BOG BLOG : 15 – 22 JUNE 2012


8 Rules for creating a passionate work culture / Paul Alofs

(An abdridged version . . . )

1. Hire the right people – Hire for passion and commitment first, experience second, and credentials third
2. Communicate  –  Once you have the right people, you need to sit down regularly with them and discuss what is going well and what isn’t. It’s critical to take note of your victories, but it’s just as important to analyze your losses.
3. Tend to the weeds   –  A culture of passion capital can be compromised by the wrong people. One of the most destructive corporate weeds is the whiner.
4. Work hard, play hard    –   To obtain passion capital requires a work ethic. It’s easy to do what you love. In the global economy we can measure who has a superior work ethic, who is leading in productivity.   –
5. Be ambitious – “Make no little plans: they have no magic to stir men’s blood.” –
6. Celebrate differences – When choosing students for a program, most universities consider more than just marks. If you had a dozen straight-A students who were from the same socio-economic background and the same geographical area, you might not get much in the way of interesting debate or interaction. Great cultures are built on a diversity of background, experience, and interests. These differences generate energy, which is critical to any enterprise.
7. Create the space – Years ago, scientists working in laboratories were often in underground bunkers and rarely saw their colleagues; secrecy was prized. Now innovation is prized. In cutting-edge research and academic buildings, architects try to promote as much interaction as possible. They design spaces where people from different disciplines will come together, whether in workspace or in common leisure space. Their reasoning is simple: it is this interaction that helps breed revolutionary ideas.
8. Take the long view – If your culture is dependent on this quarter’s earnings or this month’s sales targets, then it is handicapped by short-term thinking. Passion capitalists take the long view.

NOTE:  Excerpted from Passion Capital: The World’s Most Valuable Asset © 2012 by Paul Alofs. Published by Signal, a division of Random House of Canada Limited.

Connected world / TATA Communications  report 2012

Excerpt . . .

Tata Communications commissioned leading business research company, Vanson Bourne, to conduct a study of business leaders in the Middle East, South Africa, Hong Kong, Singapore, India, China, France, Germany, the USA and the UK. In total, 1,600 business leaders were interviewed from the C-suite to manager level, across 10 sectors (financial services, manufacturing, business and professional services, IT/technology, healthcare, retail, transport/travel, telecommunications, utilities (oil, gas, and energy), media and entertainment). The survey was conducted in January and February 2012.

Are you listening … ?

Choosing an Intention excerpt from The Pin Drop Principle by David Lewis and G. Riley Mills; Copyright (c) 2012

Often when we develop a message, we focus primarily on the words and content we are delivering. We usually also have an objective in mind, of course, even if we have not defined it carefully and precisely. What we often fail to ask ourselves is why that overall message should be important to our audience. Why should they care? What would make them care? We neglect to pair intention with objective.

It is by being fully involved with every detail of our lives, good and bad, that we find happiness, not by trying to look for it directly

  John Stewart Mills –


Goodbye, goodbye . . .

Harvard Biz Professor Deepak Malhotra’s  goodbye address to the Class Of 2012 has one frank, funny point / Linette Lopez

Excerpt . . .

“Given all the opportunities ahead of you, if people in this room can’t be happy its a shame, and it’s also a slap in the face to all the people out there who would give anything to have 1,000th of the opportunity you have.”

What’s the future of work? /  Demetria Gallegos, Intel Corporation, Brian David Johnson

As Intel’s chief futurist, Brian David Johnson spends much of his time ‘living’ in the year 2022, about 10 years ahead of our time. He studies what life will be like, how technology will change, and how people will feel about those changes. Many people ask him questions about the future, including whether they’ll still have to work. His take? Work isn’t going anywhere. But how, where and with whom we work will undergo some big changes. Here’s a look at the future of work according to Johnson:

  • “As we approach the year 2020, the size of meaningful computational intelligence begins to approach zero. In other words, computers are shrinking. Soon they will get so small that they will be nearly invisible. This means that in 10 years we will be able to turn almost anything into a computer. We will be living and working in an intelligent environment and in many cases we will essentially be working inside a computer.
  • “Every day we create a massive amount of data. Google’s Eric Schmidt has famously said that every two days we create as much information as we did from the dawn of civilization up until 2003. As computing gets more powerful, it will seem like data has a life of its own. And it will. You’ll have machines talking to machines, computers talking to computers, all processing this data. But what will it feel like to work in this coming age of big data?
  •  “Data will be our colleagues and our employees. And, like all employees, they will need a good manager – an algorithm. An algorithm is really just a sequential series of steps that processes data. We will need to “train” our algorithms to have a better understanding of humans and how to make human lives better. After all, we are their bosses.
  • “As we look to 2020 it might appear that computers and data will overrun the workplace. But remember, a computer will never clean a bathroom sink. At least in the near future, computers and data won’t replace the paper towels in the bathroom. But a computer will write up your local little League scores and a computer will operate on your spine. (Hint, this is already happening.)
  • “This has broad implications for what we think of as valuable skills and employees in the workplace. Today we value journalists and surgeons much more than janitors, but in 2022 we may think very differently. We will need to understand what humans are really good at and foster those skills, outsourcing the rest to the brilliant intelligence and efficiency of the future.”

                                                                                                                                                       Article continues . . .

Doing business in Africa

Excerpt . . .

As we discussed repeatable models in emerging markets, we identified five reasons for their importance:

  • Talent shortages. Nearly all the business leaders at the meeting noted the severe talent shortages they faced in Africa. Repeatable models allow for better training and experience sharing, which enables people to get up to speed faster.     Infrastructure challenges. Infrastructure issues in many African nations add huge operational complexity. “When you’re faced on a daily basis with so many unforeseen crises, it is imperative that you do the stuff you do know about simply and repeatably,” said one leader.
  • The delivery gap. In unpredictable markets, predictable customer service can be a key competitive advantage. “If we can consistently keep the promises we make with simple delivery models, we can win,” another observed
  • Succession issues. Many founders of successful African businesses are handing off their businesses to the next generation of leaders. They are eager to translate what they do every day on instinct into a simple repeatable model that can outlast them.
  • Balancing local adaptation and global complexity. Companies face huge pressures to adapt their offerings and ways of working to local African markets. The more they find commonality between markets through repeatable models, the more they can reduce complexity.

Made (even better!) in China

A presentation  – Forget the ‘Made in China’ stigma. Ambitious and confident Chinese brands are already catering to demanding consumers, both at home and increasingly abroad. Including yours. Fueled by forces such as improving technology and booming domestic consumption, China is making it bigger, faster, better, greener and stranger


If you can count your money, you don’t have a billion dollars

                                                   – J P Getty –                                                                                                                                     

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