"CEOs can't wait to read Sunny Bindra's articles every week."

Sep 02, 2013
My final ‘Thought Leadership’ column: the business of doing business

This will be my final column in the Thought Leadership series in this newspaper. The column began life in August 2007 and tried to bring you the best business insights from leading books and publications – and elaborate on those insights in a Kenyan and African context. In this valedictory piece, I would like to […]

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Aug 05, 2013
How to have better meetings: no slides, no chairs

“How Jeff Bezos, Richard Branson, and other business chiefs hold ruthlessly effective meetings” QUARTZ (19 June, 2013) Meetings: we all hate them. They blight our working lives. They take up all the available time in our calendars, leaving next to no time to do what we should really be doing: thinking up new ideas; reflecting […]

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Jul 29, 2013
Great career advice: look for rocket ships

“Eric responded with perhaps the best piece of career advice that I have ever heard. He covered my spreadsheet with his hand and told me not to be an idiot (also a great piece of advice). Then he explained that only one criterion mattered when picking a job – fast growth. When companies grow quickly, […]

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Jul 22, 2013
If cost-cutting is your main strategy, you’re done

“There are no surer signs of the inadequacy and delinquency of corporate leadership than that cost efficiency should feature as the dominant issue facing the company, and that the tactics of outsourcing, shared services, reorganization and other short-term palliatives are being paraded as the main drivers of future profitability.” JULES GODDARD & TONY ECCLES ‘Uncommon […]

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Jul 15, 2013
My 300th BD column: is your business becoming a ‘bad biryani?’

“When asked what the learnings from Kingfisher Airlines experience were, Tony Fernandes said: “Focus. I have said it to Vijay many times. This is damn bloody tough business. People saw me running around in a T-shirt and a cap and said well if that Indian guy can do it then I can. Vijay was one […]

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Jul 08, 2013
Where is your business’s greatest enemy?

“Companies are rarely brought low by external forces. The majority of corporate crises, sometimes called “stall points”, when revenue growth slackens dramatically or even reverses, are self-inflicted. The two root causes of stall points are myopia and complacency. Myopia is the failure to recognize market discontinuities until it is too late to respond effectively. Complacency […]

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Jul 01, 2013
How prepared is your board for this world of rapid change?

“Technology is making boundaries between industries more porous and providing opportunities for attacker models. For example, in the banking industry, online consumer-payment products such as Square—a mobile app and device that enables merchants to accept payments—are challenging traditional payment solutions. Free Mobile, a French telecommunications attacker, has captured significant market share by offering inexpensive mobile […]

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Jun 24, 2013
Kenya has great runners, so why not footballers? An economist explains…

“At the London Olympics, Kenyans won eleven medals, two of them gold. Although more were expected, Kenya remains the global powerhouse in running…Many other countries can only dream of achieving Kenya’s Olympic performance. At the same time, Kenya is underperforming in many other sports, especially in the nation’s other favourite: football. Why such a difference?” […]

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Jun 17, 2013
Is traditional marketing dead?

“Traditional marketing — including advertising, public relations, branding and corporate communications — is dead. Many people in traditional marketing roles and organizations may not realize they’re operating within a dead paradigm. But they are. The evidence is clear.” BILL LEE HBR Blog Network (9 August, 2012) Is marketing, as we’ve known it, dead? Bill Lee, […]

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Jun 10, 2013
Why so many failed to see the market for tablets

“The tablet market should top all laptop shipments this year and the entire PC market by 2015, according to a report released Tuesday. Market researcher IDC estimated that tablet shipments will grow 59 percent this year to 229.3 million units. That’s higher than IDC’s estimate for notebook shipments this year. Topping that, IDC predicts tablet […]

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Jun 03, 2013
Open-plan offices are great – aren’t they?

“A well-designed office is a happy office. As facilities managers strive to save space and cash, they’re reshuffling desks and fiddling with temperature gauges. All of which has an impact on workers’ performance. Open-plan offices may make some kinds of collaboration easier, but are they more conducive to productivity? What’s the most irritating distraction? And are those state-of-the-art workstations actually more comfortable? […]

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May 27, 2013
Could you run your supermarket more like a hotel?

“Waitrose is to introduce hotel-style welcome desks into its stores in the latest stage of plans to expand its online business. The upmarket retailer, led by managing director Mark Price, plans to install the “concierge” service desks in order to allow customers to make online orders, collect products bought over the internet, and have their […]

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May 20, 2013
Apps ate your lunch, right out of your hand

“Nobody knows which was the first app to be downloaded from Apple’s iPhone App Store on 11 July 2008 – but the total is expected to pass 50bn on Wednesday, marking a huge new business created by the explosive spread of smartphones over the past five years.” Charles Arthur, The Guardian (15 May, 2013) As […]

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May 13, 2013
Welcome to the business that never sleeps

“They may have yelled before, but now they have megaphones. Whether they’re bashing or praising your products and your brand, customers are online and louder than ever. And right now, they’re on forums, review sites, Facebook and Twitter, sending out thousands of uncensored opinions—that could have major consequences. Be everywhere. The longer it takes for […]

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May 06, 2013
If you’re a good-looking woman: don’t send a photo…

“Bradley Ruffle at Ben-Gurion University and Ze’ev Shtudiner at Ariel University Centre looked at what happens when job hunters include photos with their curricula vitae, as is the norm in much of Europe and Asia. The pair sent fictional applications to over 2,500 real-life vacancies. For each job, they sent two very similar résumés, one […]

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Apr 29, 2013
Customer care via social media: which phase is your business in?

