Happy Birthday, H.C.

2 April 2005

[H.C. Andersen]

Happy birthday, Hans Christian! Today is the 200 anniversary of the birth of Hans Christian Andersen, the Danish poet and author famous for his fairy tales.

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Presenting and selling technology to corporates: The lying awake at night test

6 March 2005

Too many technology companies are trying to sell their products to the corporate enterprise on their technical merits. This very rarely succeeds. Your customers are not in the technology business and you need to demonstrate that you understand their issues and that you have a solution to them.

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Understanding is only achieved in synchronous communication

18 February 2005

Understanding seems only to genuinely be achieved in synchronous communication argues John Barben in Telling but not listening.

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Work-life balance

31 January 2005

We’ve been thinking a lot about what you might call work-life balance recently, when we came across this piece is a completely different context, arguing that all professions are celibate professions; in other words, there can never be a balance in a true profession but you may be able to achieve it in a job:

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Business Science - an Oxymoron?

20 January 2005

A challenge with using scientific principles in a business context is that the system, i.e. the business world, is neither isolated nor in equilibrium. A soon as a new idea is formulated, some businesses will try to adopt it or defend against it, thereby changing their execution or strategy. In other words, the process of studying the system alters it, in contrast to the assumptions in the scientific method (and no, it isn’t like quantum mechanics).

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Transparency and types of partnerships

12 December 2004

Based on Ronald Coase’s theory of firms, Lars Plougmann argues that transparency is the next big thing, and offers specific advice for professional services. The core of his argument is that because trasactional costs for companies are ever decreasing, the business relationships that really add value are the ones where you are sharing business processes.

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The Economist on the Private Equity Industry

29 November 2004

Managed to catch up and read The Economist this weekend. Their survey, The new kings of capitalism (subscription required for most articles – do yourself a favor and subscribe), considers the private equity industry and is recommended reading.

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Free advice is worth every penny … and that is how we treat it

15 November 2004

Any article that concludes in its very first sentence that consulting is an industry that never goes out of style is bound to appeal to my consultant’s heart. The conclusions of Francesca Gino’s studies, as summaried in The Hidden Cost of Buying Information (Sadly lost to bit rot on the internet) over at HBS Working Knowledge, are not surprising to me: when you pay money for advice, you are more likely to use it. Our industry has built that into our fee rates, thank you for pointing it out. But there are still a few surprises in the study.

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Social Software in the Enterprise: A Historic Perspective

9 November 2004

The applications of social software to the enterprise will profoundly change our business culture and therefore it will be a substantial force for shaping what our society will look like in the future. To understand the fundamental changes that are influencing us right now, changes of which social software is one manifestation, and to try to predict where it may lead us, we should look to the past where strikingly similar forces applied to society and science lead to the most significant cultural change in Europe and arguably the world.

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Results from social network analysis

4 October 2004

Natural science is well known for using mathematical models over “common sense” and intuition, to the frustration of many students. The use of mathematics in social sciences is newer, and it is probably fair to say that this discipline is still not as completely reliant on mathematical models as for example modern physics.

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