February 23, 2018

Bye Bye Market Segmentation and Target Marketing

Ten years or so ago, academics were extolling the techniques of market segmentation and target marketing (not to mention the third leg of the triumvirate, ‘positioning’) as the basis of long-term competitive advantage (see Marketing course Modules 7 and 8). Recently, this doctrine has come under serious threat. Classic segmentation techniques like socio-demographics have been […]

Scale up training: creating stars or sustainable business?

This article first appeared in BQLive on Wednesday 14 February, 2018. According to the UK government, people, not products are the key to scaling businesses. They refer to a report by Innovate UK last year in which personality, communication and resilience of leaders are cited as the key factors investors consider when considering funding scale-up […]

How do you account for a new idea in external financial statements? (part 3)

In the first two blogs in this series, using the example of an entrepreneur’s expenditure on building a prototype and applying for a patent, I discussed firstly the issue of distinguishing capital from revenue expenditure and secondly whether, if it was capital expenditure, it was tangible or intangible and how to include the expenditure in […]

Alexa, who moved my employee?

Hint: it rhymes with “Aragon”, “Babylon” and even “Bourguignonne”. But there are others to point at as well… Lately, I hear some of my colleagues and start-up entrepreneurs from the high-tech industry grumbling and being outraged by their employees being ‘poached’ by huge and powerful companies (or recruiting agencies acting on their behalf). A post […]

The story from Denmark: happiness trumps GDP

The happiest countries in the world are mainly in Northern Europe, with Denmark coming out top. The highest scores for happiness did not come from income alone, but from political freedom and an absence of corruption. Individuals also valued job security and good mental and physical health. If that is true, why do economists insist […]

Leadership Feedback the Breakfast of Champions

One of my best bosses, ever, was Judith, a woman who over the years had made her way from departmental secretary to vice president within a major pharmaceutical company. She had many admirable traits, but one behaviour in particular has remained with me over the years: her request for performance feedback… from her team. In […]

The authenticity of brands and self

Half a year has passed since I properly began work on my PhD at Edinburgh Business School so this seemed like a good time to reflect on progress and share some insights. I have written a substantial part of my literature review and so far I’ve focussed on exploring ideas about identity and self-concept within […]

Motivating through praise

“Praise, when given by a respected leader, motivates followers toward even better performance.” Or does it? Stanford psychologist, Carol Dweck believes that, if we praise the right thing, praise is an important motivator. If we get it wrong, praise might even be demotivating. She works from the idea that we have either a fixed mindset […]