Management Fads of the 21st Century. #2, Complexity

Uncategorised 30th June 2017 by Paul Fifield “The state or quality of being intricate or complicated.” Complexity describes the behaviour of a system or model whose components interact in multiple ways and follow local rules, meaning there is no reasonable higher instruction to define the various possible interactions.””Chaos is the science of surprises, of the… Continue Reading

Get if off your chest!- #1. Thinking

Uncategorised 3rd July 2017 by Paul Fifield “There is no expedient to which a man will not go to avoid the labor of thinking”  Thomas A. Edison (1847 – 1931) A colleague of mine has a student evaluation form framed on his office wall, from an MBA student we jointly taught a few years ago. … Continue Reading

Management Fads of the 21st Century. #1, Big Data

by Paul Fifield “Big data is high volume, high velocity, and/or high variety information assets that require new forms of processing to enable enhanced decision making, insight discovery and process optimization.” –Gartner. The current state of play could probably be summed up as “If the data isn’t big, it’s worthless.” But before you fall under… Continue Reading

What is a ‘Management Fad’?

by Paul Fifield According to the Harvard Business Review, “fads are typically: simple, relying heavily on buzzwords, acronyms and reductive ideas; prescriptive, listing actions to take under specific circumstances instead of supporting interpretation; falsely encouraging, promising to deliver big results; one-size-fits-all, taking little or no account of differences between companies; novel instead of radical, meaning… Continue Reading

“Sacred cows make the best hamburger”* #1- Benchmarking

by Paul Fifield  *Mark Twain “The process of comparing one’s business processes and performance metrics to industry bests or best practice from other companies” Sounds good on paper – and it’s hugely popular, but does it do any good?  Mostly it does positive harm. Viewed from the customer perspective (the source of all your firm’s… Continue Reading

Its enough to make you cry….

The Ig Nobel Prizes honour “achievements that make people laugh, and then think”. The prizes are intended to celebrate the unusual, honour the imaginative — and spur people’s interest in science, medicine, and technology. This year included the Economics prize, this time awarded to three academics from New Zealand for “Assessing the personalities of rocks,… Continue Reading

Identity crisis at Yahoo

From Reuters 26/7/16: When senior Yahoo executives gathered at a San Jose hotel for a management retreat in the spring of 2006, there was no outward sign of a company in crisis. The internet pioneer, not yet a teenager, had just finished the prior year with $1.9 billion in profits on $5.3 billion in revenue…. Continue Reading

What’s new?

Amid the carnage on Europe’s high streets, Ian Cheshire, CEO of Debenhams department stores (UK) held the opinion that “It is still possible to make money out of clothes, but only in certain precise categories; at the high end, at the discount end and in specialist brands. The rest are getting hammered”. (The Economist 18/6/16)… Continue Reading

Recessions – the Silver Lining

“When the oak is felled the whole forest echoes with its fall, but a hundred acorns are sown in silence by an unnoticed breeze” Thomas Carlyle Recessions and more rarely Depressions are not all bad – they are just ‘different’ from the normal run of things, and we are sometimes frightened by different things. Downturns… Continue Reading

Cargo Cult Marketing

Welcome to the beginnings of the Paul Fifield essays/blog.  Before we begin with any new content, I have précised one of my previous essays, the first in my book “Collected Essays in Marketing Strategy” CARGO CULT MARKETING (précis) On a recent business trip, I came across a reference to the cargo cult Indians of Papua… Continue Reading