Moral Warfare:: a fight that the “pure of purpose” can win


OODA

OODA (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I gather that “The Art of War” by Sun Tzu has, once again, become a popular read. If you have read it, this may come as no great surprise as it is fair to say that, despite some “iffy” translations prior to 1910, it has stood the test of time.

But, since beheading people to establish one’s authority is frowned-upon in these politically correct times(!?), I would recommend seeking out a latter-day “master strategist” by the name of John Boyd. You may have heard talk of AGILE BUSINESS [the embedded link is for anyone in insurance] and wondered “what the hell does that mean” or dismissed it as yet another creation of fee-hungry management or IT consultants!

But hold your horses…stick around and you might learn something that could serve you and your business VERY well indeed.

Management Consultants: “Capitalising on complexity”


I have accumulated quite a collection of “papers” advising business how to deal with complexity and am happy to share them…so long as everyone understands that I am not endorsing any of them!

For your delectation I am pleased to add to the list of what, in the main are “qualitative management consultant-speak” that, even when referring to research, interviews, etc. read (to me at least) like documents produced on a topic, primarily because it is topical and offers a further opportunity to secure some well paid consultancy work.

This latest publication is from Celerant Consulting. Make up your own mind…then take another look at the Ontonix website.

Call, email me or get an objective, quantitative, insight into complexity for  FREE!

It really makes my day when other people do a marketing job for Ontonix! OK, so there is never a specific recommendation to contact us but we are happy to settle for the next best thing. That is to identify where complexity IS already costing and will, increasingly, cost through: the impact upon clients, customers, employees and “the bottom-line” budget to identify, measure, manage and monitor on an ongoing basis reduced ROI on assets and facilit … Read More

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

Living with Black Swans: balancing the books in uncertainty


OK I’m a self-confessed fan of NNT but early on in this interview with his former Professor he again hits the nail on the head. He reminds us of the lessons that every business (and political!) leader needs to learn..

“…You have to avoid debt because debt makes the system more fragile. You have to increase redundancies in some spaces. You have to avoid optimization. That is quite critical for someone who is doing finance to understand because it goes counter to everything you learn in portfolio theory…. I have always been very sceptical of any form of optimization. In the black swan world, optimization isn’t possible. The best you can achieve is a reduction in fragility and greater robustness. You may have heuristics, but not an optimization rule. I hope the message will finally get across because I haven’t succeeded yet.

People talk about black swans but they don’t talk about robustness, which is the real lesson of the black swans.”

Business Leaders of the current culture are not, generally, “agents of change”. As I have said before we need to cultivate Risk Leaders. Those who, not only,  recognise the flaws of the current culture but are motivated to create, champion, execute and capitalise upon new models and strategies.

Apart from the clamour, from better informed and more demanding consumers, for greater transparency, accessibility and demonstrable sustainability, the pressing NEED is for this new breed to embrace the concept that robustness (or NNT’s anti-fragility) can ONLY come from by creating (and maintaining) a sound business infrastructure…from the bottom up or, as I feel is even more appropriate, from the “inside out”: i2o”.

The relevance of scaling and causality

Such problems as Taleb highlights can only be addressed if the owner can view the business (or system) at the appropriate “scale”. Otherwise how would one know where and by how much to “increase redundancy” to build RESILIENCE in order to survive unforeseen and unforeseeable future events?

After all redundancy and robustness cost NOW and need to be maintained, so, have an ongoing impact upon profitability.

Reveal Your Hidden Profits: Looking at complexity in business?


It really makes my day when other people do a marketing job for Ontonix! OK, so there is never a specific recommendation to contact us but we are happy to settle for the next best thing. That is to identify where complexity IS already costing and will, increasingly, cost through:

  • the impact upon clients, customers, employees and “the bottom-line”
  • budget to identify, measure, manage and monitor on an ongoing basis
  • reduced ROI on assets and facilities or increased insurance/risk management outlay
  • reduce business capabilities &/or become less flexible (lose competitive advantage!?)

“I wouldn’t give a nickel for the simplicity on this side of complexity, but I would give my life for the simplicity on the other side of complexity”                                                                                               – Einstein

In previous posts I have made reference (and provided links) to reports by, such as, IBM, McKinsey, PwC, Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) – on behalf of RBS, KPMG and  AT Kearney, each spelling out WHY COMPLEXITY IS SUCH A MAJOR ISSUE for modern business!

It is reassuring to now see that business’ are being recognised as “systems” operating within inter-connected ecosystems and networks. As a result the “Economic domain” is beginning to benefit from a the lessons learnt in a wide range of inter-disciplinary scientific fields…and can build resilience across domains, rather than destroy it.

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Manage complexity and add 5% to earnings! OK, so don’t take my word for it…


Just about everything you hear about COMPLEXITY is negative and still people look at you like you just tried to sell them a plot on Mars when you talk about the ability to offer, genuinely (that’s right in the original sense of the word not in a marketing sense!), unique solutions.

It does get better though. Because whilst some high profile firms seem intent to scare their customers into parting with some more Consultancy fees…and don’t seem too advanced when it comes to effective solutions, AT Kearney are blazing a trail!

SO, if Ontonix (www.ontonix.com) can’t score major new clients to add to the current impressive list, when firms such as IBM, McKinsey & AT Kearney and “scholars” such as Einstein, Ulrich Beck and Nassim Taleb are IDENTIFYING THE PROBLEM, QUANTIFYING THE FINANCIAL & RISK BENEFITS and can only dream of offering TRIED and TESTED, 100% QUANTITATIVE, SOLUTIONS such as those of ONTONIX…then I reckon a career selling chunks of some far flung planet doesn’t sound so bad after all!!!

Manage complexity and add 5% to earnings! OK, so don’t take my word for it… …80 year old Global Consultancy firm AT Kearney (ATK) say so. ATK appear to have a better understanding of complexity than most. So, I will happily let them tell you that, even by  using the methodology they outline below, they claim that managing complexity will add up to 5% to earnings. I hope that’s got your attention!? Because it gets even better. WE BELIEVE THEM but can’t help but wonder how much more could be achieved if their means of calc … Read More

via A heid full of mince but at least it’s my mince!