“Businesses must recognize that the voice of the customer is more powerful than ever before. Whether Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Yelp, review sites, product forums, blogs, or Pinterest, your customers are sharing their experiences on platforms where audiences can find what others are saying about you. Your customers and prospects will inevitably find the negative experiences […]

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Apr 22, 2013
Why we’re all moving away from ‘Big Man’ leadership

“For most of modern history…going back to medieval times, the dominant way people put up buildings was by going out and hiring Master Builders who designed them, engineered them, and oversaw construction from start to finish, portico to plumbing. Master Builders built Notre Dame, St Peter’s Basilica, and the United States Capitol Building. But by […]

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Apr 15, 2013
You need to be better, not just cheaper

“Frustrated by the lack of rigorous research, we undertook a statistical study of thousands of companies, and eventually identified several hundred among them that have done well enough for a long enough period of time to qualify as truly exceptional. Then we discovered something startling: The many and diverse choices that made certain companies great […]

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Apr 08, 2013
You can’t run a business on numbers alone

“We know it’s impossible to run a successful business just with numbers because people aren’t predictable. We have to work with complex people, bring out the best in them, make them feel secure, encourage their creativity, inspire them to take responsibility when all the rules and metrics point the other way…” David Boyle Authenticity (2004) […]

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Apr 01, 2013
Why the high and mighty keep tumbling

“In “The End of Power” Mr (Moses) Naím, a former Venezuelan cabinet minister now ensconced at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, a think-tank, argues forcefully that rigid pyramids of power are collapsing. Micropowers are learning how to frustrate macropowers. Bigwigs are finding it harder to wield power and harder to hold on to it. […]

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Mar 25, 2013
Why lawyers make terrible managers

“After spending 25 years saying that all professions are similar and can learn from each other, I’m now ready to make a concession: Law firms are different. The ways of thinking and behaving that help lawyers excel in their profession may be the very things that limit what they can achieve as firms. Management challenges […]

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Mar 18, 2013
How different will tomorrow’s world be from today’s?

“Tonight, I will be meeting friends in a restaurant (tavernas have existed for at least 25 centuries). I will be walking there wearing shoes hardly different from those worn fifty-three hundred years ago by the mummified man discovered in a glacier in the Austrian Alps. At the restaurant I will be using silverware, a Mesopotamian […]

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Mar 11, 2013
Why always being late is a discourtesy, and costs money

“How did it get to be “OK” for people to be late for everything? Because as far as I am concerned, it’s not OK. In recent years it seems that a meeting set to start at 9 am, for some people means in the general vicinity of any time which starts with the numeral ‘9’. […]

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Mar 04, 2013
Your new work as CEO: leading the moonshots

“I worry that something has gone seriously wrong with the way we run companies. If you read the media coverage of our company, or of the technology industry in general, it’s always about the competition. The stories are written as if they are covering a sporting event. But it’s hard to find actual examples of […]

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Feb 25, 2013
Here’s how you deal with disruption: embrace it

“One year ago, my announcement that Encyclopædia Britannica would cease producing bound volumes sent ripples through the media world. Despite the vast migration of information from ink and paper to bits and screens, it seemed remarkable that a set of books published for almost a quarter of a millennium would go out of print. But […]

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Feb 18, 2013
Should your staff be allowed to use Facebook and Twitter at work?

“Late last year I was at a dinner with a Board I won’t mention by name. There were roughly 50 people at the event. Tables were pre-assigned and I found myself sitting across from a chap in his mid-50′s whose professional job was an accountant. He worked at a rather large firm as a partner. […]

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Feb 11, 2013
The time for big-ego leadership is fading fast

“Take time to learn. Learn the people. Learn the organization. Leaders need to leave their ego outside the door before they come in. You cannot know everything. You can never be the alpha and the omega. I have worked with people who were too full of themselves. There have been people who fill up the […]

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Feb 04, 2013
What’s the point of Davos, if no one trusts leaders?

“Less than one fifth of the general public believes business leaders and government officials will tell the truth when confronted with a difficult issue. There also is a growing trust gap between institutions and their leaders – globally, trust in business is 32 points higher than trust in business leaders to tell the truth; trust […]

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