"CEOs can't wait to read Sunny Bindra's articles every week."

Aug 10, 2009
Are you making a mess of succession planning?

“Despite everyone knowing that nothing stays still, there are countless examples of no natural successor being in place for when the time comes, especially when the leader has an air of invincibility. Most potential successors will not hang around long if they do not feel there is any chance of the boss moving on. Consequently, […]

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Aug 09, 2009
What did we gain from Hillary Clinton’s visit?

Hillary Clinton paid her much-anticipated visit to Kenya. US President Barack Obama had already signalled his unwillingness to visit his fatherland, so we knew that his redoubtable Secretary of State was the next best thing. Now, I often wonder about these visits and whether they serve any purpose other than spelling out America’s agenda in […]

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Jul 27, 2009
CEOs: Is red tape killing your employees’ initiative?

“…Today, no meeting of the high and the mighty is complete until someone polishes the conventional wisdom: “Our big trouble today is getting enough good people.” This is crystal-clear nonsense. Your people aren’t lazy and incompetent. They just look that way. They’re beaten by all the overlapping and interlocking policies, rules, and systems encrusting your […]

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Jul 19, 2009
Obama only saying what we know to be true

“No country is going to create wealth if its leaders exploit the economy to enrich themselves, or police can be bought off by drug traffickers. No business wants to invest in a place where the government skims 20 percent off the top, or the head of the port authority is corrupt. No person wants to […]

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Jun 22, 2009
Is your ‘great’ company sowing the seeds of its own future failure?

“When you are at the top of the world, the most powerful nation on Earth, the most successful company in your industry, the best player in your game, your very power and success might cover up the fact that you’re already on the path of decline.” That question—how would you know?—captured my imagination and became […]

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Jun 21, 2009
Let’s pamper our MPs even more…

There seems to be a bit of noise in the country about the proposal to build a walkway connecting Parliament Building, Continental House and County Hall at a proposed cost of Sh 61 million. This is to allow our members of parliament to cross the road with ease as they walk between their primary workplaces. […]

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Jun 15, 2009
Did your CEO just win an award? Start worrying…

“Team titles might be what matter to them most, but football fans are also generally pleased if a player in their team wins an award. Publishers rarely object when their authors win Booker or Nobel prizes for literature. So how should shareholders in a company feel when the company’s chief executive wins an accolade such […]

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Jun 14, 2009
Development lessons from tiny Rwanda

Consider this country. Civil servants are required to report on duty at seven o’clock every morning. Cabinet ministers are given a modest amount by the government with which to purchase official vehicles, and an appropriate maintenance allowance; if they choose to use a large gas-guzzler, they do so with their own money. This country’s capital […]

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Jun 07, 2009
When Paul Kagame rode into town

I saw last week that it is possible to begin a day in exasperation and end it in exhilaration. I was travelling to Mombasa to attend a board meeting, and found an inexplicable traffic jam near the Nyayo Stadium. I had allowed enough time for Nairobi’s absurd traffic problems, but this was a little more […]

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May 31, 2009
Learn from this failing football club

Newcastle United got relegated from the English Premier League last week. “Say what”? I hear some (but not all) of you shout in unison. Don’t we get enough mania about foreign football in this country, without ‘A Sunny Day’ adding to the madness? Is it not enough that a deranged young Kenyan recently killed himself, […]

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May 25, 2009
Manager bullies may be killing your organisation

“As we burrow deeper into the recession, companies around the world are cutting costs in all the usual ways—by reducing headcount, slashing capital budgets, and trimming overheads. All these measures are vital. But in their quest to root out inefficiencies, companies should also be focusing on the hidden but substantial costs of supercilious and overbearing […]

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May 24, 2009
A jolly good British scandal

I don’t know about you, but I find it immensely entertaining when the British are caught in a moral quandary. This is a nation that often preaches moral probity and higher-order values and ethics to the rest of the world; it is great sport when they get their own knickers in a twist, as they […]

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Apr 19, 2009
What’s our real problem – leaders or followers?

There is a prominent new sign on Nairobi’s Uhuru Highway, just after the University Way roundabout. It says: “No stopping for buses and matatus”. Rightly so: it is very dangerous for vehicles to stop on a busy fast-moving highway – the chances of a pile-up are big. And guess what? That is exactly where buses […]

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Apr 13, 2009
Authenticity is the hallmark of true leadership

“P&G’s unbroken sales and profit growth under (AG) Lafley has brought great rewards to his investors and to him. He was paid $23.5m last year, with $6.6m in cash, and he holds a huge amount in P&G stock. Yet there are no discernible trappings of wealth on his person or hint of hubris in his […]

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Mar 29, 2009
Kenya’s reverse economics: squander everything that’s scarce

Finance Minister Uhuru Kenyatta tells us that we are going on a national belt-tightening exercise. Government is going to cut out unnecessary foreign trips, workshops, and conferences by its leaders and functionaries; we are going to cut out all unnecessary hiring of cousins and sycophants; and we are going to suspend all spending on luxuries. […]

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Mar 23, 2009
What your board should do in a downturn

“During the bursting of the tech bubble, our management developed a set of principles, or objectives, which would guide it through the downturn, however long and deep that might be. The principles are probably somewhat generic, but perhaps could be tuned for each situation. Our principles were: “We will attempt to remain cash flow neutral […]

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Mar 22, 2009
Why the future lies with women

“Behind every successful man is a woman” is the well-known saying. Noted wit Groucho Marx added some words to this: “Behind every successful man is a woman; behind her is his wife.” That certainly rings true in Kenya… But I would like to disagree with the original statement. I think it should say: “In front […]

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Mar 09, 2009
Do corporate awards really mean anything?

“At the end of 2007, Marks & Spencer was lauded as Britain’s Most Admired Company, ranked as the best among 220 companies in a survey conducted by Management Today. Not only did it receive the highest score overall, Marks & Sparks was rated best on five of the nine survey categories… Marks and Spencer’s triumph […]

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Feb 16, 2009
Chelsea FC: Lessons in how not to recruit leaders

“Chelsea have sensationally sacked manager Luiz Felipe Scolari. The club’s website revealed the dramatic move had been made “to maintain a challenge for the trophies we are still competing for”. World Cup winner Scolari had only been in the job since June 2008, when he became Chelsea’s third boss in a year. Chelsea are fourth […]

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