1. In accordance with the result of the 23 June 2016 referendum, the UK Prime Minister signed a letter invoking Article 50 of the Treaty of the European Union on 28 March 2017. The letter was delivered to the President of the European Council the next day. This action formally triggered the Brexit process and initiated […]

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  2. Some time ago I blogged about a curious overnight arrival in front of my house. It was curious, partly because it was to stay there some time – and also because it was yellow. I checked the statistics and found that only about 0.4 per cent of new cars sold in 2010 in the UK […]

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  3. In 1999 Fortune Magazine reported that 70 per cent of strategies implemented by Fortune 500 companies failed. This disturbing statistic was nothing new; Fortune Magazine had reported similar results in a survey from 1986, and there are regular reports in the media of failed strategy implementation with percentages ranging from between 50 to 90 per […]

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  4. Nearly 10 years ago, McKinsey & Company published a research paper showing that corporations with the strongest representation of women on their boards ‘are also the companies that perform best’ (http://www.raeng.org.uk/publications/other/women-matter-oct-2007 ). The research was extensive, examining 231 organisations with feedback from 115,000 employees against nine of McKinsey’s proprietary measures such as accountability, innovation, leadership […]

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  5. Are conspicuous brands losing their appeal? That is the question that Jane Priest, teaching fellow at Edinburgh Business School (EBS), is asking as she embarks on her PhD. With her proposal now approved by the EBS Postgraduate Committee, Jane has got the green light to start her exciting journey. Evidence is emerging that conspicuous brands […]

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  6. I was at a conference not long ago and was struck by a comment made by a colleague. She said that she often thought of negotiation as a ballet. It was a beautiful dance when done by an expert but woefully awful when done by an amateur. This got me thinking. It is undoubtedly a […]

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  7. The Co-op Bank is inviting bids for all of its issued ordinary share capital. This well-known, long-established and familiar high street bank (owned 20/80 per cent by the Co-operative Group and institutional investors respectively) is promoting itself for sale. Given its difficulties over the last few years, this might prove to be a tricky disposal. […]

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  8. The much-talked-about Brexit is certain to impact business life in the UK. Whether you were a “leaver” who voted to exit the European Union or a “remainer” who voted to stay and preserve the status quo no longer matters as the UK Government seeks to implement Article 50 to start the process in the next […]

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  9. I got the following email reply from a colleague not long ago. Actually, on 26 December. “Hi Shai, it is inappropriate to send work emails on Christmas Day”, followed by an answer to a question I had been waiting for. Because (email) etiquette in business conduct interests me, I then searched the organisation’s policy for […]

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  10. The new Queensferry Crossing, a road bridge located near Edinburgh and just a few kilometres from Edinburgh Business School, is scheduled to open during the first half of 2017. The bridge is the longest three-tower, cable-stayed bridge in the world. It is around 2.7km long and the towers are around 200m above the level of […]

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  11. For over 40 years the North Sea has provided a steady stream of major projects ranging from field explorations to well drilling and completions. Over that time the UK sector of the North Sea oil has made a significant contribution to the UK economy. Most of the large oil and gas fields are now, however, […]

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  12. Is there such a thing as the perfect deal? Is it a myth or is it achievable? If it is achievable, how do we measure it? First we have to define the perfect deal. Does it mean: I’ve done well in the deal? (But this suggests the other side didn’t get much from the deal, […]

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  13. Imagine you have finished your MBA and have decided to set up a business on your own. You have a great idea for a new product/service that you believe will fill a gap in the market. The only problem is that this will require money to get off the ground and you don’t have that […]

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  14. Money has three functions. It acts as: a medium of exchange; a unit of account; a store of wealth. On every Indian 500 Rupee note it states “I promise to pay the bearer the sum of Five Hundred Rupees.” It is signed by the Governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). This allows Rupees […]

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  15. What do you think about giving everyone in your country a basic income? No matter if you are employed or unemployed, young or old, rich or poor? Social benefit systems can be extremely complex and bureaucratic. Basic income proposals seek to simplify those expenses by eliminating complex benefit systems. Supporters of a basic income for […]

