Fund Strategy Magazine: Complexity lessons from nature…revisited


Some cynics may say that I am re-visiting this blog item because it is coming up for the anniversary of its publication. WRONG.

Others could speculate that I have (finally) run out of things to say – you don’t know me very well! WRONG.

It is because it says what needs to be said, read and understood in order for some to avoid certain extinction and for others as a template from which to build a successful business in the future.


Fund Strategy Magazine: Complexity lessons from nature for a better economic future…
In case you thought that “complexity management” is just more mumbo jumbo from the financial sector I suggest that you read the following piece and any of my previous blogs on the subject of complexity. Complexity analysis, mapping and management is available NOW and, if a business leader is intent upon gaining a greater insight into their operations, making more informed decisions, managing more effectively, gaining competitive advantage and “st … Read More

via Get “fit for randomness” [with Ontonix UK]

THE moral investment banker: A true story


I continually try to put original thought into what I produce in this blog but when I stumbled upon this lecture (Doing good by doing well: Re-defining moral capitalism) from a senior Banker I thought I must have lost my mind completely! A banker…spouting this “stuff” that I recognised and could even has written myself (or at least cobbled it together from previous blogs on the subject matter).Ken Costa

Ethics, morals and faith…what’s not to love about this guy!?

Professor Kenneth Costa is, amongst other things, the Chairman of Lazard International, the UK Investment Bank and Prof. of Commerce at Gresham College.

Another interesting article by Prof Costa appeared in Wall Street Journal, in December last year. It contains useful information for ANYONE who has any intention to assume the mantle of “leader”

For Leadership, Read Stewardship

Stewardship has three elements.

First, influence. The steward manages networks of resources and information to effect change. The steward may take the initiative, but it only works if influence is a two-way street.

Second, affluence. Good stewardship is rewarded by material affluence. With it comes moral affluence—a richness of spirit flowing from a constructive reciprocity between the present and the future, the leader and the followers, the self and the still, quiet voice of conscience.

Third, confluence. Leadership has to bring people together, not as a common-denominator consensus, but in a way that enables us to grow as people.

As usual I intended to only transcribe a portion to provide a flavour and leave you to your own devices but it flowed so well and made so much sense that I just kept going but please follow the link for the full version.

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UK Economy: A cynic’s summary (in a single page)


Oh how I wish I could lay claim to such a “piece”. Succinct and introducing me to a great new word “KLPETOCRACY

We are living under a volcano.

Banks have been bailed out to the tune of £3Trillion by Central Banks and Governments around the world. They have used this money for two main purposes – to speculate on commodity prices driving the cost of oil and food to record highs and to short European Government Bonds inflicting huge misery and debt on the populations of these countries.

Ordinary people are paying for the bank bail outs through cuts in public services, pay restraint, job losses and higher inflation (due to speculation and quantitative easing).

The Banks are rewarding themselves with unbelievable bonuses and pay hikes. No apologies, no jail sentences for those who caused the crash – just business as usual and the middle finger of £7Bn bonuses.

In the UK, at least £124 billion of the money we have given the banks is being scored on the National Account as government debt.

This gives the Government the excuse to inflict £81 billion of cuts and tax rises on us.

The ConDem Government promised the electorate reform of banking remuneration

But due to their funding arrangements we won’t be getting it [Link]

People are realising that we are not in fact all in it together but have instead a kleptocracy

This copied directly and in its entirety from Robert Peston’s blog on BBC. Some great comments but this one really made me smile

In the shadow of the volcano

The Comfort Consumer Trend in Financial Services: Trust and Safety


Datamonitor are  “flogging” a new report so these words are theirs and (in this instance at least) not mine!

I have been banging on about the need for FS companies to realise the error of their  ways and to “open up” so that they can really engage with customers using, in particular, social media. But the obstacle that refuses to go away is the need to embrace TRANSPARENCY!

Is their a more damning indictment of the state of our FS industry? Well YES…it is contained in the “HIGHLIGHTS” section below I have highlighted again so no-one within the industry can claim that they didn’t realise!

OK so you can win, even retain customers on price but that isn’t sufficient to sustain profitable retention levels when your price rises…even if others are also on the increase. Inertia has, for long enough, been a reliable source for retention too but these are times of austerity and it is a very foolish few who merely accept what they are told.

Then there is that old favourite of banks and credit card issuers…”indebtedness”. These guys love it because it is cheaper than earning loyalty through offering fair deals and decent service but, what they should now realise is that these unlucky customers won’t be around for too long. They either cannot afford their debts and you both lose (after you have taken a “haircut”).

You could “win” by getting back what you are owed BUT lose a customer for life…as well as the custom of anyone who asks them about their experience of dealing with your company. People’s practical experience will always trump the outbound sales effort of a spotty youth or a glossy campaign declaring undying love for customers. See below: REMEMBER THEY DON’T TRUST YOU OR LIKE YOU AND YOUR MARKET WILL DISAPPEAR AT THE FIRST OPPORTUNITY OR SIGN OF CREDIBLE COMPETITION.

Consumers in the FS industry look for protection and reassurance from their providers in order to feel a sense of safety. The loss of trust as a result of the global downturn has left consumers feeling uncertain. Trust needs to be rebuilt, not only to offer consumers financial safety but also to increase consumer engagement and build better relationships with customers.

Features and benefits

  • Strengthen customer relationships by driving an increase in consumer engagement.
  • Demonstrate customer knowledge via an understanding of how the Comfort trend can be used to rebuild trust on a regional level.
  • Satisfy consumer demands through understanding consumers’ need for protection and reassurance.
  • Restore trust by learning how to demonstrate real concern for consumers and the safety of their finances.

Highlights

The highest demand for Comfort is seen in Brazil and South Africa where 78% of consumers demand this Megatrend. The demand for this trend is low in most of Europe where consumers badly affected by the downturn no longer trust their FS providers to protect them.

Financial Sector: Stop selling [and start listening]…for success


I understand why there is a fear of transparency BUT if you have heard the name Warren Buffett you may already be aware of this, abridged, little “gem” from is considerable stock of ready wisdom in quip form:

“Be fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful”

The cost of social media is paid in a currency called transparency. But it is a price worth paying. Forming the basis for a strategy that can deliver, secure and sustain a strategy with competitive advantage through differentiated products and services.

How else is a financial institution ever going to cultivate 2 million “fans”?

Banking and financial

JPMorgan Chase went from an unpopulated community with little to no member activity to very active (more than 2 million fans) by using a tight focus, such as using the community to determine where to “invest” its charitable donations. The communities that do well tend to focus on a very specific segment, such as small businesses or support CSR initiatives.