– Thoughts on Strategy and Management

April 23, 2015
by Dagmar

Commonplace books – my practical experience in using them for business

A commonplace book? You may even have one and not know it!

Commonplace books are excellent tools for keeping notes of whatever is important to you. They are popular among writers, thinkers, artists and many others. Surprisingly, there is little public coverage for the use of commonplace books in business and workplace contexts.

I have been keeping commonplace books for years now. Before I realized that there actually is a name for them, I just called them my notebooks or my outsourced brain.

In this article, I share my practical experience from using commonplace books at work. Continue Reading →

April 17, 2015
by Dagmar

Themanager.org relaunch complete

We are happy to announce themanager.org has undergone a complete makeover.
It was more than time to make this site more modern and user friendly. Please go there and have a look at the result!

I’d like to give you a quick tour to show you where to find what.

What has changed, what has remained the same?

You will discover that many things have changed. However, the core of our management portal has remained the same. Continue Reading →

March 28, 2015
by Dagmar

Nature and characteristics of strategic decisions

Strategic decisions are decisions about an organization’s strategy. There is no doubt that strategic decisions have a major impact on any organization. However, when it comes to really strategic decision making, things tend to get a bit blurry. Not all future-oriented decisions are strategic ones. In order to develop great strategies, it is essential to comprehend the true nature of strategic decisions.

There are some characteristics that help to understand what makes a decision strategic. Continue Reading →

March 17, 2015
by Dagmar

The Concept of Profit in Accounting and Economics

The term ‚profit’ stands for the difference between revenue and costs. However, for one and the same activity, profit does not necessarily have to be the same number under different points of view. Different accounting standards or special regulations for taxation make organizations display different profits in financial statements for different purposes. On top of that, profit from the accountant’s point of view is not equal to profit from the economist’s point of view. This difference is based in fundamentally different understandings of costs and profits. This article describes the differences of profit in accounting and economics. Continue Reading →

March 10, 2015
by Dagmar
1 Comment

No, the SWOT-Analysis isn’t outdated

Management models and tools like the SWOT have been around for a while. Actually, they have already been with us in the good old times that were more stable and less disruptive. Therefore, these tools are sometimes perceived as a bit old-fashioned. Conventional wisdom is that something that was designed to make sense of a stable, slowly changing environment can’t cope with today’s challenges.

I have stated more than once, that these tools are not outdated at all. They are still relevant. You just have to adapt your way of using them. Last weekend I flipped through my bookshelf and happened to stumble upon some up-to-date application of the SWOT analysis – although the term ‘SWOT’ had not been mentioned there one single time. Continue Reading →

March 5, 2015
by Dagmar

The many faces of the strategist

The job description of a strategist is manifold. Similarly, expectations on the strategist are diverse. It seems as if almost anybody has his own unique idea of the traits of a strategist. Not surprisingly, these many facets are fairly contradictory. Hence, a strategist is torn between many worlds.

So far for common sense. There is even research about the many faces of a strategist. McKinsey conducted a survey among nearly 350 senior strategists from a broad variety of industries worldwide in 2013. Thy came up with 13 facets of the strategists role that yielded in five clusters: Continue Reading →

February 23, 2015
by Dagmar

Great Idea: Great Ideas in 200 Words

Is it possible to publish a scientific research idea in 200 words or less? From now on it is.

The Journal of Brief Ideas is a new project that aims to free ideas from the heads of researchers. The main condition is: The writing must not be longer than 200 words. The Journal of Brief Ideas shall provide a place for such short ideas to be published and archived permanently – searchable and citable. Continue Reading →

February 3, 2015
by Dagmar

Effectiveness or Efficiency – which one to look at?

Effectiveness and Efficiency – there is still a bit of confusion about this pair of terms. Sometimes, they are used interchangeably. The distinction seems to be a bit blurring. I guess one part of the problem is that these terms sound fairly similar. Another reason is that effectiveness and efficiency often come together in a common context. An activity may be effective and efficient, effective or efficient, or neither of the two. Continue Reading →

January 18, 2015
by Dagmar

How to overcome obsolete beliefs in strategic thinking

Is your strategic thinking influenced by obsolete beliefs? This is probably not the first question that comes to mind in the context of strategic planning. However – that may be a mistake: Each strategic analysis makes some assumptions about elements involved – market structures, customer expectations, competitors’ moves, technological trends, and many more. These assumptions are implicitly based on our beliefs about their nature. It is not a new discovery that we live in an ever faster changing world. What if the world had changed and the beliefs on which we ground our strategy have just become obsolete? Continue Reading →

January 12, 2015
by Oliver

Convincing people

Smile a lot: “People want to work with people they like, people who are happy. You ‘ll be dealing with a lot oh hard issues, and they ‘ll come across better if you have a smile on your face.” (Quote by Melody Hobson, president of Ariel Investment, on the best advice she’s ever received.)