New free online satirical series, “With All Due Respect”: journo Michael West interviewing expert insiders (like me). First episode: “Efficient newspapers”. Enjoy, and happy forced holidays!
An AFR article about ‘Funny Business: Management Unmasked’, by Rodney Marks, Benjamin Marks, Robert Spillane (GOKO Press, Sydney 2017).
The contemporary leader is a part-Confucius, part-Aesop, part-Buddha. Success is having a repertoire of metaphors for each business function –
1. Marketing: Solutions depend on the targeting the right segment.
2. Sales: Create the headache, sell the aspirin.
3. Logistics, Operations and Production: We need to innovate our roadmap with benchmarks, milestones, nodes, and hubs and spokes.
4. Human Resources: We’re here to grow human capital and to develop human assets so that they may climb the career ladder, the greasy pole, and the stairway to mahogany row.
5. Finance: Remember that time is money, and that liquid of assets aren’t as important as cash flow.
6. IT: We need to develop an agile platform, to springboard to the next level.
7. Legal: Our blueprint is a template for a precedent. But don’t quote me.
8. Strategy: We’re on a journey powered by the business cycle, laying chess with our competitors; our comparative advantage is in our ideas, which are left field, out of the box, and lateral.
9. Leadership: Depending on the situation, work is sport, a game, or a war. It takes a long time to turn this ocean liner, all hands on deck and to the wheel, or both, as we sink or swim with or without the sharks.
10. Governance: Shift that paradigm, change the landscape, steer – don’t row.
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I’ve always liked doing things, and checking them off a to-do list. Over the years, I’ve tried different lengths, and have surveyed a few friends, family members, colleagues and passers-by. Here are the evidence-based results, statistically significant to three decimal places, where n=20 or so.
1. One is a good number to keep a handle on. Most of us can do one thing every day. The trouble is, that if you fail to do it, you would feel like a real loser, someone who, when they give themselves just one thing, can’t even to that. Not a good number for folk with already poor self-esteem. Better to have 100 errands to run and complete half of them.
2. Binary works well, especially for IT types.
3. Three is good for those literate in rhetoric.
4. Four it okay, for keeping activities front-of-mind.
5. Five is a handful, which is a useful mnemonic.
6. Half a dozen works for pre-decimal nostalgics.
7. Seven is a magnificent number.
8. Eight is a lucky number.
9. Nine is for under-achievers who need to feel like they’ve achieved something, or for over‑achievers who believe that their nine is equal to other people’s ten.
10. Ten is conventional, boring, and makes people feel manipulated by an imaginary manual.
11. If you have eleven items on your daily to-do list, you’re well on your way to Chapter Eleven, to believing that 11 is 10+GST, or to being more alpha than competitors with ten to-do list items.
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Have you ever wondered what comedians do to drum up performances? Here my favourite 20 sales and marketing activities:
1. Doing nothing.
2. Fiddling with my LinkedIn profile.
3. Fiddling with my website.
4. Writing jokes for possible future performances.
5. Ditto for actual upcoming gigs.
7. Thinking about thinking.
8. Thinking about writing humorous anecdotes.
10. Thinking that I’m over-thinking.
11. Thinking that I’m over thinking.
12. Messaging a LinkedIn contact who I’ve worked for.
13. Messaging someone I haven’t worked for.
14. Considering investing in Google AdWords.
15. Deciding not to invest in Google AdWords.
16. Reconsidering investing in Google AdWords.
17. Deciding definitely not to invest in Google AdWords.
18. Considering investing in LinkedIn Ads.
19. Deciding definitely not to invest in LinkedIn Ads.
20. Writing a post, such as this one.
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