July 23, 2017

Culture Eats Strategy for Breakfast

In 1999 Fortune Magazine reported that 70 per cent of strategies implemented by Fortune 500 companies failed. This disturbing statistic was nothing new; Fortune Magazine had reported similar results in a survey from 1986, and there are regular reports in the media of failed strategy implementation with percentages ranging from between 50 to 90 per […]

On throwers and catchers

I got the following email reply from a colleague not long ago. Actually, on 26 December. “Hi Shai, it is inappropriate to send work emails on Christmas Day”, followed by an answer to a question I had been waiting for. Because (email) etiquette in business conduct interests me, I then searched the organisation’s policy for […]

“May I have the bill now, please?”

Thirty-five years ago a medium-sized luxury hotel in Southern Europe had a manual bookkeeping system in which guest bills were handwritten, and not very well either! In the cashier’s section the clerks would enter charges from dockets raised by various departments – restaurants, floor service, hairdresser, manicurist, boutique shops, car hire, theatre desk, concierge, florist, […]

Big Data… Making better data-driven decisions!

‘Big data’ is a term that’s been in common usage for nearly 10 years, yet we still talk about it as though it’s something other organisations are doing. There is a growing body of case studies of (mainly large) organisations that are managing to show how they are sifting through, analysing and acting upon large […]

Who gets the Oscars?

It’s Oscar time again with the usual retinue of highly paid stars, glitz and glamour. But what really makes a successful film? Back in 1983 I read William Goldman’s book Adventures in the Screen Trade, which had a formative influence on my own thinking about strategy. Goldman is a highly influential screenwriter – for example, […]

Women as managers

There was an interesting article about whether women manage differently from men in the Economist of 6 June 2015. The research reported suggests that there is no real difference and it brings to mind a short scenario called ‘The New CEO’ which I have presented to MBA students and executives for many years. Briefly, the […]

Who blinks first?

Game theory has been very much in the news the past few weeks in relation to the attempted renegotiation of Greece’s EU bailout deal, and its related austerity measures. It is, by now, a well known fact that Yanis Varoufakis (the Greek finance minister at the head of these negotiations) is a student of Game […]

Compromising positions

I am often reminded that people see negotiation in a very different light – probably based on some bad experiences. When faced with a negotiation, people often expect that dreadful “c word” – Compromise! I was reminded of this just yesterday when reading an article about an academic negotiation over exam content, the school board […]