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This is the official Perth blog site for posts, comments, and other contributions about leadership, behavioral finance and economics, and about management generally, as well as other related topics that take our fancy.

Labor still beats capital in leadership development


As is my wont I was recently idly surfing the net checking out stuff about leadership. I ran across the latest issue of Entrepreneur magazine , a very good publication I am sure. Here were its three top headlines on the leadership page: 3 Tough Habits You Must Drop to Succeed 9 Things Managers Do That Make Good Employees Quit 22 Qualities That Make...
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How do negative interest rates impact leadership and risk globally?


It just came out that the Bank of Ireland and RBS bank have introduced negative interest rates on large deposits. Germany and Japan both have banks with negative interest rates, as well as some of the Scandinavians. That’s got to qualify as a megatrend. It looks like negative interest rates are spreading fast. We are in uncharted territory. Likely ...
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Is organizational culture over-hyped?


If you’re in HR, or you’re the CEO of an organization, chances are that you talk a lot about your “unique” organizational culture. It’s also a favorite of academics. Definitely politically correct. But even the promoters of organizational culture don’t exactly know what it means – see for example this article, direct from the PC headquarters of aca...
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Noah’s Ark on a stick is how we get to the stars - soon


I guess you saw that the latest in the Star Trek movie series ( Star Trek Beyond ) has just come out? It’s a hardy perennial, even though everybody knows that the travel to the stars isn’t possible for us humans because it would take so long to get there. When the first Trekkie came out, that was a true statement. Now with several companies girding...
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Could you purposely redesign your personality with a pill?


Another apparently useless piece of information, courtesy of researchers at the University of Virginia and the University of Massachusetts medical School. It looks like particular chemicals in your immune system cause you to be social . Specifically it’s a molecule called gamma interferon. Who would have thunk it? For some reason, the immune system...
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The Difference between Agile and Supple Leadership


So where did I get “supple leadership” from? I made it up of course! Actually I was reflecting on the now widespread use of the term “agile leadership”. It’s in use by many companies and there are even assessments for it now such as one from Korn/Ferry . Even I have been guilty of using the term (see my post “ Can Behavioral Agility Be Learned? ”) ...
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Should we deliberately slow down innovation?


Did you notice that Alvin Toffler, author of “Future Shock ” just passed away? His book was published in 1970. That was well before the Internet, Twitter, Facebook and even photocopiers and hand-held electronic calculators. Think what he would say today? Clearly the pace of change has accelerated dramatically since Toffler alerted us to the problem...
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A New and Practical Pathway to Immortality?


Well here’s an intriguing piece of research. It turns out that at least some genes in both animals and humans are still alive even after the animal itself is dead. So far it looks like they can remain active for up to 48 hours after their host has given up the ghost. ( New Scientist, “Hundreds of genes seen sparking to life two days after death ”)....
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BREXITed - UK Gain, EU Pain


So ok the UK is out. The pundits tell us that was a really bad move by the Brits. I beg to differ. Actually I think that BEXIT is going to lead to the British economy experiencing its biggest growth spurt in a century. It’s the EU we need to be worried about. How so? Leaving the EU is going to result in an epochal rollback of regulations in England...
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A Turing Test for Leadership?


Did you notice that the next Apple developer’s conference will focus on Siri ? Meanwhile the digital assistants’ wars have heated up with Google Assistant , Microsoft’s Cortana and Amazon’s Alexa . These all aim to create a human-like assistant that can interact through voice. Nor are these the only entries. We also have Watson from IBM, NELL from ...
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Would Trump be a Billionaire without his Inheritance?


Is this the elephant in the room? Trump's frequent allusions to his vast wealth and to how smart he is sounds awfully like the rich son who inherited it all but wants to convince everyone else – and himself – that really he did it all himself. So I thought I would do an analysis of this question. I think I’m well qualified to do that. For the past ...
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Space will be the New Driver of Global Economic Growth


So Yellen and the Fed just wimped out of raising interest rates, yet again again. What does that tell us? The world is in an economic funk. Nothing's working. China’s about to crash big-time so its role as a growth driver has definitely ended. The emerging markets are in an even worse pickle – Russia a total mess about to implode yet again, the Bra...
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An Inconvenient Truth - Alpha Financial Styles Beget Ginormous Returns


Apologies to Al Gore for another inconvenient truth. There’s been a lot of talk about alpha these days, but not just about investments. Trump, Putin - alpha is definitely in vogue. As in alpha male. Like Tarzan. Does that tell us something about the investing world? Yep it does. Check out my book The Three Financial Styles of Very Successful Leader...
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No Thrills Mom - Towards the Giving Car


All this stuff with new-fangled autos has become overwhelming. Self-driving cars, connected autos, car-sharing, electric vehicles, and so on. But the big question is, what does it do for me? Self-driving cars will change everything. It used to be all about thrills. Hmmm, if I have a high-performance car, I want to drive it myself. Don’t trust anyon...
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Is widespread pill usage actually making us more disease prone?


Did you see that employers looking to hire are having a hard time finding them free of drugs , especially marijuana? Meanwhile the House of Congress looks like it’s going to pass a bill to help recovery by drug addicts , especially those who use prescription drugs. But for the moment, it looks like Congress is focused more on helping people to reco...
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Could Genetically-Modified Humans Re-Ignite Global Growth?


I’m sure you’ve heard about the Vermont law that says that all foods that include genetically-modified ingredients must be disclosed on the label starting July 2016. Of course most of Europe doesn’t allow GM foods. China officially bans GM crops, although in fact the vast majority of them are in fact GM . So the movement to ban all GM foods is pret...
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Fast fashion for Wall Street? Spice up investing with synthetic sectors!


Are you into fashion? You’ve probably noticed that retailing icons like Banana Republic and The Gap are getting crushed by the fast fashion guys like Zara and H&M. I mean, who wants something that’s a week old anyhow? Hmm, tell that to the guys on Wall Street. The same old asset classes, the same old sectors. I was just reading an analyst repor...
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High Frequency Trading Trashed by Quantum Computers?


I’m sure you’ve all heard of high-frequency trading (HFT). We now realize that  HFT could actually bring down the stock market . As it is, HFT accounts for at least half of all the stock trading in the US. This isn’t to complain about HFT. It is what it is. Maybe it makes it hard for small investors. It’s certainly changed the nature of equity...
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We need the Interplanetary Monetary Fund now!


So finally SpaceX made it and soft-landed its booster rocket. An epochal achievement. And Bezos’ Blue Origin did much the same although on a lower orbit. So now the race is on. Next it will be the Russians, Chinese, Japanese, maybe even the North Koreans, God forbid. It’s now obvious that we have pretty much everything we need up there to keep body...
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Sleeping with the enemy – should central banks adopt bitcoin?


Hands up anyone who hasn’t heard of Bitcoin. No takers of course. So far it has been a qualified failure. Its most faithful users are the wrong kind of people who use if for money laundering and criminal activities. Yet bitcoin has many good uses and there are even legitimate companies that are starting to use it. But there is a use for bitcoin whi...
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