The five links are a way to think of ESG systematically, not an assurance that each link will apply, or apply to the same degree, in every instance. Some are more likely to arise in certain industries or sectors; others will be more frequent in given geographies. Still, all five should be considered regardless of a company’s business model or location. The potential for value creation is too great to leave any of them unexplored.
Small businesses in the retail industry have new rules to play by if they want to succeed in the post-Covid-19 era.
1. Find new revenue streams
2. Focus on supply chain and convenience
3. Prioritize health and safety
Read more here.
Maximising shareholder value is the world's dumbest idea.
There’s something unbearably sad about a great financial journal like The Economist defending shareholder value theory, which even Jack Welch has called “the dumbest idea in the world." Like many unbearably sad things, it involves clever people who should know better struggling to defend something that is economically, socially and morally ugly.
Perhaps this is a better idea: The purpose of business is to create customer (and get your ESG proposition right).
The retailer will close down for good after suffering from at least six years of losses amid declining revenues. The company first made a loss after tax of $26.5 million in 2014. It recorded further losses till 2018 of $54.4 million that year. Read more here.
.A quick guide on negotiation, the Harvard style:
1. Separate the person from the issue (the other side is your partner, not enemy)
2. Negotiate not position-focused, but interest-oriented
3. Develop criteria that a solution must fulfill
4. You should have different options to choose from.
No, physical office is still needed. However, companies must have procedures and technology to enable employees to work virtually as and when needed. The new normal.
"A lot of leaders underestimate the challenges of running a virtual workplace. We are social animals that need human interaction" Simon Sinek
A good reminder on management vs leadership, especially at times of crisis.
In management, there are only 3 things you can control: quality, time and money When you choose one, the other two will suffer. You cannot manage people.
If you take a chain, pile it up and then push it, what direction will it go? Nowhere you can predict and not very far. If you take it by the end and pull it, which way will it go? It will follow you.
Leadership is not about what sets you apart from those you lead—it’s about what binds you together. It is not about controlling others—it’s about trusting others. It’s not about your achievements—it’s about unleashing your team’s greatness.
In short, leadership really isn’t about you. It’s about your people.
To attract top talent in today’s market, companies need to upgrade their recruiting skills, and their culture. Here are 4 key insights:
1. Companies can’t just adopt 21st-century job titles; they need 21st-century working practices and a company culture to match.
2. Today’s top talent wants meaningful work, opportunities to develop and grow, and flexible working conditions.
3. Employers can’t wait for new talent to find them; they have to go after the best candidates.
4. To attract and retain new talent, including diverse hires, companies need to work on organization-wide culture change or create silos where new cultures and talent can flourish.
The coronavirus epidermic in China presents an opportunity for entrepreneurs to retool themselves and prepare for the growth that lies ahead when the outbreak subsides. “Reflect on what you really want, what you have and what you need to give up, or stick to,” Ma said.
Ma told students to “learn digital working methods” and “adopt internet technology.”
Alibaba launched its Taobao online shopping platform in 2003 when China was locked down during a nationwide outbreak of Sars.
Ma also channelled Kyocera Corporation’s founder Kazuo Inamori, whose management and leadership turned the television component maker into one of Japan’s largest companies.
Inamori had five strategies for companies during times of recession, according to Ma:
Strategy One: Every employees should turn to sales
Every employee should turn to sales, to arouse latent demand among clients, Ma cited Inamori in saying. "Even in a company with tip-top technology, selling a product is still the foundation of the company's operation," Inamori said. "It is impossible to get orders during recessions if employees lack the spirit in making all-out efforts for clients."
Strategy Two: Spare no effort to develop new products
A recession is a golden opportunity for companies to innovate and expand sales. "Clients are too free during a recession. They will also propose new ideas after listening to yours. This would create orders that you never imagined before, so that you can expand your business."
Strategy Three: Radical cost cuts
Recession is the only chance to cut costs, as every employee would strive to make it happen, Inamori said. "You need to lower the break-even point of the whole company by making efforts to reduce production costs," Inamori said. "If a company can maintain profitability when the turnover is halved, it would be even more profitable when sales returns to normal."
