With Gower’s Governance and Leadership line covering an extensive range of topics within the Business and Management industry, we have asked six of our authors to each provide a tip for better business.

  • ‘Doing good really can be good business. Don’t be embarrassed to ask “what’s in it for my company?” when considering how you might better engage your company and workforce with the local community; it’s the “good business” element of doing good that makes it sustainable.’
    Tom Levitt – Welcome to GoodCo http://www.gowerpublishing.com/isbn/9781472409317 
  • ‘Value creative contributions to culture and society that enhance the quality of life and contribute to the health, happiness, and fulfilment of individuals, humankind, families and society at large.’ Chris Adendorff - Governance in Immigrant Family Businesses http://www.gowerpublishing.com/isbn/9781409445579 

Dear Mr Lewis

I am writing this blog to you and others who become victims of managerial fraud. It is yet to be decided if the Tesco £250 million profit shortfall is a fraudulent act, but financial oversight can hardly be the case with such high calibre executives. However, you with many other CEOs are at a loss as to what happened.

Assuming that you are a CEO who wants Tesco to survive and grow as a retailer, you will have a better chance of selecting good executives. From my research we can now identify, via the managers’ social interaction with co-workers: The Arrogant Fraudster, The Likeable Fraudster, the Tyrant manager and the Mediocre manager who all share a malevolent attitude to others and use organisations for their own needs. I have also discovered the Respectful manager who is consistent, benign, is self-aware, and shares a sense of equality and hard work with others.

The tried and trusted auditing Red Flags did not prevent the ‘accounting error’ as it was already used by your auditors in each audit, but Executive Impression Management could by selecting better managers who are not prone to deceit.

You already have an investigation underway to discover the culprits, I sincerely trust they will be prosecuted once they are identified as such. My research shows that fraudsters who are simply dismissed, tend to repeat their behaviour in future employments.

I have also found that co-workers to those who are guilty of this type of deceptive behaviour, have a tendency to leave their employer within 6 months of the fraud being discovered. Their confidence in management will have been severely undermined and in many cases they will have been very badly treated by those in authority. I recommend you arrange expert counselling for those who worked closely with the culprits as many will be preparing to leave. These people will have their foundation of trust blown apart and most likely need remedies to offset covert or open bullying and abuse.

Yours truly,

Terry Sheridan

P.S. You have of course protected the whistle-blower from emotional abuse and blackmail? Unfortunately because they have a moral compass and use it, whistle-blowers have difficult outcomes with losing their jobs, subsequent family dysfunction, depression and long-term unemployment.

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Terry Sheridan is author of Managerial Fraud.

She is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management, member of the Fraud Advisory Panel (UK), member of the Australian Career Development Association and was awarded their Research of the Year Award in 2008.

Her publications include her PhD dissertation; numerous articles, both scholarly and for general reading, a chapter in Aviation Management, a recent US aviation security management textbook, many refereed conference papers and national research reports and has gained a reputation of being an able researcher and public speaker.

She is the Managing Director of Guardian Angel Holdings Pty Ltd having developed new methodologies for pre-employment screening of managers. She has held several executive positions in the past with public corporations, statutory bodies and companies as well as non-profit organisations.

Gary Lloyd author of  Business Leadership for IT Projects regularly writes on his blog Double Loop, this post asking “how else would one start a project, except with requirements?”, caught our eye, Gary continues…

After all, are not the “user requirements” an expression of what the customer wants?

Well yes and no.

In my experience, most approaches to requirements define what the customers wants at a micro-level or, at best, mixes micro and macro, such that the macro gets lost. It becomes difficult to see the wood for the trees.

And even when the macro requirements are highlighted, they are usually defined in terms of features and functions, rather than business value.

In addition, there is no consistent, unambiguous way of defining requirements. In some approaches, a requirement is represented by a one line statement, saying something like:

“Must be able to cancel a policy during the cooling off period”

In other approaches, this sort of statement would be accompanied by detailed definitions of associated data and functions. But this approach drifts into design, defining how goals are achieved, not what goals need to be achieved.

“Use Cases” or “User Stories” are another popular approach.  But these too are, to my mind, more design than requirements.

