Archive | risk

The Poison of Food

For reasons I’d rather not go into, I decided to do a little research into food poisoning with a seemingly simple question: How does food get poisoned? It turns out that most food-related illnesses can be separated into two types: toxins and infection. The traditional use of the term food poisoning stems from the existence…

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Are Your Co-Workers Good For Your Health?

Last week I wrote about Pret A Manger which rewards employees on behaviors such as niceness and teamwork, not just traditional measures of performance. Pret believes incenting these behaviors improves the health of the organization which leads to more sustainable performance. A 2011 research study from Tel Aviv University backs them up and suggests having…

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The Nocebo Effect is Serious Medicine

A decade ago I read an intriguing article entitled “The Nocebo Effect: Placebo’s Evil Twin” which argued a patient’s pessimistic attitude could have negative consequences on their health.  Research showed that patients who were warned of gastrointestinal side effects from repeated use of aspirin were almost three times as likely to exhibit the side effects…

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The Upside of the Downturn

As a sound bite example of the Upside of the Downturn, Geoff Colvin suggested that death rates go down in a recession.  Regardless of the accuracy of the claim, it’s worth remembering that the recession provides new opportunities for companies willing to take risks.  To emphasize this point, Colvin subtitled his book “Ten Management Strategies to…

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Smooth-sailing fallacy

One benefit of working for a European headquartered company is that things slow down enough in August that I can start to catch up on reading.  I was particularly intrigued by a short June 2009 McKinsey Quarterly article entitled “Management lessons from the financial crisis” in which UCLA business professor Richard Rumelt coins the term “smooth…

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Enterprise Risk Oversight

A new report entitled the Current State of Enterprise Risk Oversight (alternately, here) has been published by several faculty members from the Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) Initiative at North Carolina State University.  For me, the conclusions are alarming, but perhaps not surprising: Despite the growing pressures for more effective risk oversight that are emerging from the…

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Performance Management Quotes

Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat. Sun Tzŭ c. 490 BC, Chinese military strategist Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things. Peter F. Drucker, American Management Guru The essence of competitiveness is liberated when we make people believe that what…

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