Tag Archives: Google

Human Risk 4: Steve Ballmer, The Decline Of Microsoft

This is the fourth in a series of articles on Human Risk. The first three can be found here, here and here.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, who took over from Bill Gates in 2000, recently announced that he will be resigning within 12 months. The fact that Microsoft’s shares jumped almost 8% on the news is testament to the widely held belief that Ballmer is primarily responsible for the decline of Microsoft relative to its much nimbler rivals such as Google and Apple.

By some estimates as much as $24 billion was added to the market value of Microsoft on Ballmer’s announcement. This is proof, if ever any was needed, that culture and risk are twin sides of the same coin. The only question is; what if any, were the specific cultural issues that caused one of the most important organisations in modern history to decline in value and competitiveness? Continue reading

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Are Banks Truly Innovative? It is Time for a Rethink

The way in which banks focus on innovation is crucial for their long term survival. However, are they focusing on the right things?

There are times when you are writing a book and your mind, body and soul get drawn into directions that you neither dreamed nor envisaged when you first started out. It is a wonderful thing when it happens because it means your passion for what you are doing is driving your thought processes and stirring your imagination beyond the realms of cold logic.

It is a very nice feeling.

In the middle of writing Clearing The Bull questions about what it meant for organizations to be innovative and whether or not banks were truly innovative entered my mind. I was grappling with the idea that in general, organizations that were truly innovative were both economically and competitively sustainable. However, given that I was writing about the banking industry and the financial crisis, it had occurred to me that given such a definition, banks were clearly not innovative.

Continue reading