Friday, November 30, 2012

Dear Bill Emmott

On 1 October 1994, The Economist published a profile of Peter F. Drucker as part of an ongoing series on seminal management thinkers. On 12 October 1994, Drucker responded with a long and enlightening letter to Bill Emmott, the then editor of The Economist.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

An African Start the Week

On the 19th of March 2012, Andrew Marr hosted an African Start the Week (BBC Radio 4) with Nadine Gordimer, Jack Mapanje and Richard Dowden.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Monday, November 26, 2012

The Bible On Management: Delegation

Moses' father-in-law replied, "What you are doing is not good. You and these people who come to you will only wear yourselves out. The work is too heavy for you; you cannot handle it alone." - Exodus 18: 17-18 (NIV).

Friday, November 23, 2012

Thursday, November 22, 2012

The Art (and Science) of the Start

Excellent meditation by Paul Graham on the art (and science) of generating start-up ideas.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


"I don't understand," said Thorin, and Bilbo felt he would have liked to say the same. The explanation did not seem to explain.
-- J. R. R. Tolkien, The Hobbit

Monday, November 19, 2012

The Bible On Management: The Key to Productivity

"You will eat the fruit of your labor; blessings and prosperity will be yours." - Psalm 128: 2 (NIV)

The key to a productive life is work.

Friday, November 16, 2012

2012 Word of the Year

My 2012 word of the year is "pivot". My earliest recollection of encountering this word was in primary school science lessons mumblety-mumble years ago. The topic, as I recall, was simple machines and "pivot" was used synonymously with "fulcrum". And it was invariably a noun. This year I've heard the word "pivot" being used in various contexts, including tech entrepreneurship and politics. And always as a verb.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Fault Lines

Men at some time are masters of their fates:
The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,
But in ourselves, that we are underlings.

- Shakespeare, Julius Caesar

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The most important thing in communication

"The most important thing in communication is to hear what isn’t being said.'' - Peter F. Drucker

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Manage It Like Fergie

Prof. Anita Elberse analyses some of Sir Alex Ferguson's management and leadership secrets.

Monday, November 12, 2012

The Bible On Management: Wealth Creation

"For it is [God] who gives you the ability to produce wealth."
- Deuteronomy 8:18 (NIV)

Wealth is not a naturally occurring phenomenon; it must be produced or created, not merely acquired of accumulated.

Friday, November 09, 2012

Magnanimous In Defeat

Whatever your political views, you have to admire the grace with which Mitt Romney publicly conceded defeat in this week's US presidential election. It's far easier to win with grace than it is to lose with grace, to be modest in victory than it is to be magnanimous in defeat.


Thursday, November 08, 2012

Reaching Out To Meet Human Needs

At the May 20th 2012 Commencement of Morehouse College, Strive Masiyiwa, one of Africa's most distinguished entrepreneurs and philanthropists, was conferred with the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters. In his address to the graduating class, Dr. Masiyiwa spoke on the secret of true success:

That Africa [the emerging Africa] reminds me of what a great man of God [T. L. Osborn] once told me. He said: "You know, if you really want to be a success, identify a human need and reach out to meet it." [...] In 1994, 70% of the African people [...] had never heard a telephone ring. I didn't say had used one, I said had never heard it ring. That was a human need. I knew as a young engineer, not long since my college days, that we had to change that. We had the technology to do it, the resources were out there, it was a human need. We didn't wake up and say we want to make billions of dollars; we said we want to extend telecommunications to all the peoples of Africa. And I wrote it on our boards and I told our people and I said: "Our mission is to provide telecommunications to all the people of Africa."

Today, I can report to you that nearly 70% of the African people have a telephone [...] You have a charge [...] to meet [human] needs. Perhaps you'll make money along the way, but I know something: If you reach out to meet the needs, you will wear the crown."
See 1:40:50 - 1:53:40 in the commencement video:


Wednesday, November 07, 2012

How Mo Ibrahim built Celtel

From the October 2012 issue of Harvard Business Review:

How Mo Ibrahim built Celtel from scratch into one of the largest mobile operators in Africa.

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

The best way to become a millionaire

The best way to become a millionaire is to start off as a billionaire and start an airline.

- Sir Richard Branson

Monday, November 05, 2012

The Bible On Management: People before Processes

And [Jesus] said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath. - Mark 2:27 (KJV)

Friday, November 02, 2012

Ronnie Chan: Seeing it and telling it as it is

I enjoyed Susan Li's recent interview with Ronnie Chan. For me, the most outstanding executive quality Chan exhibited in the interview was intellectual integrity: the ability to see it and tell it as it really is.