Your idea of success is completely wrong

There is this idea that success is 100% correct decision making. For some people, they understand this to be 90% or even 80% correct decision making. This idea is completely wrong. A success rate of 56%, implying 44% incorrect decisions, is a great result. Here’s why. Let’s simplify things. Assume that you are the chief executive of a company and that each decision you

Continue reading »

Decision making and risk

My willingness and ability to take risks and manage them often comes up as a topic of conversation. Let me explain how I got here. In 1989, after completing my first year at university, I spent the summer as an intern at the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (Adia). I found the world of investments fascinating and as part of that

Continue reading »

Letting Go for Sustainable Growth

Why do successful companies fail? One reason is an inability to let go of a successful product. Read that again – the issue is not about an inability to innovate but an inability to let go of successful products so as to allow newly developed superior ones to take their place. An example of how to do it right is

Continue reading »

Crisis Response Strategies

This entry is part 3 of 3 in the series Strategy

In a world of uncertainty management is constantly evaluating potential risks as they unfold and deciding how to respond. At one end of the response spectrum is what might be called the Anglo-Saxon Fast & Furious model: ignore all risks until they become an existential threat of such dire proportions that there is only one available response and it is blatantly

Continue reading »

The Pirate Code is behind Pay Inequality

In the fourth article of the game theory series, we build on the Saudis out-bluffing OPEC and The Joker forcing the good people of Gotham to choose between game theory and Batman. In this installment, you will learn how blood thirsty, treasure hunting pirates might just explain the ridiculously large wage gaps in modern day corporations. To set the stage, one must

Continue reading »

The Bluff: An Important Strategy Tool

There seems to be a strong belief that playing poker teaches people how to invest or run a business. This is of course nonsense. The mathematics behind poker is complex and needs years of formal study to understand the game. The more appropriate notion is that a strong understanding of game playing is extremely useful to investing and business. The

Continue reading »

Producing Second Hand Cars, Managing Your Mortgage, Educating Your Children and Saving the Planet

The business performance of car rental agencies was historically volatile. Part of this was simply due to the inability of car rental agencies to predict client behaviour. However, this did not explain all of the variance in their business performance. It was only as the rental companies began to realise that their business was not just to provide a service,

Continue reading »