Strategy Four: Maintain high production rate Companies should maintain their usual high productivity rate even in times of recession, by reassigning excess labour from the production line to other tasks to maintain the cadence and vibe of the work cycle. "Once productivity drops, it would not be easy to restore," Inamori said.
Strategy Five: Establish favourable interpersonal relations
"The most important thing for managing a company is the relationship between the manager and employees," Inamori said, adding that employers must "love and protect" employees, while employees need to understand the manager, they need to help and support each other.
Read more here.
Thomas Cook’s rescue plan would have probably made it the “best-funded travel company in Europe,” but the UK government’s failure to offer a last-minute financial guarantee effectively brought about its collapse, according to testimony at an inquiry into the firm’s insolvency.
Read more on 5 Takeaways from UK's Thomas Cook Inquiry.
What caused the collapse of Thomas Cook? Read here.
Growth is a journey that requires the entire business to constantly adjust, optimize and execute, but it starts at the top. Only when the CEO, C-suite, and business-unit leaders have the right mind-set can leaders hope to drive growth across the business.
Growth is the number one, two and three priority.
A new survey by McKinsey highlights what separates growth leaders from the pack. Here are the seven statements that reflect the convictions of today’s growth leaders:
1. I'm all in
Always put growth first. Growth leaders put growth at the top of every agenda, from board meetings to performance reviews.
2. I'm willing to fail
Make plenty of bets. Growth leaders make more growth bets than their peers. They create a portfolio of initiatives, protecting the necessary resources and funding.
3. I know my customer as a person, not as a data point
Growth leaders are resolute, however, in putting the customer at the center of all their decisions. An executive at a global apparel brand admitted, “Whenever I’m in meetings and being presented with options to decide on, my first question is "What’s in it for the customer?"
4. I favor action over perfection
Act on “good enough” insights. Good data are crucial for good decisions, but growth leaders value speed over perfect insights. They don’t wait for perfect data. Instead, they use the data they have to make a thoughtful decision, pursue it vigorously, and then reevaluate based on results.
5. I fight for growth
Break down internal barriers. Growth is a team sport, but functional leaders often jealously guard their turf, which undermines many promising initiatives. Growth leaders actively seek out the conflicts and eliminate them. They break down silos, diffuse turf battles, and provide support for strained resources to clear the path for their teams to deliver.
6. I have a growth story I tell all the time
Infuse the business with purpose. Growth leaders know that purpose is power and that communication is about more than "the what" of growth; it’s "the why". Articulating a purpose that goes beyond brands, categories, and businesses is an effective way that growth leaders rally the whole organization.
7. I give control to others
Build up people’s growth muscles. Growth leaders invest more time in formal and informal training for growth, covering not just functional and leadership capabilities but also mind-sets.
Read more here.
It’s the best of times and the worst of times to be a business owner. For many, the promise of a liquidity event represents the culmination of their life’s work. But how do you optimize your valuation or determine the ideal timing of the event?
Here are 10 steps to optimise the value of your company:
1. Start with the end in mind
Think like a buyer would. In addition to a growth plan, a buyer will want to understand the strategic value your company adds to their portfolio, the diversity of income and customers, and the likelihood that management will stay (which may matter less to a strategic buyer than to a financial buyer).
2. Include your team in the process
Many private company owners are skittish about sharing information regarding a potential exit with their management teams. Whether it is appropriate to do so is dependent on a number of variables, including the sophistication of the team. Senior managers are going to find out eventually, and utilizing their talents to drive valuation is often a success factor. Handcuffing them through a long-term incentive plan (LTIP) is an important best practice (as opposed to providing them equity). It’s is just good business to reward the people who get you there.
3. Focus on the growth story
The single most important variable in optimizing value is being able to demonstrate consistent, predictable revenue void of too much concentration risk in a few customers. The business owner must maintain laser focus on growth in the three to five years before the sale. Any buyer will want proof that the business can “scale.”
4. Secure the right advisers early
Many business owners talk to wealth advisers, strategic planning consultants, transactional attorneys and investment bankers late in the process. Create a team of advisers who can collaborate for several years in advance and have the pieces in place when you are ready to sell to optimize your valuation. Assign a “quarterback” to drive a seamless process.
