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A smart business is dressed in principles not rules

In the regulation of business affairs, from dress codes to rules on takeovers, it is always tempting to try to translate general principles into specific rules. But the world is rarely sufficiently clear and certain for this to be possible, and if it seems so today it will have ceased to be so tomorrow.

Choice – Renata Salecl

Faced with the choice of over a hundred 100 jams, I reduced the number of alternatives to 30 or so, and then ... well, I finally walked out of the shop without having bought any jam at all. People are overwhelmed by variety of choice.

A bird in the hand can make a lot of sense

Irrationality lies not in failing to conform to some preconceived notion of how we should behave, but in persisting with a course of action that does not work.

A good economist knows the true value of the arts

Activities that are good in themselves are good for the economy, and activities that are bad in themselves are bad for the economy. The only intelligible meaning of “benefit to the economy” is the contribution – direct or indirect – the activity makes to the welfare of ordinary citizens.

Wall Street play for which we pay

At the medieval courts Shakespeare described, the exercise of power was not a means to an end, it was itself the end. The political and economic environment has been transformed. But human nature has not, and the factors that drive powerful men today are little different from those that drove them five centuries ago.

Capitalism 4.0 – Anatole Kaletsky

Capitalism 1 was a world of laisser faire. This concept dominated economics and economic policy from The Wealth of Nations to the Great Depression....

How to stay ahead of the angry brigade

Most people dislike confrontation, and, given time, an aggressive minority will find itself alienated. Meet the reasonable demands, and appear to treat the unreasonable ones with seriousness; always engage in discussion, however futile.

Scroogenomics – Joel Waldfogel

Processes matter to us as well as outcomes, and so we genuinely appreciate gifts even if we don’t really care for the item.

True survivors do not clutch at straws

Maintain a clear sense of long-term objectives but acknowledge the limits on your day-to-day actions.

Evolution is the real hidden hand in business

Businesses are complex systems. We tend to infer design where there was only adaptation and improvisation, and to attribute successful business outcomes to the realisation of some deliberate plan.