March 2018
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The Long Drop From Nokia’s Burning Platform

Time will show how many people make it off Nokia’s platform – and how many of them get picked up.

Offshore oil rigs are dangerous places, not least because they combine being at sea together with highly combustible materials and heavy machinery. It’s the sort of work the people who write the warning labels on cold [...]

Throwing Good Money After Bad

When do you pull the plug? Part 2


Knowing when to walk away is important, and often I walk away long after it is wise to go. It took the abrupt realization that my startup had run out of money to realize that the time had come. We needed to put more money in to keep it [...]

When Do You Pull The Plug?

Knowing when to say when takes a little preparation

Someone asked me an excellent question the other day, “When do you know to give up?” It was a superb question and she touched on a key dilemma. We’re always taught to do our best, she said, and work until we achieve our goals, but sometimes success isn’t [...]

Of Course You Can Trust Me

Probability vs. Vulnerability or “What if I trust you, but shouldn’t have?

Danish Amagerbanken went bust on Sunday, which is a drag. Their shareholders feel betrayed, as do their customers, and given that the regulators said it was stable, so should the rest of us. After all, if you can’t trust a Scandinavian bank regulator, who can [...]

Back Up? What Back Up?

It can be hard to face up to the obviously stupid things we do

The story goes that Saint Patrick was partway through baptizing an Irish king, when he looked down and noticed he had put the metal tip of his bishop’s staff through the poor fellow’s foot. When he apologized, the king replied that he had [...]

Raspberries Happen

How much do you enjoy the finger-pointing and recriminations?

I’ve been busy and I’m probably not the only one. It’s the time of year where a lot of us are busy. Things pile up and blogs get neglected. The unexpected happens and it sometimes takes odd forms – like raspberries.

Raspberries are perfectly pleasant. My stepmother makes an outstanding [...]

Will Toyota Turn This Into An Opportunity?

Toyota is such an impressive company that they might actually be able to take advantage of their current problems. While definitely not in a desirable position, they may yet surprise us – for risks also present opportunities. 

One obvious opportunity lies in their contact with all of the car owners whose cars need to be repaired. The recall process [...]

What an Old Airplane Can Teach Us About Stress Testing

Finding out what it takes to make the wings fall off is important and can be rather surprising

Back in the early days of jet travel, the British got off to an early lead with the first commercial jet airliner, the de Havilland Comet. Metal fatigue is one of the reasons you may never have heard [...]

Overcoming “What if?”

What to do when potential risks are getting in the way of forward progress

Many years ago on a planet far, far away, I worked on a project that was stuck. We had a clear mission and the desired end state could not have been clearer. Our problem was determining the current situation – and the associated [...]

How Do You Avoid Corruption in Endemically Corrupt Places?

Balancing the cost of walking away against the price for paying up.

IKEA just fired two senior managers in St. Petersburg, Russia for paying bribes. The firm has a very public position on refusing to pay for corruption. Their store in Samara stands empty a year after it was finished, reportedly because the firm refuses to pay [...]