5. Formalize your exit plan
After you have met with your team and advisers, formalize your company’s strategic plan and exit plan. Your exit will need to coincide with a succession plan. Note that a majority of “earn out” consulting agreements do not pan out. While there may be tax benefits to having a consulting agreement post-transaction, make sure you understand their limitations when you’re trying to optimize your valuation.
6. Understand valuation
Every business owner thinks their business is worth more than it actually is. Get an expert business valuation done, in part to set the basis for your long-term incentive plan.
7. Minimize tax liability
Too many owners wait far too long to consider their tax liability during a transaction, and they end up giving away a sizable chunk of their gain in taxes. The right advisers may have you consider relocation for the business or the owner, or other tax-mitigating strategies such as forming an ESOP. This is why a CPA who knows M&A is so critical to optimize your valuation.
8. Ensure you have solid financial statements
A fatal flaw that will end a process before it begins is a lack of financial controls. Buyers will immediately discount any company that does not have solid financial statements and performance for at least three years.
9. Be patient
Selling in a down cycle can be costly. Waiting until you have assembled the right team, advisers and financial history can dramatically increase valuation. As private equity becomes interested at about $5 million in EBITDA, crossing this threshold is important in maximizing value
10. Develop your life plan
Owners often have a sizable portion of their financial wealth wrapped up in their businesses and make invalid assumptions about the cost of retirement.
Source: Marc Emmer. Read more by clicking at the image below:
1. Master a skill, scale it, build a community 0:25
1a. Build a platform for others that have skills 0:51
1b. Start online courses/webinars 1:54
2. Clean people's homes 3:08
3. Amazon Fulfilment business 4:07
4. Meal preparation and delivery 5:02
5. Rent bikes/mopeds 5:46
6. Fitness trainer (online or in-person) 6:33
7. Certified Public Accountant 7:27
8. Leadership skills 8:04
According to public speaking expert Neil Gordon, this is because most of us tend to stuff our talks full of information. You're taught to use acronyms, have steps and processes, fill your latest marketing deck with complicated charts ... and so you do.
Gordon says this is a mistake. "Most people think the reason why the most-viewed TED talks have been seen so many millions of times is because they're the most jaw-dropping, fascinating, ingenious, inspiring, or funniest talks," Gordon offers. "But it's not actually any of those things."
So what is it? What is the secret sauce?
"What they have," he says, "is a fully distilled idea that pervades the entire talk."
In other words, they have one big idea. Not several ideas. Not a list of seven ways to get more [blank] to do [blank].
No, they have one single, central, unifying theme. Gordon calls it a "silver bullet."
Salary guide for accounting and finance professionals in Malaysia 2018 / 2019:
Source: Kelly Services, Malaysia
In his first internal management strategy speech since being named Jack Ma's successor, Alibaba Group Holding chief executive Daniel Zhang Yong reminded managers in the company that key performance indicators (KPI) should never be the sole reason to do something.
“If we live for KPIs, and do something just for the sake of KPIs, then Alibaba is finished,”
Zhang reminded employees that the company's dream is to create value for the customers they serve.
He also exhorted employees to do their best to meet their own expectations, instead of caring what others think, and not give up when they meet resistance or obstacles – especially when it came to new business models and innovative projects that have not been tried before.
“Many of our businesses have been the same for over 10 years, and if we keep doing things the same way today, or five years later, then Alibaba won't have a future,” Zhang said, adding that his greatest fear was that Alibaba would become like a “robot on loop”.
Admiral Bill McRaven was in charge of the mission to kill Osama bin Laden. What he said was truly breathtaking.
McRaven released a short, direct statement, one that will certainly be very polarizing, but that is also a truly stunning example of leadership.
The 7-word headline: "Revoke my security clearance, too, Mr. President."
A good leader tries to embody the best qualities of his or her organization. A good leader sets the example for others to follow. A good leader always puts the welfare of others before himself or herself.
Your leadership, however, has shown little of these qualities. Through your actions, you have embarrassed us in the eyes of our children, humiliated us on the world stage and, worst of all, divided us as a nation.
This is truly one of the most stunning and sudden direct challenges to a sitting president.