It’s little wonder that “poor or changing requirements” is cited as one of the majour causes of project failure…

Read the rest  on the Double Loop blog

 

 

via How did Victorian Scots reconcile an independent history with a unionist present? A guest post from Richard Marsden.

 

Innovation is an important entrepreneurship activity and one of the

most common forms of innovation is a new product or service

 

But how do you bring that product or service to market?

Technology, Business and the Market uses case studies

to examine the impact of new materials, techniques and

technologies and the links between innovation,

entrepreneurship, design, manufacturing, branding and

marketing.

 Read: Chapter 5 – Industrial Design and Innovation

Branding – a new product, delivered in a new way with a new message

From Great to Gone implores you to become an FICG -

a fast-innovating consumer goods company -

and use innovative marketing and communication techniques

to build up many key facets (like ‘Lego’ building blocks) to

deliver your message to the consumer. Most importantly, just

like the winners of the 21st century, you need to leave consumers to put it

all together themselves.

 Read: Chapter 1 – The Dilemmas of FMCGs in the Twenty-first Century

Entrepreneurship means economic recovery

Entrepreneurship proves, in almost every circumstance and every part of the

world, to be a way out of economic straits and helps produce self-sufficiency,

social inclusion, job creation, capital formation, and skills acquisition.

Multipreneurship offers a unique and penetrating perspective on how people

should inspire the entrepreneurship dimension hidden inside them.

Growth

Innovation Support in Latin America and Europe is a rigorous

investigation of innovative practices and thinking that focuses

on Latin America – one of the world’s fastest growing

economic regions.

Read the Introduction – Innovation in Latin America and the role of KICKSTART

Women and Entrepreneurship

The authors of Women and Entrepreneurship deal with how rural

entrepreneurship, virtual entrepreneurship, and project-based

and home-based businesses lend themselves to providing

opportunities for women.

 Read: Part 1 – Female Entrepreneurship: Theoretical Background

From Innovation to Implementation

The Out-of-Home Immersive Entertainment Frontier explores

the successes, the emerging new applications and the strategies

that inform one of the fastest growing technology sectors:

interactive leisure facilities. The authors interviewed 70 leading

executives from every facet of the digital out-of-home

entertainments industry to produce a fascinating insight into how, since

Kinetoscope’s first coin-operated, film-amusement system in 1894, this

industry has implemented their considerable innovations.

 Read: Chapter 2 – Collapse and Recovery

New, unimagined models continue to emerge – innovation is key.

For more Gower books on Entrepreneurship and Innovation and a 30% discount, please follow this link.

 

Eleanor HillThe Estelle Trust is a small charitable fund which works with others on schemes to improve education, health and governance in Africa and runs a small number of its own projects in Zambia. Ashgate donates a proportion of its profits to the Trust each year, and Ashgate/Gower staff members are also involved in supporting the Estelle Trust through various fund raising activities. Recently, Eleanor Hill, Ashgate’s e-books Administrator, went one step further. She spent a week with Project Luangwa in Zambia, helping them with database design for their child sponsorship and building project management. This is her account of her visit.

The Estelle Trust has close links with Project Luangwa in Zambia. The Trust funded the building of a library for Mfuwe Secondary School which is now built and stocked with books but not yet open pending the cataloguing of the books by a volunteer. Karen and Dave (who run Project Luangwa) are particularly delighted to be seeing this volunteer again as they know him, and know that he will do a thorough and accurate job! He will also be doing some training of both staff and students before the official opening of the library.

Mfuwe Secondary School Library

The purpose of my visit was to analyse and design a couple of databases to help with the administration of the Project. One will help Karen with the Sponsorship records, currently held in 134 separate spreadsheets and the other will help Dave administer his building projects and allow him to produce more accurate estimates for each new school block or teachers house they build. Having succeeded in producing the designs I will now have plenty to occupy my evenings and weekends turning the designs into working databases.

Mfuwe baboon

I had been told to expect views of wildlife across the lagoon outside the office window but hadn’t expected the wildlife to be quite so up close and personal!

