A couple of years ago I helped judge a Dragon's Den-type competition in a local school (you might know this as Shark Tank if you're outside the UK). I still remember the boy who opened the pricing section of his group's presentation with "Obviously, we wanted to make this as cheap as possible..."
The world is becoming more process-orientated. There are positive aspects to that - if you're the pilot of a 747, the Operations Director of a nuclear power plant or a surgeon carrying out microsurgery on a vital organ, I'd feel a lot more comfortable knowing that what you did, and the order you do them in, had been arrived at in a reliable, dependable way. But for most other activities, we've been led down a path of greater use of processes to govern every aspect of our lives. I'm not sure that's a good thing
Freddie Mercury sang "too much love will kill you". That might be true, but as an accountant, I've got to say that love isn't usually on anybody's mind when they come to see me. But I do have stronger views on how businesses can end up doing crazy things just because people don't understand basic statistics.
Zero-Based Budgeting has been in the press for all the wrong reasons lately. Kraft Heinz have reported a $15billion write-down after a focus on cost cutting, primarily using the Zero-Based Budgeting technique, resulted in the business taking its attention away from their customers.
To improve customer service, business usually tried to do more. But what about trying to do less?
Good corporate governance is fundamental to the effective working of the modern free enterprise system. We need to have at least a degree of trust in the people looking after our money, whether we're customers, investors or employees waiting for our next salary payment. Without that, the whole system would collapse.
The importance of teamwork to running a successful business and how tiny differences can compound over time to make a business into a world-beater.