Articles

Below is a list of recent articles. You can also visit our archived articles.

Jun 02, 2008 - Lessons in Teamwork from the Killing Fields
Lessons in Teamwork from the Killing Fields
Would you allow your children, partner or parents to be admitted to a hospital with a record of killing 10% of the patients who undergo major surgery?
Dr Ken Catchpole who specialises in understanding how people act in stressful situations was shocked to discover that the error rate in patient care after medical operations had been successfully completed, was up to 10%. He compared this to other high risk industries and the military experiencing an error rate of 0.001%.
He reported that “On an aircraft carrier you have hundreds of people, technology, explosives, fuel, and planes landing every couple of minutes – yet they rarely have accidents. Apply healthcare statistics and one in ten planes would be falling into the sea!”
Research at 21 hospitals across the U.K. revealed that surgeons and their colleagues in the operating theatre and the nursing staff in the intensive care wards to which the patients were admitted to recover, were highly skilled. There were however no standardised procedures for the handover of the patient between surgery and ICU.
The major problem identified was a lack of an interlocking team design for the entire procedure.
Dr Allan Goldman and heart surgeon Professor Martin Elliott at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London are both keen Formula 1 fans and while watching a race together witnessed a 20 member pit-stop team change tyres, fill the tank, clean the air intakes and send the car roaring off – all in less than seven seconds.
This article tells the story of how Formula 1 pit-stop excellence in creating world-class interlocking teams has been transfered to hospitals all over the world.  More importantly, how you can learn the secrets of inputting this new approach to organisational management into your own business. 
Sep 11, 2007 - Let's get CMOs off the endangered species list
Chief Marketing Officers are getting slaughtered left, right and centre. 
 
According to research released by Spencer Stuart in June this year, the average tenure of a CMO in the USA is only 26 months. Our experience in other parts of the world has witnessed a similar pattern.
 
This is not good for CEOs, CMOs or the organisations which hired them.
 
The CEO’s problem
 
CEOs need original, even audacious thinking to put their organisation sustainably ahead of competition. So they go out and hire an executive who has made his/her mark by delivering winning creative strategies and energising, aligning and refocusing an entire organisation to create
Aug 18, 2007 - Speed of light barrier broken!

IT'S a speed record that is supposed to be impossible to break.

But two physicists claim they have propelled photons faster than the speed of light. This violates a key tenet of Einstein's special theory of relativity that states that nothing can exceed the speed of light.

Aug 16, 2007 - Preventing today’s fears from becoming tomorrow’s nightmares
For more than 30 years we have recorded the worst nightmares of CEOs around the world.
 
Those most frequently experienced are:
  • Losing markets overnight
  • Sudden loss of key customers or suppliers
  • Catastrophic loss of reputation
  • Unrealistic expectations of investors
  • Investing in a future which does not materialise
  • Challenge to authority or autonomy
  • Loss of key employees
Is it possible to be a CEO and enjoy a good night's sleep?
 
In this decade the dynamic driving forces propelling successful enterprises differ remarkably in make up and intensity from those which highly successful organisations developed and exploited in the 20th century.
 
The good news is that CEOs already possess elements of the dynamic driving forces necessary to propel their enterprise from good to great
Jul 20, 2007 - Case Study: Reinventing a poorly performing construction company
The managing director of a company which designs oil refineries and gas pipelines for the oil industry invited me to a meeting to discuss their upcoming strategic planning process.
He told me rather dejectedly that “For the past five years we have used the largest consulting companies to facilitate our strategic planning. The results have always been more of the same with the cost and inconvenience of a reorganisation. But nothing has changed. And we are still making 3% before tax!”
“Why our company?” I asked.
“I have done my homework and you chaps have a reputation for spinning marginal organisations like mine around and pointing them in winning directions”.
The CEO agreed to a four part process....
Jul 20, 2007 - Speed-of-light computing comes a step closer
Mikhail Lukin and colleagues at Harvard University have devised a light-based transistor made of semi-conducting nanowires that could be a key ...
Jul 19, 2007 - Using video blogs to sell to generation Y
Companies are beginning to use video blogs which use gaming to provide 'real life' demonstrations for a whole range of activities.
  • Some sell the benefits of the product or service they sell; others demonstrate how to use their products effectively.
  • Video blogs are also being used very effectively in the war for talent to ....
Jul 19, 2007 - The future of lost socks
Somewhere there must be a sock paradise that all these lost socks escape to where they can look down and gloat at our bewilderment.
 
But this will all change within a few years. Each garment we wear will have a chip recording when we wore it, where we went, how often ...
Jul 19, 2007 - Loyalty is not a natural human behaviour!
What is normal is to act in one’s self-interest. Shopping around for the best deal is normal. 
 
So most management teams actively work to earn the loyalty of employees - don't they?
 
No they don't!
 
In the short run we can pressurise employees to do just what we want.
 
However research conducted by the London Business School clearly indicates that it is the way companies motivate employees, organise their activities, create strategies maximising the energy and creativity of their people, set priorities with them, and allocate capital to fund key projects which has the greatest potential to create long-lasting competitive advantage
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Jun 27, 2007 - Success Story of company merged from three bitter competitors

How the CEO and executive team were able within four months to reinvent their organisation as an energised customer focused ‘can do’ enterprise igniting the pride, commitment and loyalty of most of their employees and customers. 

Jun 26, 2007 - Take the FWI company survival check
Has your Enterprise got a future?  Are you about to run it into the ground?  Would your employees fire you today if they could?  Take the test and prove you're the best.  Or are you?
Jun 26, 2007 - Winning Tips for Executive Success
Practical advice on becoming a future winners spelt out to more than 800 owners, CEOs and senior executives by our founder Alan J Whitaker at a recent conference in Portugal.  
Jun 26, 2007 - Where have all the Visionary Leaders Gone?
There are six fast answers to this question.

 

The first is that too many companies are cursed with the best M.D operators in the world! They focus so little time and attention on the strategic development of their organisation but react on an incident by incident basis to events as they occur.

 

The second is that so many of our senior executives pride themselves on being able to made ‘hard’ decisions but wittingly or unwittingly damn the building of .........

Jun 26, 2007 - Law-abiding majority ‘is a myth’
Today the BBC published a report that 61% of Britons admitted to having committed at least one offence against civil society. Of these people two thirds admitted breaking the law on three or more occasions.
 
Their crimes included paying cash for products or services to avoid paying VAT, padding insurance claims, not paying for a TV license, selling goods knowing that they are defective, stealing office supplies and asking someone in a position of authority to bend the rules.
Jun 26, 2007 - FWI Corporate Reinvention Expertise
Why executives around the world report favourably on FWI’s ability to assist them to reinvent their organisations to become successful enterprises despite the current uncompromising business environment