Previous strategic incompetence in banking

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Watched a great TV series recently The Ascent of Money presented by Professor Niall Ferguson. If you cannot view it, the book is probably good too. It makes the dry and obscure world of banking and its origins brilliantly accessible. One little nugget in the latest episode reminded me, though, that it’s not long since the last time those clever folk in banking messed up so badly that governments had to bail out the ...

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Losers from the down-turn

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Whilst business schools are seeing more applications by analysts and execs being down-sized from banks and other sectors, I see from the Economist [Giving advice in adversity] consulting firms are not faring so well. I hope they were expecting this and prepared their staffing plans for it over the last couple of years, as it’s exactly what happened after the dot-com bubble. Last time round some messed up so badly they withdrew MBA job offers within weeks of making them, and ...

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Industry ‘power curves’ for real competitive strategy

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Now here’s a really useful tool from McKinsey. Using ‘power curves’ to assess industry dynamics shows the value of seeing the size-distribution of competitors in an industry. It shows the tool for banking, chemicals, software and biotech. You can do much, much more with this though.

Merely seeing the pattern is interesting but so what? This is a fundamental tool for something virtually no companies do well – truly competitive strategy.

The basic principles are simple:

  • Trying to do a ...
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Ethics vs. competence

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I took the trouble to post a query on one of the Academy of Mgmt discussion lists, asking what colleagues felt we had failed to do to allow professionals  to graduate with the basic strategic incompetence [as well as financial] to bring about the current global crisis. Replies so far seem to focus almost entirely on the ...

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The banking crisis – again

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I’ve gone on about this before, but it’s gone way, way worse since I last brought it up, so let’s not forget that this whole mess started with gross strategic incompetence on the part of a few dozen CEOs of ordinary banks over-selling high-cost mortgages to more-and-more people who, more-and-more, couldn’t afford it – and egged on by equally incompetent analysts lauding those same CEOs for their foolishness – and then compounded by further incompetence when those toxic loans were ...

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