Don’t Let Complexity Kill Your Sales Model – Forbes

I’ve tried BUT, grudgingly, accepted that you just can’t show people – who are blinded by their own self-importance, ignorance or whose vision is impaired by the blinkers of an engrained belief-system – stuff that they just don’t want to see!

When things start to head in the wrong direction ‘they’ are the one’s fastest to seek to apportion blame. Whether it is the “market”, the competition, the supply chain, a division, team  or specific individual there has always got to be someone or something to point at to deflect criticism away from them. Strangely this brand of leader are never so quick to acknowledge the impact of factors, often outwith their scope of control, when they add up to success!

These people are business leaders in name or position but NOT in nature. They are able to perpetuate what they have learnt but at the expense of what they should know. They have spent so long reaping the rewards of manipulating systems – to sustain the financial returns the model DEMANDS – that they have become so obsessed with the golden eggs, they forgot to feed the goose!

Business customers increasingly want their vendors to have real expertise in their specific industry or function, such as finance or marketing. They expect vendors to help solve business problems…

via Don’t Let Complexity Kill Your Sales Model – Forbes.

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Insurance Industry:: Innovation, transformation or failure

If you have visited my blog before you will already know that I have spent some considerable time researching and commenting upon a wide of topics that, although many within insurance fail to see the connection, are related directly related to the insurance industry.

In truth, my work was initially prompted by concerns (a deep dissatisfaction may be more appropriate!) about how the insurance (particularly broking) operated: structure; culture; regulation; remuneration levels; use of IT; cover; pricing of RISK. It was only as I delved deeper into the subject matter, a form of ‘root cause analysis’ [RCA] – causality being particularly pertinent to insurance! – that I came to fully appreciate HOW DANGEROUSLY LIMITED the understanding and application of a probability-based assessment of risk truly was. Especially when the business environment has, fundamentally and irrevocably, changed.

If a future event will take place, it will do so irrespective of the probability that we may have attached to it. If an extremely  unlikely event will happen, it’s probability of occurrence is already 100%

Having been introduced to Complexity (by Dr Jacek Marczyk, Founder of Ontonix srl) and it’s relationship to risk and uncertainty my RCA led me to investigate from a (more rigorous) scientific and mathematical perspective. Eventually into the realm of the behaviour of Complex Systems and, inevitably, to Systems Thinking. Gradually, the understanding, that comes from viewing life and work through the Systems lens, revealed that much of what is wrong with Financial Services stems from unnatural interventions.

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Why not “constructive transparency”?

I recently came across a very interesting article that brought to my attention a phrase I hadn’t come across before: constructive ambiguity.

Isn’t that an oxymoron???

The article is here and it touches upon a topic and writers I have written about before in relation to business as war. If you like you economics with a social conscience and a philosophical perspective Ashwin’s your man.

“The interaction between the market participants, and for that matter between the market participants and the regulators, is not a game, but a war.”

Rick Bookstaber

However, in this article ‘constructive ambiguity’ was being used in terms of preventing moral hazard within a regulatory regime.

That’s when it struck me! Why not constructive transparency?


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Inviting meltdown: Preserving the Status Quo with Artifice and Lies Leads to Systemic Collapse

These few words refer to the “economic domain” and, in particular, the sad state of the Euro. However, what I wanted to highlight (perhaps reiterate would be a better word) is the universality of complex systems. Hence the ability for us to learn lessons in economics from biology, politics from forestry management, etc.

But these are lessons that each and every business owner or wannabe business “leader” would do well to understand and apply NOW and NEVER FORGET! This isn’t new news or new wisdom and if you don’t believe me, contemplate this, from a few centuries ago:

“…in its beginning it is easy to cure, but hard to recognise; whereas, after a time, not having been detected and treated at the first, it becomes easy to recognise but impossible to cure”

– Niccolo Machiavelli

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Transparency: it is the only thing that banks CANNOT afford

Time for a reality check methinks!

Retail banking in the UK is not competitive enough, a Commons Treasury committee report has concluded.

The cross-party group of MPs said there was a lack of price transparency between current accounts at different banks and it was too difficult for customers to move their accounts.

The committee said similar barriers existed for small business customers.

The British Bankers’ Association said the industry was working with regulators to improve competition.

via BBC News – Retail banks not competitive, says Treasury committee.


BBA aren’t even apologists for a morally bankrupt and financially corrupt industry. As the “clever” words form and lips move the lack of any soul or remorse is consistently betrayed by the dead-eyed delivery of an organisation, well versed at lying without conscience and defending the indefensible.

Why no culture of customer service?

In true Freakonomics style: How many drug dealers have you heard of who have a mission statement or customer charter?

Why invest in engendering loyalty when customers armed with the facts can be so demanding and fickle? Alternative: tap in to the pop culture for instant gratification. Create dependence by selling the lie of “financial independence”. There may not be much difference in the upfront cost of either but dependence is far more lucrative (call the tune and watch ’em dance!) and even more reliable than inertia.

After all, the last thing you would want is a level (or transparent) playing field because the only person that benefits is the “user”.

The “dope squad” (or FSA) turned a blind-eye to the activities because it paid them and their paymasters to do so and their pay-off was sufficient to fuel the myth of prosperity whilst funding a Public Sector spending spree! Read more of this post