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Companies should learn from history to avoid repeating mistakes of the past
September 27, 2019 | The Globe and Mail | by HARVEY SCHACHTER.

Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it. -George Santayana
If you want to improve your knowledge of business history, two good places to start might be Prof. Martin’s books, From Wall Street to Bay Street, the first overview of the Canadian financial system in half a century, co-written with Christopher Kobrak, and Relentless Change, the only case book for the study of Canadian business history. Beyond that, here’s three others he suggests you could benefit from:

* Northern Enterprise: Five Centuries of Business History by Michael Bliss;
* Historical Atlas of Canada, Volumes I to III with different editors;
* Madisson Database Project 2018 by The Groningen Growth and Development Centre, Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Groningen, The Netherlands.

Joe Martin, a professor of Canadian business history and strategy at Rotman School of Management, is on a mission. He believes Canadians lack sufficient knowledge of history in general and business history in particular. But rather than seize upon Santayana’s famed quote about the value of history, he points to an anonymous businessman who said, “I study history so I can make my own mistakes.”.....We fail in business schools, where virtually no courses are offered (other than at Harvard Business School, which has included history programs since its founding in 1908 and now has about 20 historians affiliated to the school). And we fail in corporations, where new leaders think history begins with their ascension and the few histories produced on the organization tend to be heavily sanitized....Certain themes recur in business history, of course. Recessions are one. Some signs suggest we may be on the cusp of one now, but each time they hit many corporate leaders seem flabbergasted, as if nobody ever experienced this situation before....Then there’s boom-and-bust. In the dot-com heyday of the late 1990s, Prof. Martin notes in an interview, he was chairman of Angoss Software Corp. and watching his net worth go up $250,000 a week. It was glorious until it started going down $250,000 a week. It seemed new, but history is littered with equivalent situations. .....At the core of understanding the history of our economy should be the baseball diamond growth model developed at the Stern School at New York University. At home plate is government because an effective political system enables economic growth. First base is a sound financial system, to allow growth. At second base are enterprising entrepreneurs to build upon that. Third base is for sophisticated managers of large corporations......As for corporate histories, he prefers them done by historians, with full access to the material, including key players. ....“Learn from history so you don’t repeat the mistakes of the past. That’s critical,”
best_of  boom-to-bust  books  business_archives  business_history  Canada  Canadian  dotcom  Harvey_Schachter  history  Joe_Martin  lessons_learned  Michael_Bliss  quotes  recessions  Rotman 
september 2019 by jerryking
Dichotomies and contradictions that managers face - The Globe and Mail
july 2019 by jerryking
Welcome to the 5 a.m. Club - The Globe and Mail

Robin Sharma wants you to join the 5 a.m. club.

The Toronto-based leadership coach and author of the bestseller The Monk Who Sold his Ferrari says that in a time-starved world, we need at least an hour first thing in the morning to refuel, grow and become healthier people. And that should come at 5 a.m., a time when many top performers have started their day, from John Grisham to Ernest Hemingway, Georgia O’Keefe to Frank Lloyd Wright, Beethoven to Mozart. In his new fable The 5 a.m. Club, he explains that hour fits the concept of capitalization expounded by psychologist James Flynn, which reminds us that natural talent only carries us so far. The key to success is the extent of the potential that we actualize. “Many of the finest athletes in the world had less innate skills than their competition. But it was their exceptional dedication, commitment and drive to maximize whatever strengths they has that made them iconic,”
capitalization  Harvey_Schachter  books  early_risers  time-strapped  Beethoven  Mozart 
january 2019 by jerryking
Beware these management myths
November 2, 2018 | The Globe and Mail HARVEY SCHACHTER
goals  Harvey_Schachter  myths 
november 2018 by jerryking
Tom Peters summarizes 17 books in six words -
May 31, 2018 | The Globe and Mail | HARVEY SCHACHTER.

“Hard is soft. Soft is hard.”
“Hard” stands for plans, data, a company’s organizational chart and other analytical tools. And while such rigorous quantitative work usually seems solid, Tom Peters warns on the Change This Manifesto site that they aren’t. “Plans are more often than not fantasies, numbers are readily manipulated,” he writes. “And org charts: In practice, they have little to do with how things actually get done.”

In the second sentence, he is referring to “the soft stuff” – people, relationships and organizational culture. It’s important. And it’s hard to get right.

