Procrastination- the thief of time

This saying from the English poet Edward Young is often quoted when we talk about decision making, those who procrastinate achieve little. There are lots of articles in cyberspace about this and usually is seen as a negative behaviour and an example of poor decision making (or lack of). Passage of time The decision not… Read more »

Risk, Morals and Investment Appraisal.

One of the underlying assumptions for an investing shareholder is that the interests (returns) of the shareholder coincide with the interests of the manager. Indeed, the Principal-Agent relationship is key to this view and the assumption is that the agent is acting in the best interest of the Principal, using better knowledge to enhance the… Read more »

Strategy and Investment

Introduction According to Michael Porter there are three types of strategy. Readers of his book ‘Competitive Strategy ‘will recognise the broad spectrum of visions and mission that organisations will adopt ranging from differentiation to focus. Latterly there had been a debate about size and how organisations can influence/shift markets and thus their power and influence… Read more »

The shareholder and the firm

Let’s start this article with a disclaimer, this is not about investment criteria per se, it is not about how shareholders and their money are applied for gain. What this article is about is how the needs of the shareholders are aligned with Corporate Goals. It explores some unique challenges in the SME world where… Read more »

Mental Health 2

Introduction People feel pressure, a small amount and coming out of your comfort zone is no bad thing, continually feeling out of your comfort zone, under stress and incapable of making decisions is a sign of too much stress which can have long term mental health issues. Promoting positive behaviour and happiness is the other… Read more »

Mental Health 1

Mental health is how we think, feel and behave, it manifests itself in various forms and is different in each individual ranging from general uncomfortableness, feelings of dis-ease, depression and anxiety. This can lead to unnecessary worry, extreme sadness, despair and feelings of inadequacy and sates of ‘learned helplessness’ Most business people will experience these… Read more »

The Philosophical CEO

  The recent excesses of bankers bonuses, corporate collapse and poor governance has caused many executives to rethink their basic philosophy and as short term maximisation of profits and shareholder value become passé, thoughts turn to more holistic view of sustainability and the link between business and society at large. Post war periods of prosperity… Read more »

The Cultured Accountant

  I have written before about how Accountants have been thought to have been responsible for corporate collapses. There is nothing wrong about holding Accountants to account as they are probably in senior positions and should know better. Quite often the real reason for failure can be invisible from the outside and are deeply rooted… Read more »

The CFO and Strategy

The CFO and Strategy   What is the role of the CFO in the strategic process and how involved are they?   Only if they is allowed to, conversations with Chairman/CEO and FD take place on a daily basis at the sharp end, more cerebral thought happens outside of ‘Strategy meetings’ or ‘away days’ A… Read more »

Family Accounting

This is an area of many trade offs which has a slightly different twist to non family companies with shareholders and stakeholders who are not as intertwined as Family 1 what is the minimum cash/working capital requirements required to sustain the day to day operations 2 what is to be done with any surplus cash… Read more »