I couldn’t be more impressed with the work that Karen and Dave do in providing educational opportunities for orphans in rural Zambia. AIDS is not the only killer out there and there are huge numbers of orphans who would have no hope of an education if it weren’t for the work they do. And, as if poverty were not enough of a handicap, the girls have to overcome even more obstacles to get the chance to achieve their potential, which is where the Mfuwe Secondary School Girls’ club comes into its own.  This is a wonderful group of girls all from problem backgrounds, who are determined to improve their lot. I attended their weekly meeting where they had a guest speaker – the delightfully down to earth, unshockable and entertaining local western doctor whose brief was to answer any questions the girls wanted to ask – Karen and I both learned things there too. At the end of the meeting there was great excitement as Karen had some T shirts and knickers to hand out to the girls – see below:

Mfuwe Secondary School Girls' Club

If you want to find out more about the sort of lives and problems the girls can look forward to in this area do take a look at the following link http://www.projectluangwa.org/gendersupport

If anyone is interested in making a donation to the very worthwhile work that Karen and Dave are doing in Zambia, you can find more information here: http://www.projectluangwa.org/library

Investors keenly await an end to Indonesia’s political limbo

It was the former British Prime Minister Harold Wilson who reportedly asserted that “a week is a long time in politics”. For many who have been following the recent Indonesian Presidential Election, the two week period between Election Day (9th July) and the anticipated announcement of the official result on 22nd July feels like an eternity.

Many Indonesians quip that their country currently has three presidents: the incumbent and outgoing president, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, plus the two contenders – Joko Widodo and Prabowo Subianto – who have both claimed victory.

This current fortnight of political drama and limbo is the finale in a protracted political drama. It has long been known that 2014 would be a year of change: under Indonesia’s constitution, President Yudhoyono is obliged to stand down this year after two terms in office. However, the ‘change’ that would ultimately be on offer to the electorate had long been a topic of speculation, right up to the final months before the election. Would Jakarta’s popular Governor, Joko Widodo (Jokowi) stand or not? Would the incumbent president’s party (Partai Demokrat) be able to field a candidate or not? In the end, it wasn’t.

For many foreign investors, statements from the two candidates to date have provided a rather hazy mix of cautious optimism and mild concern. Neither candidate has indicated a radical shift in policy towards foreign investment. Both have a background in international business and in one form or another have acknowledged the contributions FDI has made to the Indonesian economy. However, both have also taken care to acquiesce to nationalist sentiments by talking a negative stance on certain foreign investment activity:

Earlier in the year, Jokowi’s party (the PDI-P) stated in its economic platform for 2014’s two elections (legislative and presidential) that “we are facing a situation in which our economic sovereignty and policies are being dictated by foreign powers.” Meanwhile, Prabowo has indicated plans to renegotiate contracts with foreign companies to get better terms for the Indonesian state.

The degree to which such rhetoric actually evolves into hard policy once the president is sworn in is questionable however. Fauzi Ichsan, Senior Economist at Standard Chartered, recently asserted that “the rhetoric during the political campaign is likely to be thrown out of the window the moment either [candidate] is elected president.”

In the case of Jokowi, some recent actions reassuringly seem to trump the less encouraging rhetoric. Infrastructure is widely regarded as both the impediment and key that will unlock much of Indonesia’s investment potential and ease of doing business. On this, Jokowi has an encouraging track record as mayor of the Javanese city of Solo and more recently as Jakarta’s Governor, where after years of inertia despite the economic boom times, the capital has finally begun the construction of a long-awaited mass rapid transit (MRT) system, with other major transport infrastructure projects in the pipeline.

For his part, Prabowo’s credentials as a businessman with significant overseas interests lead some to believe and hope that he would maintain an investment-friendly business environment. However, the high-profile case of the UK’s Churchill Mining and its long-running dispute with Indonesia’s Nusantara Energy (which is affiliated to Prabowo), has lingered in some investors’ minds.

Whatever the outcome that’s announced on 22nd July, there’s widespread hope among international political and business leaders alike that the new administration will keep Indonesia on the path of reform and openness with the global economy. With a population nearing 250 million and a growing, urbanised middle class eager for new, innovative products and keen to build careers in increasingly sophisticated industries, Indonesia’s new leadership will owe its people nothing less than the vast economic and professional development opportunities that can come from attracting targeted, value-added FDI.