So soft is hard – very hard.
Here are the speed traps to be aware of:

* Relationships take time.
* Recruiting allies to your cause takes time.
* Reading and studying to improve takes time.
* Waiting takes time – and yes, you should wait, since delay and pondering are essential elements of being human.
* Aggressive listening takes time.
* Practice and prep for anything takes time.
* Management-by-walking-around takes time.
* The slack you need in your schedule that comes from thinking about what not to do so you’re not overscheduled takes time.
* Thoughtful small gestures take time.
* The last one per cent of any task or project – the often critical part, the polishing part – takes time.
* Game-changing design takes time. Laurene Powell Jobs noted that her husband, Steve Jobs, and his chief designer, Jony Ive, “would discuss corners for hours.”
* Excellence takes time.
* “It is a hyper-fast-paced world. And the speed therein is madly increasing. Excellence, however, takes time; and some, or most, measures cannot be rushed,” he says.
* So remember hard is soft. Soft is hard. And don’t automatically get caught in the speed trap.

[jk....from Tony Schwartz...... Judgment is grounded in discernment, subtlety and nuance.... Good judgment grows out of reflection, and reflection requires the sort of quiet time that gets crowded out by the next demand].

it’s not enough to merely explain what you believe. You also need to explain what you don’t believe. It is not enough to explain what you stand for. You need to explain what you stand against. That is critical with colleagues in the workplace; it helps to clarify. But it also works in Mr. Williams’ field, advertising. “Don’t just tell us what you are. Tell us what you are not,” he says.
check email at 7 a.m., 11 a.m., 4 p.m., and 8 p.m., with some additional time to purge emails each day.
Seth Godin: Add energy to every conversation, ask why, find obsolete items on your task list and eliminate them, treat customers better than they expected, offer to help to co-workers before they ask, leave things more organized than you found them, cut costs, and find other great employees to join the team.
two words that will build trust with customers, according to consultant Jeff Mowatt: “As promised.” Add them in to conversations after you deliver something on time or in detail, to emphasize it’s “as promised.”
Communicating_&_Connecting  e-mail  Harvey_Schachter  humour  Jonathan_Ive  Seth_Godin  soft_skills  speed  Tom_Peters  trustworthiness  dual-consciousness  pairs  clarity  thinking_deliberatively  on-time  opposing_actions  co-workers 
may 2018 by jerryking
Three steps to becoming a CEO - The Globe and Mail
CEOs  Harvey_Schachter  howto 
february 2018 by jerryking
Why you should create space in your life just to think
October 27, 2017 | The Globe and Mail | by HARVEY SCHACHTER.

Here's how:

Commit to a topic: There are many things that could flood your mind in any given moment. Pick an important topic and commit to thinking about it.

Block some time: Set aside an hour or two to think about that topic or, Mr. Eblin adds, read about the issue if more research is needed (jk: sustained inquiry). “My sense is that blocking out more than two hours of think time at any one sitting is probably a waste of time for most people. It’s hard to maintain your focus on any given topic for more than an hour or two. If you need more than two hours of think time on the topic, schedule more time on other days,” he writes.

Find another space for thinking: Get out of your normal work space to refresh yourself and provide different visual cues.

Attend a conference: If the issue is a toughie, consider a conference on the topic that allows you to immerse yourself in possibilities.

Take notes: By writing down the thoughts that come to your mind, you don’t have to worry about remembering them. That’s actually a part of creating space: more time to think, less to worry about remembering. And once you have a note-taking process – Mr. Eblin is a fan of Evernote, which is searchable and shared on various electronic devices – you now have a place to record that sudden thought at another time.
Harvey_Schachter  reflections  creative_renewal  Evernote  thinking  note_taking  visual_cues  buffering  slack_time  sustained_inquiry 
october 2017 by jerryking
Retailers must innovate and adapt to thrive in the age of Amazon
JUNE 26, 2017 | The Globe and Mail | HARVEY SCHACHTER.

Mr. Stephens does not believe we are seeing the death of retail. But we will need to see retail's reinvention, and soon. At the core will have to be the understanding that we don't need physical stores for distribution of goods, as Amazon has shown. But we will need them for experiences.

To his mind, Amazon is actually not a retailer. It's a data technology and innovation company that succeeds by ignoring the conventional wisdom of retailing and following its own ways. He notes that last year Macy's CEO Terry Lundgren said that while Amazon might pose some threat in apparel sales it would suffer because it was not prepared to handle complexities such as returns of items. But to Amazon, that's just another challenge to be handled by data and technology, as it is showing. When Amazon opened a physical store, it looked at retail through its own eyes and, in an age of mobile devices, eliminated cash registers, checkouts and lineups.

"But Amazon does not want to play in the physical experiences arena. They want to take the friction out of the equation. So if retailers can make the experiences in their stores rich, they can gain an edge," says Mr. Stephens. But most, of course, aren't all that effective for now, even at a basic level of romancing the customer, let alone the redesigned future he is calling for, where stores are redesigned around experiencing the product under consideration.
retailers  innovation  Amazon  Harvey_Schachter  experiential_marketing  Doug_Stephens  emotional_connections  contra-Amazon  slight_edge  physical_experiences 
september 2017 by jerryking
Boost your sales with tips from Warren Buffett

How to Close a Deal Like Warren Buffett
By Tom Searcy and Henry DeVries
(McGraw-Hill, 217 pages, $24.95)

The authors recommend a process they call "the triples" that will help you make the case for your product or service:

Triple 1: The prospect's three problems

First, find out – and write down – the three biggest problems the prospect faces in the area your product or service can help. This aligns you with the buyer's interests.

