Build or burn?

Invite a salesman in you want a party

What is the essential ingredient of a good sales person?  A good sense of humour.  Take a random sample of business people that have never met and observe them together.  It is the sales person that gets the party going.  He or she will speak first.  They will ease the tension for everyone else by

Don’t ask governments to do anything. They’re rubbish at it

Most people most of the time are busy getting on with their lives.  In the case of newspapers, lobbyists, think-tank academics and politicians, getting on with their life means trying to change all of ours.  It’s their job.   And every few years we get to say whether their doing it well or not.  You have

The secret to management – benign dictatorship

‘Abel, your fired. Out’.  With those words, interrupting his own employee meeting, Tim Armstrong, CEO of Patch, AOL’s local news subsidiary, fired his creative director, with hundreds of other employees listening in by conference call.  Here’s a man who’s learned one half of benign dictatorship, the secret of management, without learning the other half.  It

Procurement Savings

Second only to ‘strategic reasons’, accountants should approach any ‘procurement savings’ in their financial models with suspicion.  The chances are high they will turn out to be a will-‘o-the-wisp.  To an accountant, a procurement saving means paying less cash this year than you spent on the same thing last year.  In a depressingly large number

How decisions are made

If struggling to make a business case ask ‘Why are we doing this?’  If the answer is ‘strategic reasons’, you’re going to have to hack the numbers to make the discounted cash flow turn positive.  ‘Strategic reasons’ is the scariest justification for any business decision.  If you see these words in a business case or