Sunday, 27 February 2011

The Sound of Freedom

"From every street in my country
The sound of freedom calls...
We broke all boundaries
Our weapon was our dreams."

Very good analysis of the Arab awakening/uprising in the February 19th issue of The Economist. The feature was entitled "After Mubarak: The autumn of the patriarchs". The Banyan (Asian) Blog feature ("The wind that will not subside: Hearing Egyptian echoes, China's autocrats cling to the hope that they are different") was very interesting too.

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

When Irish Eyes Are Crying

Some snippets from an article by Michael Lewis entitled 'When Irish Eyes Are Crying' found in the March 2011 issue of Vanity Fair on the economic crisis that hit Ireland:
"... Googling things, [Morgan] Kelly learned that more than a fifth of the Irish workforce was employed building houses. The Irish construction industry had swollen to become nearly a quarter of the country's G.D.P.—compared with less than 10 percent in a normal economy—and Ireland was building half as many new houses a year as the United Kingdom, which had almost 15 times as many people to house. He learned that since 1994 the average price for a Dublin home had risen more than 500 percent...

... Since 2000, Irish exports had stalled, and the economy had been consumed with building houses and offices and hotels. "Competitiveness didn't matter," says Kelly. "From now on we were going to get rich building houses for each other."...

... The Irish had discovered optimism...

... Their real-estate boom had the flavor of a family lie: it was sustainable so long as it went unquestioned, and it went unquestioned so long as it appeared sustainable...

... A banking system is an act of faith: it survives only for as long as people believe it will..."

Saturday, 5 February 2011

Mission Command

Six steps to getting leadership right:
  1. establish beyond doubt the aim and purpose of your enterprise;
  2. get the organisation right;
  3. get the right people into your organisation;
  4. get the right spirit into your people;
  5. get your communications with them right;
  6. let them get on with it.
No plan survives the first five minutes of adversity so... Do not command more than is necessary, or plan beyond the circumstances you can foresee.

(Summary of a review of the book 'The Art of Action: How Leaders Close the Gaps Between Plans, Actions and Results' by Stephen Bungay which I found in the Management Today January 2011 issue. The book review entitled 'Penetrating the fog of war' by Colonel Tim Collins was about how insights gained in battle can be usefully applied to the world of business – knowing when to lead and when to delegate.)