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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.

Earth’s clouds expose us to ET!


Dr. Stephen Hawking has just warned us against contacting aliens . I’m sure you have heard of him ? He’s the famous cosmologist who has ALS and a doughty approach to life notwithstanding. He’s also known for being an iconoclast. He believes (as do I) that it is certain that there are numerous ETs out there. And he thinks we should do nothing to enc...
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Leadership gurus lose to Robo-Coaches!


Did you know that the classic book “Moby Dick” has been translated into emojis? Yep, to wit, “ Emoji Dick ”. What’s the world coming to? I guess like almost everyone in the world you use messaging on your phone. Maybe you have even been known to use emojis, but only with your kids, right?. Same here, but I have also been known to use them (suitably...
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Do you have Pre-Alzheimer’s?


It being Presidential silly season, what better than to write a post about past presidents. So I read the latest magnum opus on said topic recently ( The American President: From Teddy Roosevelt to Bill Clinton 1st Edition by William E. Leuchtenburg ). Warning: it’s a bit of a slog, but it’s worth the trek. The chapter that really caught my attenti...
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“Happy Feet” - can animals fall in love?


OK so I went whale-watching recently, my token conversion to greenery. I actually saw several whales! Humpbacks actually. The interesting thing is that all the ones I saw were in pairs. Our helpful guide told us that these were always couples, male/female. But, she added disapprovingly, the male escort was always temporary; they have their way with...
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ECB Should Push Issue of Refugee Bonds to Turbocharge EU Growth!


Useless factoid for the day: the European Central Bank (ECB) recently let it be known that it will likely start buying equities as part of its radical approach to quantitative easing . Apparently there aren’t enough bonds around for it to be able to buy. Mario Draghi, its head, really meant it when he said the ECB will take all steps to jumpstart e...
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Who owns Mars?


Did you hear that China intends to land on the Moon and to have a base there by 2020 ? That’s only 4 years’ time. Your freshman kids won’t even have finished college by then….. And of course, SpaceX intends to have a settlement on Mars by 2024 . Maybe the explosion of its rocket recently will put a dampener on that, but personally I doubt it. I thi...
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The end of the wheel - wheel-less cars the next humongous growth driver


Hmmm, no car drivers these days, so why not no wheels too? You can’t open any paper, blog or tweet these days without hearing about self-driving cars. Frankly I’m getting bored. How about something new for once? How about wheels? Wheels are terribly old-fashioned. They weigh a lot, cost a lot, need a heavy car to ride on, are very hard to stop and ...
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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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