Martin P Wilson


Ideas, Innovation, Inspiration, Insight, IT

Facilitation and Mentoring for Success.

Adventures of an IT Leader Cover - Stephani Finks/Asaf HanukaA strong story makes this management self-help book a good read. Is it a novel or a guide for a new Chief Information Officer or IT Director? Surprisingly it is both.


Extended Case Study Gives Advice to Prospective or Experienced CIO

The cover design and the writing style makes The Adventures of an IT Leader look and feel like a novel. As such it has many merits. The characterisation is good and the writing is engaging – it encourages the reader to keep reading - it is a better read than much pure fiction and it yet it still provides a lot of valuable advice.

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Common Wealth by Jeffrey SachsJeffrey Sachs makes a clear case how to address global challenges in ways that will be economically beneficial, ecologically positive and reduce conflict for all.

How to Prevent Conflict, Poverty, and Environmental Disaster

Every ten years or so a book is published that provides fresh new thinking that challenges preconceptions about sustainable development, global poverty and, more lately climate change. Whilst such books in the past may have had some influence their approach is not sustained in the face of the need for the developed nations to make socially and politically unacceptable changes to their population’s lifestyles.

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A Business Manifesto; Environmental Responsibility and Profitability

Strategy for Sustainability Cover - Harvard Business PressThis new approach to strategy shows how businesses can plan for long-term success when resource constraints affect markets, customers, communities and the environment.

Hurricane Katrina was an eye opener for Adam Werbach, a long time campaigner on environmental issues. Conventional environmental arguments had failed to get action from the New Orleans’ city authorities to improve their flood defences. After the disaster, major businesses solved the logistical problems to get goods into the disaster area faster than the official relief organisations.

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How to Start a New Life, Career Strategies for the Boomer Generation

Retire_Retirement_Tamara_EricksonNo need to worry about a Credit Crunch reduced pension as this book shows the alternatives to retirement as the workforce shrinks and expertise need to be retained.

Tamara Erickson has produced a book that challenges the accepted wisdom and society's expectation for those aged fifty something - Baby Boomers. It suggests alternatives to retirement for this generation (those born 1946 - 1964) as they approach the traditional end of their working lives. In Retire Retirement she suggests that with improved longevity and healthcare most will have another 20 or more years of active life.

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How India is Taking on the World; Power Shifts in an Indian Century

India's Global Powerhouses cover - Kimberly GlyderEconomic power is shifting East; to China and India. Review of Kumar's book shows it is not low costs but fundamental factors that drives progress of Indian business.

In the Introduction to India's Global Powerhouses Nirmalya Kumar provides a concise history of how Indian business have become a world force in less than twenty years. He goes on to describe the culture and management style that has led to that remarkable success.

Low Cost, Low Revenue, High Growth - Driver for Efficiency

Whilst low cost has drawn in outsourced services from the developed world there is more to Indian success than being inexpensive. Kumar shows that low cost would not of itself give Indian businesses the financial resources or credibility to acquire business on a global scale. He shows how a low revenue base has driven efficient operations and the management culture needed to maintain high levels of growth.

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Quick Thoughts

Has Military Action Ever Dissuaded Tyrants?

Syria - flagIn his speech before the war in Iraq Tony Blair, the UK Prime Minister, argued that not intervening would send a message that tyrants would feel at liberty to act without consequence. By military action in Iraq, he argued, those who would perpetrate atrocities would think twice. There would not seem to be any evidence, before or since, that would back up that contention.

We now have David Cameron, the current Prime Minister, making essentially the same arguments – do politicians ever learn from history?


Government Spending is not Driver of Growth

Parliament Square London IC02001If more public spending is the only way to create growth then surely governments have become too large a part of the economy? Government is about spending and has little to do with creating wealth.

The best government can do is move wealth from individuals and business to those who serve government.


Capped Bonuses, There May be Trouble Ahead

Politicians do not seem to be good at imagining unintended consequences. The cap on bankers’ bonuses, however popular, may be counter-productive in reducing risk.

Dark Stormy Skys and Beauty Often CoexistIf a smaller proportion of a trader’s income is at risk if a trade goes wrong they may pursue high-risk opportunities to get that big win. If it works they guarantee the full bonus and could also use it to negotiate a higher salary (and bonus) for the following year. If it fails the downside is limited by the capped bonus to a smaller part of overall income. At the end of the day traders are competitive and gamblers at heart so will they be more likely to pursue the big win when their own risk is limited?

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