Triple 2: Your three-part solution

Now think carefully about how you can solve each problem. As you write it out for the client, remember that generic language such as "improved," "better," and "big difference" are not that compelling. Use actual numbers and refer to specific pressure points to focus on the outcomes your prospect can expect.

Triple 3: Your three references

The third step is to identify at least three references you can share who have experienced similar outcomes when using your products and services. This may be sensitive, given confidentiality and competitive issues. But the authors stress: "The most effective way to get the attention of prospects is to drop the names of others just like them."

The authors urge you to become a student of psychology and develop profiles of members of the prospect's team. Try to determine each person's fears, since those qualms may send your pitch into the ditch. Determine each person's point of view about your solution, as well as any other personal trait or event that might be of importance. At the same time, study the team dynamics, from where people sit around the table to who they defer to.

The most dangerous person will be "the eel." The authors insist that "in every deal, and at every prospect's table, there is always an eel – a person who is against the deal. Always. Eels have a tendency to hang out in the shadows. They are hard to get to, and they usually talk you down when you're not around."

Usually eels are driven by fear that they don't want to acknowledge, so instead they insist they are against the deal on principle. They are dangerous, and must be identified early. Then you can try to co-opt them, taking the eel's ideas and baking them into your proposal.
Harvey_Schachter  deal-making  eels  Warren_Buffett  books  tips  salesmanship  pitches  think_threes  solutions  psychology  references  problems  obstacles  management_consulting  JCK  problem_solving  indispensable  enterprise_clients  aligned_interests 
august 2017 by jerryking
How ‘red teaming’ can foster critical thinking at your company - The Globe and Mail
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Wednesday, Jul. 19, 2017

Red Teaming

By Bryce Hoffman
Crown Books, 278 pages, $37.00

the same concept, ensuring second thought in a time when complexity and psychological biases can get you in deep trouble. “Red teaming works. It works for small California tech start-ups and Japanese wealth funds. It works for old, iconic corporations and innovative disruptors. It works for non-profits and hedge funds. And it can work for your company too, if you let it,” consultant and former journalist Bryce Hoffman writes in Red Teaming.....Ideally, red teaming should begin after a plan has been developed but before it has been approved. You want time to modify it. The red team needs healthy discussion and a free flow of ideas. That is best achieved with divergent thinking, looking at alternatives, which ultimately morphs into convergent thinking. In that vein a good deal of the book is devoted to sharing techniques to achieve that balance.....
books  red_teams  Harvey_Schachter  devil’s_advocates 
july 2017 by jerryking
Are venture capitalists biased against women? - The Globe and Mail
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Thursday, Jun. 01, 2017
Harvey_Schachter  venture_capital  women 
june 2017 by jerryking
Improving your commuting time - The Globe and Mail
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, May 12, 2017

five strategies to consider:

Use the time to shift your mindset: The commute affords you the opportunity to shift from personal to professional mode. Rituals can help: One study shows those who developed small routines on the way to work – such as checking the news on the train or having a look at the calendar for the day – felt more excited about the day ahead, more satisfied with their jobs and less stressed than individuals with no set routine. Buying a latte from the same coffee shop may even do the trick.

Prepare to be productive: ....when you spend some of your trip planning for the day or the week ahead you arrive at work better prepared and therefore happier, more energetic and more productive. “Simply ask yourself: What steps can I take today and during this week to accomplish my work and career goals? How can I be more productive?” they advise.

Find your “pockets of freedom”: Usually the commute feels out of control but they suggest focusing on what you can control. Think also about activities you enjoy – such as listening to music or podcasts or reading books – that you can fit into your trip. You might even use the time as a chance to learn a new skill – knitting or a foreign language, for example....“So try to tune out the negatives of commuting and concentrate on the opportunity to express yourself and recharge.”

Share the spirit: Commuting can be lonely if you drive by yourself or sit in an isolated cocoon on public transit. ...talking to strangers can improve well-being for commuters. So reach out to those around you and chat, or use social media. If you’re driving, call a friend on your speaker phone or try to find a commuting pal to travel with.

Reduce your commute: Consider living closer to your work. ... Carefully consider the downsides of a long commute before committing yourself to one,” they suggest.

More generally, think about your commute, its consequences on your life and the five changes they suggest.
commuting  Harvey_Schachter  recharging  personal_productivity  rituals  routines 
may 2017 by jerryking

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