Dealing with your stakeholders – the bozzo hypothesis

My father was an actuary (someone who loves statistics and logical thinking). So when I grew up I inherited a different view on life than what most children would inherit.

Once when I was young my father tackled the difficult problem of stranger danger and the fact that there are evil people in the world. To an actuary this is an important lesson for a child to learn because a percentage of the human race are complete ratbags (a complete ratbag is a person of dubious or low morale character – someone on whom you cannot and should not depend).

Thus, my father posited, I must prepare myself for a world where evil and terrible people exist. Let’s assume that 5% of people are really dodgy and cannot be trusted. That means that even in my school there must be dodgy people about – watch out.

But, my father went on – you must remember the bozzo hypothesis (Bozzo is a term meaning “uncommonly and consistently stupid person”).

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What is the difference between management and leadership?

I have been talking to people about “leading project teams” and “leading change”, so the topic of leadership and management has come up a few times. There seems to be a common view that leadership is better than management, but I am not so sure. I believe leadership and management are a little different and it is worth differentiating between them but one without the other is like a yin without a yang … it leads to disorder and suffering instead of balance and harmony. Here is what I think – Definitions Leadership is about understanding where you are today, … Continue reading What is the difference between management and leadership?

If you want me to fund your start-up … I might want to ask some questions first

I have always thought that it would be great to be extremely rich, so I think it would be great to invest in the next Google or Apple while it is just a small team working from a garage. Then I could watch the company become a billion dollar a day powerhouse and sit back to enjoy the life to which I would like to become accustomed.

But to be honest I am not sure that your company is likely to be the next Google and I don’t actually have much money sitting around to lend you.

I am sure that there are some people out there who would love to be your patron (er – venture capitalist) because they want to be someone who patronises the arts (er I mean innovation). But I just want to be rich. I am also sure that I have missed out on investing in some fantastic ideas, but I am not entirely convinced that you will make me rich even if you have an awesome product.

So, if I don’t want to invest in you just because you deserve a shot at bringing your new creation to the world and I am not even confident that a great product will lead to success then what questions should I ask?

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