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Use inertia to your advantage

The bigger companies get, the more slow-moving they become. Decisions are always slower and somehow become more complicated. Even apparently sexy companies like Google, I discovered, start to suffer from the same ailment.

And it will inevitably happen to your company too, unless you are very careful. Read More

When `Yes’ means `No’

I don’t know if you’ve noticed but as you get more senior, people in the office seem to argue with you less. And by the time you become a really big cheese, just about everyone seems to agree with you. (I noticed when I first started being promoted that I got better and better at telling jokes ….. well employees certainly laughed more, the more senior I became). Read More

It Wasn’t Your Idea

If you have a good idea it’s very easy to boast about it. And if you are always having good ideas then you will be doing a lot of boasting. Although understandable, this is not a good idea at the best of times and if you’re a boss, it’s a very bad idea. Read More

Empowering your team: how to avoid being a one-man band

One of the main things that prevents small companies becoming medium–sized is the ability of the founders to delegate properly.
It’s all very well inviting in another partner with their own business base but that usually doesn’t give you any serious economies of scale.
Historically, PR companies were most guilty of that. Very smart, extremely well-connected PR man sets up in business. Starts to win clients and works with a couple of PAs; wins more clients and hires junior execs. Meantime, our star is spending all his time in client meetings; bloated up with endless lunches and dinners and despite that, has a stream of clients screaming “Where is he?!” And now he starts to lose as many clients as he wins and he’s on a slippery slope. What is his way out of this dangerous and stressful scenario?

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What if? Two words every entrepreneur needs to ask

I don’t apologise for being simplistic: sometimes things are simple – even in business.
The two words are “What if?”
If you train yourself to ask in advance of every possible situation “What if?” and then “How would I handle it?” you will be brilliantly prepared for every contingency. Read More

Recession watch: the alternative economic indicators

When the economy is expanding or declining by 0.3% or 0.6% or whatever, you have to make your own luck… BUT also watch the psyche of the nation.
I go to the United States every other month and I could smell returning confidence there from last autumn. There’s still a little bit of pioneering frontier man talk there: “Well, we’ll just have to roll up our sleeves and get on with it” – and this was in New York.

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A recession survival guide

This new blog is concerned with advising and commenting on growing businesses. I know nothing that is particularly valuable about big corporations and I am particularly bad at running stable, mature businesses: I get bored too quickly. But I do know quite a bit about building small businesses and keeping them growing into sizeable medium-sized businesses. This experience includes a lot of mistakes, as well as successes.
So, if you want to know how to run a cash cow, don’t read any further. But if you want to worship at the altar of The Great God Growth, then I hope this is worth a read. Read More

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