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  16. Things are not always what they appear to be. On a recent trip to East Asia I took the opportunity to visit a famous street market. Apart from wonderful street food, the market has a wide range of clothing and accessories that attracts both tourists and locals. One feature struck me. Why were so many […]

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  17. The press and professional journals are full of articles about the impact technology is going to have on our jobs in the future. The stories range from the downright scary (technology will erode all aspects of our freedom) to the absurd (we’re all going to be out of a job). The fact that most of […]

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  18. Amazon has announced its entry into the grocery sector with Amazon Go, an offline supermarket that will open in Seattle in early 2017. Four years in the planning, the concept, as you might expect from Amazon, is technology driven. Using smart technology, the internet giant is doing away with the humble checkout. As customers load […]

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  19. With the controversial election of real estate mogul Donald Trump to the presidency of the United States, there is considerable concern about his style of leadership. A prevalent criticism is that he is not very ‘presidential’ in his conduct, seemingly involving himself in public debates that many deem to be below the level of conduct […]

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  20. There was an interesting article on the BBC News website last week that was brought to my attention by a colleague at EBS, Gerry Reilly . Its title says it all: ‘Shouldn’t lectures be obsolete by now?’ The article starts by saying that the reason the lecture has refused to go away is not ‘because it’s […]

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  21. Five years ago I posted a blog on this site about a famous bet between the ecologist Paul Ehrlich and the economist Julian Simon. Ehrlich had been the author of a best-selling and gloomy book warning that we were going to run out of basic commodities in the future. And that in turn was taken […]

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  22. I don’t know how free from litter the streets in your town or city are, but in Copenhagen, Denmark, the streets are pretty clean. Indeed, the Danish capital is one of the cleanest in Europe. Mind you, this has not always been the case. There is a tendency towards littering in Copenhagen, but the City […]

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  23. Thirty-five years ago a medium-sized luxury hotel in Southern Europe had a manual bookkeeping system in which guest bills were handwritten, and not very well either! In the cashier’s section the clerks would enter charges from dockets raised by various departments – restaurants, floor service, hairdresser, manicurist, boutique shops, car hire, theatre desk, concierge, florist, […]

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  24. Kevin Roberts, Executive Chairman of Saatchi & Saatchi, resigned after claiming that women in the advertising industry lacked ambition and were not held back by sexisim. It is to the firm’s credit that Robert Senior, worldwide CEO, quickly released a statement distancing the firm from Roberts’s views, saying: ‘Saatchi & Saatchi is, and has always […]

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  25.  A few months ago I blogged about the lack of a service culture and asked you for examples of a good one. Needless to say, I got no response. I’ll content myself with the supposition that you couldn’t find any! Well, I might just have uncovered one, so I’ll share it with you. A month […]

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  26. ‘Big data’ is a term that’s been in common usage for nearly 10 years, yet we still talk about it as though it’s something other organisations are doing. There is a growing body of case studies of (mainly large) organisations that are managing to show how they are sifting through, analysing and acting upon large […]

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  27. I recently visited one of my favourite countries. A full-colour, glossy pull-out in the local paper had attracted my attention. The advert proclaimed an ‘ecoworld’ in which the housing development is designed to tantalisingly encourage a ‘more wholesome way of life’ with ‘easy sophistication and a synthesis of form, functionality, environmentalism and luxury’. No doubt […]

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  28. I have been thinking about this a lot recently. It used to annoy me greatly when my father would go into a car showroom and ask for a new car: ‘What do you have? OK, I’ll take it.’ I couldn’t understand how the greatest negotiator I had known would not bother to even try to […]

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  29. It’s official: pack sizes are shrinking! According to the Bank of England, food retailers in the UK are making pack sizes smaller and using cheaper ingredients in an effort to offset increased costs in the wake of Brexit. Since the referendum in June 2016, the value of sterling has depreciated by around 12% and now […]

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  30. The frequent, ongoing and high-profile cases of unethical behaviour in the world of business are of considerable concern to organisations and their stakeholders. Consider the $5 billion fine of Barclays, Citibank and others in 2015 for currency manipulation. Or last year’s revelation of Volkswagen’s falsification of emission tests. And what of the corruption among the […]

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