NICHOLLS PPC(250X172)path

Daniel Nicholls is author of Foreign Direct Investment.

Daniel Nicholls is a London-based Consultant at the economic development consultancy OCO Global where he works on a variety of consulting and training assignments for clients and industry associations. With a background in marketing and communications, Daniel has lived and worked in various European countries over the past decade and is currently on assignment in Indonesia.

 

 

 

 

 

Gower Author Gary Lloyd regularly writes on his double Loop blog. 

Here is the beginning of his latest post but do pop along to Double Loop to read more.


Gary Lloyd

When I tell people that I specialise in Lean Project Management,    they often ask:

“Is that the same as Agile?”

Or:

“Is that a version of Agile?”

My answer is:

 “It could be but usually it isn’t”

One could get drawn into a long discussion, comparing and contrasting the 5 Principles of Lean Thinking and the 12 principles behind the Agile Manifesto but let’s be honest, it would be pretty boring.

So what, in my experience, differentiates Lean Project Management from most Agile implementations?

The key difference is that most Agile implementations are based on the “push” of requirements, rather than the “pull” of business value.

Full post: http://blog.doubleloopconsulting.com/2014/07/is-lean-project-management-same-as-agile.html

 

9781472409317[1]My new book, ‘Welcome to GoodCo’, looks at how the tools of business can be, and increasingly are being, used to create public benefit. Witness:

• The growth of social enterprise, where imitation is a form of flattery
• Trends towards ‘responsible’, ‘social’ and ‘impact’ investment
• The ‘arms race’ between supermarkets on community engagement.

All this is happening at a time when services provided by government and the voluntary sector are being squeezed as demand on them is growing. Many in business now recognise the obligation to engage constructively with communities and the environment but too many, especially in the 99% of businesses that are SMEs (which employ half the private sector workforce) do not. There are worrying counter-trends, too – as asset owners become increasingly out of touch with how their investments are used, fortunes are made and lost by the second and injustices in pay gaps, not least in the world of high finance, get ever worse.

The book builds on Al Gore’s idea that the last 30 years has seen the separation and divorce of capitalism and democracy after 200 years of marriage; and that unless the rift is healed we and our environment will suffer catastrophic consequences. That rift can be seen in the growth of short-termism in finance at the expense of the generational outlook of the family firm and how our use of GDP to measure ‘growth’ fails to differentiate between ‘good’ spending and ‘bad’, with no accounting for environmental and other externalities. I explore several valiant if small attempts to bring the whole thing back on course. I ask ‘how ethical are ethical investments?’, ‘what role did business play in ending the slave trade?’ and ‘have we reached the limits of what support central government can (and should) provide to communities?’ whilst exploring the business case for companies to get involved in those communities.

In the book I also look at the politics of ‘responsible capitalism’, the history of market regulation and impact investment and the life story of Frances Perkins and I highlight some unlikely ‘good guys’. I also call for the Social Value Act, the implementation of which is currently optional for the public sector, to be more widely used and employed in private sector procurement, too. I really enjoyed writing the book and I think that comes across.

You’ll have to read the book to find out who Frances Perkins was!

(Tom Levitt was Member of Parliament from 1997-2010. Tom is a writer and consultant on charity partnerships whose clients include corporates, government agencies, charities, councils and SMEs; Chair of Trustees, Concern Worldwide (UK); Honorary Doctor of the University of Derby, UK. He is also a non-executive director of Digital Outreach Ltd, a director of Good Measures ethical business consultancy, a trustee of The Work Foundation and an occasional columnist for The Guardian’s Voluntary Sector Network. http://www.sector4focus.co.uk)

This blog post written by Gower author Gijs van Wulfen can be found on InnovationManagement.se site. 

 “The fuzzy front end is the nickname for the start of innovation or ideation phase. Getting innovative ideas is a vague process. It’s considered as hard to do. That’s exactly why I like to unfuzzy it. I wrote more than a dozen blogs on this on Innovationmanagement.se. In this blog all my advice come together in 20 tips for ideation excellence.”

http://www.innovationmanagement.se/2011/09/27/20-tips-for-ideation-excellence-2/

Gijs is the author of Creating Innovative Products and ServicesWULFEN PPC(250x172)PATH,

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