Every now and then you expect one thing from a book and discover something even better. That’s what I found from the book Delivering Alpha by Hilda Ochoa-Brillembourg. It was recommended by a good friend* who always provides me with new insights, so I shouldn’t have been surprised. The book describes what she has learned over that time, and the discovery was that the book was as much about how to manage as how to trade markets.Continue reading “How To Run an Organisation To Lose Money”
I’ve worked in so many teams over the years – sometimes as a team member and sometimes as the team leader. I’d love to say that these teams were super high-performing ones, but I’m afraid they were not.
How do I know this? Well, according to Patrick Lencioni, teams suffer from 5 dysfunctions: they lack trust, fear conflict, lack commitment to decisions, avoid holding each other to account and not paying attention to team results. In that light, I think most my teams have been dysfunctional even the ones I have lead. Continue reading “Why Most Teams Are Dysfunctional and How To Fix It (5 min read)”
Silicon Valley engineers are notoriously difficult to manage. Google even went so far as to get rid of all management positions at one point, but soon realised the ensuing chaos was worse than having management. Still not happy with the old system, they embarked on numerous experiments to determine what makes a good manager. They tracked managers performance across projects, and found that the best had the following 8 characteristics:
- Is a good coach
- Empowers the team and does not micromanage
- Expresses interest in and concern for team members’ success and personal well-being
- Is productive and results-oriented
- Is a good communicator—listens and shares information
- Helps with career development
- Has a clear vision and strategy for the team.
- Has key technical skills that help him or her advise the team
It’s easy to get caught up with the latest management fads, but hard to know which ones will endure. Indeed, Nassim Taleb writes about how time is the ultimate test for the fragility of ideas. So with China in the news, what better ideas to look at than Confucius’, who lived over 2,500 years ago. His sayings are in the “Analects”, which are said to have been recorded by his disciples. What I’ve found is that Confucius was very good at understanding how to get the best out of hierarchical structures, which today would equate just as easily to corporations as governments. So I’ve picked out the best bits for business and modified the language to sound more contemporary: Continue reading “Confucius On Management”