I was right - in 1973 ...

Studying English Literature 'O' level in 1973 (that's a GCSE to anyone under the age of 25), I often questioned whether Thomas Hardy had actually ever intended to provide such a deep and meaningful social commentary when writing 'The Mayor of Casterbridge' as my teacher seemed to imply.  Surely he was just telling a jolly good story.

Working internationally - profitably

Later this week, I have been asked to address a discussion group of managing partners and CEOs of mid- sized (and a few larger) professional services firms.  The session is essentially considering how best to expand internationally.

Of course, there are many different options, and many different business models.  Some work for some firms, and others do not.  My suspicion is that some of those attending the session are going to be looking for definitive solutions.  And, of course, there aren't any. 

Succession planning – strip out the emotion

Succession planning in mid-sized professional services firms – and indeed in any small business – is not an intellectually difficult exercise. But it is one that is frequently avoided, and even when it is addressed, often the key issues are ignored.

So why do intelligent business professionals, who spend much of their time advising their own clients about the very issue that they find so hard to deal with themselves, simply sweep the whole succession planning issue so far under the carpet.

The answer is simple. The solution, though, is much more difficult. They simply cannot bring themselves to address the emotional issues that are such an integral part of any succession planning exercise.