth might attract new rivals, thereby increasing […]

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Dec 12, 2011
The modern problem of corporate fluff

“As a simple example of fluff in strategy work, here is a quote from a major retail bank’s internal strategy memoranda:”Our fundamental strategy is one of customer-centric intermediation.” The Sunday word “intermediation” means that company accepts deposits and then lends them to others. In other words, it is a bank. The buzz phrase “customer-centric” could […]

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Dec 05, 2011
If it’s just about you, nothing will outlast you

“The I.B.M. lesson, Mr. Palmisano said, is never become wedded to what you make, but to the values the corporation stands for. After all, I.B.M. started out making clocks, scales, punched card tabulators, and cheese slicers (“the world’s fastest at the time,” he noted). “The history of business is a bone pile of companies that […]

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