Monday, April 30, 2012

Fixing the disconnect

New research shows that companies that continually evaluate where its resources (capital, talent and other resources) need to go, aligns resource spend with strategy and adapts spend to market opportunities will be 40 per cent ahead of the company with a fixed allocations strategy over 15 years. 
How to Put Your Money Where Your Strategy Is is a great new piece from McKinsey Quarterly by Steven Hall, Dan Lovallo and Reiner Musters. In essence is examines the dangers of not aligning strategy to resources spend. The distribution of resources needs to be extremely tightly aligned to strategy rather than tightly fixed and inflexible. This is something that really comes out in the audits I do, vast sums wasted on irrelevant communications, leaving no resources for more urgent projects. The McK research proves that this is a very expensive, unproductive way to work.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Go team Open Field!

A shout out for the new Open Field iPad mag created by my very clever friend Kirsten Alexander. It's already gaining the attention of the likes of Margaret Atwood. All proceeds go to CARE Australia.
Contributors include:
Pakistani poet Fatima Bhutto
Australian journalist and writer Anne Summers
New Yorker cartoonist Liza Donnelly
Australian actor and producer Claudia Karvan
New York photographer Lili Almog
As well as writer Alice Garner, restaurateur misschu, singer-songwriter Sally Seltmann, novelists Joanna Hershon and Kate Veitch, body artist Lucy McRae, and more.
Head to iTunes and download here. I'll be reading it tonight...


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

This is how it's done

I'll never get sick of covering smart start ups. Read about the guys behind the iTunes bestselling app series Discovr here that I profiled for AFR Boss.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Why training pays off

Read a great piece on the plane today in The New Yorker's brilliant Financial Page about Uniqlo's staffing and training strategy that serves as a reminder of the value of not scrimping on training, the value of ensuring that staff know what they are doing and are attuned to customers' needs.   James Surowiecki writes that Uniqlo "hires a lot of people, and spends a lot of time training them."

In so many successful businesses I have written about and worked with, this really is the case. If the team is nurtured in a way that celebrates skill building, learning and knowledge sharing, it's a huge motivator and can translate into bottom-line success. The article cites a recent HBR study that looked at low-price retailers including Costco and found that these businesses, while they offer cheap prices, have higher labour costs than competitors. They have more sales people on the floor and they invest more in training them. Read 'The More The Merrier' (The New Yorker's March 26 issue) here.