But setting aside that political disagreement, McRaven's actions here are an astonishing example of trying to lead, at a potentially large personal cost. Here's why it works.
1. He's direct
McRaven's entire statement is 230 words. He gets right to the point, and there is no misunderstanding in his message. Effective communication is an important part of leadership.
2. He has credibility
McRaven is no longer in uniform, but his reputation is the main reason his message might resonate far and wide.
3. He sacrifices
McRaven doesn't offer bromides or call for people to rise up. Instead, the only thing he asks Trump specifically to do is to all him to make the same sacrifice that McRaven says other people are making. That's a powerful message.
4. He surprises
Like most members of the military, Admiral McRaven was careful not to reveal his political beliefs while he was in uniform. In fact, it is surprising to see him coming out and making such an overt, public statement against the president like this.
5. He offers a way out--and a challenge
By the time you get to the last sentence of McRaven's message, there's already a lot of energy spent, but his last line is amazing: "The criticism will continue until you become the leader we prayed you would be."
This is tough language, but it's interesting for what it's not. McRaven isn't demanding that Trump apologize, or reverse his decision, or resign. Instead, he's challenging the president and offering him a way out.
Source: Bill Murphy Jr, Inc.com
It pays to know your team players. Can you differentiate the productive and destructive people in your team?
Deloitte just published a large-scale survey of Millennial employees (and 1,844 Gen-Z workers) that revealed critical gaps in skill development.
In the study, respondents listed job skills they felt were essential and how well they felt their employer fared in helping them develop those skills.
Here's where the four biggest gaps are, and how to start closing them:
1. Interpersonal skills
2. Confidence and motivation
3. Critical thinking
4. Innovation and creativity
So help close these skill gaps and maybe you'll stop-gap the outflow of young talent.
How do you change a mind?
Rely on objective facts and statistics. Develop a strong case for your side, back it up with hard, cold, irrefutable data, and voila!
It doesn’t work.
The mind doesn’t follow the facts. Facts, as John Adams put it, are stubborn things, but our minds are even more stubborn. Doubt isn’t always resolved in the face of facts for even the most enlightened among us, however credible and convincing those facts might be.
If facts don’t work, how do you change a mind, whether it’s your own or your neighbor’s?
1. Give the mind an out
We’re reluctant to acknowledge mistakes. To avoid admitting we were wrong, we’ll twist ourselves into positions that even seasoned yogis can’t hold.
The key is to trick the mind by giving it an excuse. Convince your own mind (or your friend) that your prior decision or prior belief was the right one given what you knew, but now that the underlying facts have changed, so should the mind.
But instead of giving the mind an out, we often go for a punch to the gut. We belittle the other person (“I told you so”). We ostracize (“Basket of deplorables”). We ridicule (“What an idiot”).
2. Your beliefs are not you
We all tend to identify with our beliefs and arguments. This is my business, This is my article. This is my idea.
When your beliefs are entwined with your identity, changing your mind means changing your identity. That’s a really hard sell.
A possible solution, and one that I’ve adopted in my own life, is to put a healthy separation between you and the products of you. I changed my vocabulary to reflect this mental shift. At conferences, instead of saying, “In this paper, I argue . . .,” I began to say “This paper argue.”
This subtle verbal tweak tricked my mind into thinking that my arguments and me were not one and the same. It was no longer personal. It was simply a hypothesis proven wrong.
3. Build up your empathy muscle
Humans operate on different frequencies. If someone disagrees with you, it’s not because they’re wrong, and you’re right. It’s because they believe something that you don’t believe.
The challenge is to figure out what that thing is and adjust your frequency. If employment is the primary concern of the Detroit auto worker, showing him images of endangered penguins (as adorable as they may be) or Antarctica’s melting glaciers will get you nowhere. Instead, show him how renewable energy will provide job security to his grandchildren. Now, you’ve got his attention.
4. Get out of your echo chamber
We live in a perpetual echo chamber. We friend people like us on Facebook. We follow people like us on Twitter. We read the news outlets that are on the same political frequency as us.
This means our opinions aren’t being stress tested nearly as frequently as they should.
Make a point to befriend people who disagree with you. Expose yourself to environments where your opinions can be challenged, as uncomfortable and awkward as that might be.
