There was a fad a few years back for companies to send teams of employees (or maybe just managers) on a certain kind of ‘team-building’ activity. These would always be outdoors and would involve some strenuous (and often muddy) physical activity, maybe paintballing or even an army assault course. I’ve seen a few of these… Continue reading Forcing people to do things they don’t want to do is no way to build a team
Here’s a good business cliche, the sort that David Brent would use: “Your people are your most important business resource.” But if you look at how many businesses are run, you might assume that people are only a useful business resource because they are cheaper than robots. Work for a big company, and you might… Continue reading If your people are your “most important business resource”, why don’t you ask them what they think?
If you read cartoons like Dilbert, one common theme you’ll come across is that of the poor downtrodden worker who knows more about his job than his boss. In Dilbert’s case, he’s a hardworking and brilliant engineer. His ‘pointy-haired boss’ is pretty clueless about Dilbert’s work and, well pretty much everything really. Above the pointy-haired… Continue reading Do you need all those levels of management? Do you really need that extra manager?
In my last Clare Associates blog post, I looked at aggregate demand curves and aggregate supply curves. We know that for a given product, demand is higher if the price is lower and supply is higher if the price is higher, and how in a competitive market, the market price will tend to the intersection… Continue reading Important Economics Concepts Every Businessman Should Know, Number 3: Elasticity
For many years now, I’ve spent a fair amount of time in local school sixth forms (helping to run this). One thing that surprises me about schools today is how few of them teach economics. While it’s true that you don’t need an economics degree to run a business, some of the theory will… Continue reading Important Economics Concepts Every Businessman Should Know, Number 2: Supply and Demand
A man starts work as financial controller at a big company. It’s a good job. The pay is good, his boss (the Finance Director) likes him and the people who work for him do their jobs well. A few years later, it’s time for the FD to retire. The financial controller applies for the FD’s… Continue reading My favourite accountancy joke
This is the third in a series of articles on Opportunity Cost and why it matters in business. Part One Part Two Opportunity cost is one of the most important concepts in all of economics. If you understand it, you can start to see the world in a slightly different way. It’s also one… Continue reading Opportunity Cost, Part Three of Three – Why This Matters In Business
If you didn’t see the first post on opportunity cost, you need to read that first. It is here. For those of you who have read that post, let’s continue… If you remember, in part 1 of this article, I asked you to consider this scenario: You’ve just won a ticket to see… Continue reading Opportunity Cost Part Two
Let’s say you pay your office cleaners £20 to clean the office each night. You could actually clean the entire office yourself and you wouldn’t have to pay anyone £20, just a few quid on cleaning consumables, dusters etc. Now you know that the reason you don’t is because it would take you a couple of hours to do… Continue reading Important Economics Concepts Every Businessman Should Know, Number 1: Opportunity Cost
This BBC website article annoyed me when I saw it a while back. Or at least, not the article so much but the examples of “good design” in the accompanying photographs. So that’s a bunch of ugly, hard, uncomfortable plastic chairs and a stupidly expensive, noisy and uncomfortable plane. Is this really “good design”?