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by Alan Hargreaves



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Tuesday
Apr092019

Ode to the disrupted

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Hard yards for incumbents and startups

General Electric (GE) was dropped from the Dow Jones last year. After more than a century, the oldest member finally left. It was replaced by a drugstore chain.

Many incumbents have a similar profile to GE. They have long histories. Many are profitable, household names that remain viable. Their balance sheets are strong and their reach is deep. 

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Tuesday
Feb262019

Horses for Courses

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The Principles of Outsourcing

I once considered early retirement. We’d sold our core business. Children were approaching school’s end. My head was saying do something different. 

Horses were already part of my family. My wife was a riding instructor; one daughter was an equine nurse; another would shortly become a full-time equestrian. Yes, breeding sport horses seemed like a good idea.

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Wednesday
Jan162019

Feeling apprehensive? That's good.

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Certainly uncertain

Ever been put off by the overconfident sales person who expresses complete certainty about everything? 

I don’t just mean car salesmen or real estate agents. We can include many a transaction-based dialogue, from insurance brokers to shop assistants. Early in the year, otherwise respected market commentators turn to flawed futurism as they come under pressure to forecast what’s ahead.

I prefer those who are confident but also realistic. It turns out most people do.

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Wednesday
Oct102018

Keeping it really simple

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Sticking to the manager’s knitting

Managers emerge from a variety of career paths — production, logistics, sales, marketing, or finance, sometimes admin. Others were there when it started; some are managers because they own it. 

Your history informs your management style, but once in charge, you have to manage functions outside your own experience. 

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Thursday
Aug302018

Staying agile in uncertain times

Keep moving, even if just a little

We learn the theory of momentum early. Sit on a stationary bicycle and it falls over. Pedal a little and it stays upright. Once you’re moving, you’ve got some control. You can go straight ahead or change direction. But go faster and the risk rises.

Uncertainty makes staying stopped or accelerating rapidly equally risky. To paraphrase Pink Floyd, no one tells you when to run. Do nothing and you miss the starting gun.

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