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Entries in strategy (39)

Tuesday
Jul122016

The risk of avoiding risk

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Playing it a little bit unsafe

Ever look back and wish you’d spoken up? I remember times when it may or may not have helped. It would, however, have been good for me. You tend to take on some shame when you hide. It’s the opposite of empowering.

You see this in business disruption. Things are ticking over pretty well but you know it’s changing out there. An alternative product might make sense. Trouble is, you don’t want to mess up a good situation. You hang on to your current offering for fear of cannibalising your success. 

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Tuesday
Feb162016

So what if there's a recession

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Coping with cyclical inevitability. 

Forecasts of recession are common this time of the year. Trawl through the financial press and you’ll see all sorts of gloomy predictions. Most will be wrong. Forecasters don’t have a great track record. Research shows barely 15% of them will get it right. 

Should we worry?

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Wednesday
Apr152015

How to grow any business

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You’ve probably already got what it takes

There are several remarkable things about General Electric (GE). For a start, it’s been around for a while. Thomas Edison put it together in the late 1880s.

It was one of the first entrants in the Dow Jones Index. Out of the original members, it’s the only one still on the list. The rest have disappeared.

GE has arguably transformed itself a few times. It started making electric turbines. It developed leasing facilities for customers. That led it to finance. It’s said to have been the first business to actually own a computer. In the 1960s it had a significant computer division. It sold that business to Honeywell.

The financial crisis almost brought GE undone. Now it is exiting finance and reinvesting in manufacturing, buying industrial businesses that align with its historic strengths.

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Tuesday
Mar172015

The Wisdom of the Loud

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Groupthink is alive and well, and often wrong

I was warned at an early age. You can’t believe everything you read. And that was well before the internet was running fast and loose with the truth.

I was later alarmed to find Mark Twain didn’t exactly say reports of his death were greatly exaggerated. And to find Captain Kirk never said ‘Beam me up, Scotty’ in a Star Trek episode. And how disappointing was it when astronauts couldn’t see the Great Wall of China from space?

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Thursday
Nov202014

Are strong opinions that useful?

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Firmly held ideas don’t have a great track record.

Strong opinions have little to commend them. They’re correlated with high blood pressure, anxiety and depression. Psychological studies say they are associated with ego rather than evidence and can be blamed for poor decision-making in times of stress.

Yet we all have opinions, some of them quite useful. Where is the line between dysfunctional self-belief and a healthy point of view?

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