Strongly believe in an idea, but be willing to change your opinion if the facts show otherwise.
Ask yourself, “What fact would change one of my strongly held opinions?” If the answer is “no fact would change my opinion,” you’re in trouble. A person who is unwilling to change his or her mind even with an underlying change in the facts is, by definition, a fundamentalist.
In the end, it takes courage and determination to see the truth instead of the convenient. But it’s well worth the effort.
Source: Ozan Varol
If you think all CEOs are Ivy League educated individuals who set their eyes on the C-suite at a young age, you're mistaken. According to Elena Botelho and Kim Powell, authors of the book "The CEO Next Door," "Even the most impressive CEOs often didn't start out knowing they were destined for greatness."
However, many of us believe the stereotype that an "iconic CEO is powerful and patrician, a bold, charismatic extrovert with a flawless resume," write the researchers. This makes us falsely assume that we are not "CEO material." To the contrary, ordinary people can also become CEOs, note the authors, as long as they have the necessary traits.
Four simple behaviors can turn everyday people into powerful CEOs: decisiveness, engaging for impact, relentless reliability and adapting boldly.
1. Make quick decisions
Successful CEOs are decisive and are 12 times more likely to be high performers.
Steve Gorman, the former CEO of Greyhound, exemplifies why this trait is so crucial. When Gorman took over Greyhound in 2003, the business was losing money, according to the study. In addition, its parent company, which had just come out of bankruptcy, was ready to shut the doors on the company.
For four months, Gorman listened to his top execs create and dismiss plans to save the company but eventually he had enough. Among the many piles of data his team analyzed was a satellite map of the U.S. and Canada, which showed where all the nation's lights were concentrated (a reflection of population density). Unsure if his plan would work, he immediately set out to reshape Greyhound bus routes around these heavily populated regions. His strategy worked.
By the time he left Greyhound in 2007, the company reported $30 million earnings and was eventually sold for twice its 2003 value.
The authors explain that Gorman was able to "push forward" not because he knew his plan would work but because he realized that a potentially bad decision was much better than no decision.
2. Get people to buy into your idea
To be a successful CEO, you must engage those around you and inspire them to deliver results, according to the authors. But it's not as simple as being nice or getting people to like you. In fact, nice CEOs can be a drag on an organization because they focus more on being agreeable than getting workers to deliver quality results, say the researchers.
To effectively persuade people to buy into your ideas, the authors say to do three things:
a. Translate your vision and goals and be clear about your intent.
b. Understand the emotional, financial and physical needs of the people who will help you deliver results.
c. Establish everyday routines and habits to build relationships, which translate into action and eventually business results.
3. Deliver consistent results
CEOs who consistently deliver results and successfully execute plans are seen as reliable, according to the researchers. Once a CEO is known for their reliability, their odds of getting hired double.
"In business, reliable and competent people are cherished," write the authors. "Employers and clients are more apt to take risks on them and more apt to give them opportunities."
Virgin Group founder Richard Branson did just that when he created Virgin Australia, the country's second largest airline. The decision to launch this airline was actually the brainchild of his employee Brett Godfrey, who Branson immediately took a liking to because he was personable, detail-oriented and hardworking.
"[I] saw how he dealt with people in a personable manner and got the best out of them," Branson writes in his latest autobiography, "Finding my Virginity."
The billionaire was so impressed by his employee's work ethic that when Godfrey suggested creating an airline company in his home country of Australia, Branson bit. In 2000, Virgin Australia officially entered the aviation market with Godfrey as CEO ( a position he held until 2010).
4. Adapt to the circumstances
"To get to the top, aspiring leaders have to learn to navigate the uncharted," write the authors. They point to Kodak, Blockbuster and Borders as companies that failed because their leaders didn't adapt.
Their analysis also found that the CEOs who excel at adapting feel comfortable being uncomfortable. These execs understand that discomfort comes with change and learning. Furthermore, adaptable CEOs can let go of the past and focus on the future, much like Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos.
Source: Ruth Umoh, CNBC
Raising fund? Pitching? Listen to what she has to say ...
Business, economy, education and current issues. Providing tips, tricks and tools in managing business.