Category Archives: effectiveness

October 11

What you could learn from ‘On Innovation’ from HBR (2013, 171 pages)

If you do not update your business model and your products the market will conspire to erode your profitability as your products will descend down the life-cycle to their demise.   This decline can be stopped.  By renewing both your product and your business model, you can ensure that you remain competitive (see below).  Therefore, this act […]

October 07

Leadership hack 012 – precision is not accuracy

No matter what the question is, getting a number as an answer is soothing.  Logic suggests that in order to have arrived at a number, someone must have done a calculation.  Numbers are clear, numbers are facts. However, while numbers can be very precise (e.g., 67,600), this does not mean that they are accurate.  Anyone […]

October 05

What you could learn from ‘Ego is the Enemy’ by Ryan Holiday (2016, 217 pages)

How do you stay on a true course?  How do you deal with life’s successes and failure?  Philosophy has a few answers, and so does Ryan Holiday. In ‘Ego is the Enemy’ Ryan charts the three phases in his life – before success, success and failure.  Ryan draws on his experience, the experience of other to make […]

September 15

Leadership hack 009 – running a good meeting

Meetings are the bane of the modern world.  They are unsexy, and often very, very dull.  Many of us have so many meetings that we struggle to get any ‘real’ work done. One way to claw back time is to get rid of meetings.  While this nuclear option has its advocates (see here and here), unless […]

July 16

What you can learn from ‘Kanban’ by David Anderson (2010, 240 pages)

The kanban board (above) could often be found in many start-ups and incubators.  Now kanban boards are becoming more and more common in medium and large companies. Why are more and more companies adopting kanban methodologies, and is there more to Kanban than kanban boards? Dave Anderson’s book ‘Kanban’ answers all these questions and more.  The main […]

July 01

What you can learn from ‘Scrum – The art of doing twice the work in half the time’ by Jeff Sutherland (2014, 231 pages)

There any many who believe that the way we work in the modern world is broken.  Some people argue that modern work fails to allow workers to self-actualize (see Barry Schwartz TED talk) and others who argue that the processes we have in place are corrosive (see Huffington post article).  While there have been many suggestions of how […]

May 29

Blue Ocean Strategy by Can Kim and Renee Mauborgne (2015, 224 pages)

How do you prepare for disruption?  How to you continue to grow when everyone else is fighting for the same customers? Can and Renne argue that companies need to find new customers and new markets to order to avoid being caught up in ever increasing competition in existing markets. The authors present the following framework as a […]

May 03

What could you learn from ‘What you really need to lead’ by Robert Kaplan (2015, 179 pages)

“Not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers.” – Harry Trueman There is a lot of evidence to support Trueman’s opinion that reading increases your leadership ability and potential (see this HBR article).  However, with so much material available, it is difficult to know where to start. In ‘What you need to Lead’ […]

May 02

Staying on the leading edge, my top business podcasts by Max Eskell

As more and more knowledge is created, people have adapted by becoming increasingly specialised – developing expertise in narrower and narrower areas.  The inherent danger of specialisation is that as you lose perspective and context.  I am sure you have heard of the story of the blind men and the elephant.  One man feels the trunk and […]

April 29

What could you learn from ‘Superbosses’ by Sydney Finkelstein? (2016, 220 pages)

While the definition and even the concept of leadership remain contested, it is clear that some individuals are widely considered to be exceptional leaders. What separates these leaders who leave their mark on the world, with the countless others who vanish with little or no trace? In ‘Superbosses’ Sydney Finkelstein argues that exceptional leaders (superbosses) […]

April 16

What you could learn from ‘Quick and Nimble’ by Adam Bryant (2014, 251 pages)

  “Innovation distinguishes between leaders and follower.” Steve Jobs Innovation is one of the strongest sources of competitive advantage.  Staying ahead of the competition allows you to explore new products, services, and business models while also making sure you are exploiting your existing offering. Adam Bryant offers 16 well thought and well-crafted pieces of advice […]

April 12

What could you learn from ‘Team of Teams: New Rules of Engagement for a Complex World’ by Gen Stanley McChrystal (2015, 304 pages)

General Stanley McChristal has a phenomenal reputation amongst veterans. His new book ‘Team of Teams’ charts his experience commanding the Special Operations Task Force in Iraq. Stanley pointedly highlights the initial problems when arrives. He inherits a slow, top-down, bureaucratic organisation that is failing. The book then charts the evolution of the Task Force into […]

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