Category Archives: Corporate Strategy

I was delighted when I heard that Bradford has become a technology university. As the world’s leaders are struggling to manage the impact of technology – is this an opportunity for the University of Bradford School of Management to lead the world in helping business leaders create strategies and manage for the future? Read my ...

Recently I wrote a short article in the Financial Times which said that Business Schools needed to change radically if they were to be fit for the 21st century. I thought that all I would get from the schools would be pushback against the idea. Instead the wonderful Karthik Kannan, a Professor at Purdue’s Krannert ...

Last week I spoke at Accenture’s International Woman’s Day conference. It was a great event, with a bunch of really interesting speakers. I’d been asked to speak on disruption, in particular the disruption that technology causes in business (I wrote in an earlier blog about the emergence of disruptive business giants). While I was planning ...

Innovation is today’s buzzword. Every CEO claims that his company is at the forefront of innovation – at least every CEO who wants to keep his or her job. Every politician talks about the need for his country to be innovative if it is to grow and prosper. The innovation word is everywhere but I ...

Technologies and markets are now moving so fast that few organisations escape the need to reorganise. Reorganisation is rarely easy and never simple but there are some things that I have learnt painfully over the years that may help. 1. Make change long term and inspirational All change, particularly changes to culture, take time: between ...

2015 has not been a good year for many businesses from Ashley Madison to VW. In this blog I wanted to explore why that might be and some of the lessons that can be learned. When the great recession started is a matter of debate, according to the US National Bureau of Economic Research it ...

One of my favourite stories about how the world is changing is of the CEO of one of our leading technology companies being shown round a classroom. The great man stopped by the desk of a young girl using an iPad. “Who taught you how to use that” he asked? She looked at him in ...

A recent story unfolded from the United States about a sophisticated hacking which led to share price manipulation and thousands of people being duped into buying or selling stocks. As corporate hacking becomes an everyday incident, every chief executive should be sitting up and thinking about their own business. In this blog I want to ...

We are on the cusp of extraordinary times. Businesses are automating functions from online bookings to telling you which lift to get for the quickest rise to your destination. We are all too familiar with computer system failures. The call centre operator saying, “I’m sorry the system is down” or the supermarket checkout that thinks ...

  I recently spoke at the Balanced Business Forum about the skills that businesses need for the future. In the panel session, there was a very interesting question about how did I see career progression in the future. I used the analogy of bridges. Most of the owners of iconic bridges such as the Sydney ...

One of the most frequently recurring themes among my mentoring clients is “how do I get a seat on the board?” Some clients are looking to take the next step up to be Executive Directors, others are looking at NED (non-executive director) roles. Neither is an easy step to make and few people really think ...

Today I have published a report, March of the Robots … into the boardroom. In it I challenge UK bosses to start understanding and managing technology before our businesses lose profitability, brand names and even their jobs within the next three to five years. Will your job be here in the next five years? Have ...

I talk to a lot of groups, large and small, about the impact of technology on work as we know it. But rarely have I had as great an introduction as last week when I was invited to speak to the in-house legal team at one of our major energy suppliers. I was preceded by ...

There are a number of themes that run through my mentoring work but one of the most common is “How do I get a Non Executive Director (NED) role”? Senior leaders have two reasons for wanting to be an NED: 1. To get another viewpoint on board governance and to understand what NED’s need from ...

An article this week by Aaron Krumins in Extreme Tech says that DARPA is teaching an Artificial Intelligence to improvise and play jazz. Now the interesting thing about jazz is that it requires a high level of innovation, something we have always seen as the preserve of humans. So if computers can start to innovate ...

Driving instructors (another dying breed as we go to driverless cars!) tell their pupils that “objects in the rear view mirror may appear larger than they are”. An HBR article on managing business risk that was published last week reminded me of this. It was mainly about the financial services industry, but the lessons are ...

My colleague Victoria Tomlinson sent me this great blog she had written on how to chair board meetings and it set me thinking about what chairing skills are timeless and what skills we will need in the future. I’ve spent a lot of time sat around board tables, as a member of the executive team, ...

In my last blog, I looked at which jobs have been automated over the last 50 years and which ones are being automated now through what I call ‘intelligent automation’. I am carrying out research with businesses to understand how they view the impact of automation on jobs and business structures – I plan to ...

There is a great deal of talk in the media about the effects of Artificial Intelligence (AI).  Eminent minds, including Stephen Hawking, have been warning of its dangers and say that uncontrolled development of AI poses a threat to the human race. Some of these dangers are real and may or may not be avoidable. ...

Recently I spoke to a large group of General Counsel about the future of work and the impact of technology. My own view is that they are an influential group of people, but often under-rated. So I was keen to get their views on what our future workplaces would look like – and what would ...

One of the difficulties about the future is predicting time-scales for change. There is no doubt that the world is changing faster than ever before but getting leaders to think about the future never gets any easier. It’s the short term that is the most difficult. 50 years is not a problem, 10 is much ...

There’s been an interesting thread running on Twitter lately on the topic of robots. “Robots” it claims “are taking our jobs”. It’s interesting, not just because it raises the debate about jobs going to robots but because it implies that something new is happening and that robots are in control of the process. Which jobs ...

Trying to understand what the future might hold is one of my passions.  I firmly believe while the future is hard to predict, at least thinking about possibilities will make it easier to deal with when they happen. And also because it is such a fascinating thing to do.  But it is very hard. I ...

Over the last year I have become increasingly concerned that boards do not understand the pace of technology change, let alone managing the impact it will have. When I heard a farmer on the famous radio programme, the Archers, looking at automating their milking and considering the future of robotics, I couldn’t help thinking these ...

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Driving down the A34 yesterday I kept passing car transporters filled with Land Rovers and it set me wondering – have the boardrooms of Ford and BMW ever analysed why Tata Motors is now manufacturing and selling Land Rovers profitably, when they could not? Having sat on boards for years and mentored chief execs, I ...

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Innovation happens, it’s what people do, and it is essentially neutral. In part two of this blog on innovation I look at the role of the board and what they can, and do, govern – and mostly don’t. The first part looked at Is Innovation Good or Bad for Business – and Society? 1. Boards ...

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I mentioned I am sharing old blogs that still seem relevant, as I kick-start this new blog. Here I bring together extracts from three posts which looked at three aspects of customer service. 1. Sales teams are disconnected from customer follow-up I had the same conversation with three different major customers in just one week ...