February 2009

Taking the tailor made approach.

Late last week when I came to Bangkok I went to see my tailor whi I have known him for many years. He told me, with business down,, he was trying new ways to keep people well dressed. “And it’s not just about cutting the cloth for a better fit either”, he laughed in self-amusement. adding more seriously “Staying in the race is the first step, and then we have to be even more creative and innovative to remain there.” [...]

Australian Bush Fires – In memory

For Aussies affected by the Fires on Feb 7 this month we acknowledge and pay respect to those who lost their lives. Our sincere condolences go to all those who lost their families and close friends. Many more are still in critical care and all that are affected have to now recover and rebuild their homes and their lives. [...]

US Climate Czar Acts!!

I saw Roland Chessman’s post last week Would you follow the money? In this he points out the US reticence to ratifying Kyoto. But it seems US President Obama has other Ideas. But Roland did not mention Obama’s election platform was to reduce greenhouse gases by 80% by 2050. Ratified or not Kyoto aims are not even that strong. Here is an article today in entitled “US Climate Czar: CO2 Regulation Ruling To Come Soon” In this it reproduces a Dow Jones Newswire story, which says President Barack Obama’s climate czar said on Sunday the Environmental Protection Agency will soon issue a rule on the regulation of carbon dioxide, finding that it represents a danger to the public. [...]

Would you follow the money?

You guys asked me for some comments so I thought I would just do a post instead. I stated with a newspaer read to see what was interesting. I also know I am cynical about all politics so there is always plenty to scoff at there. But I have to admit Hillary Clinton impressed me today with her visit to China. On last leg of her Secretary of State to Asia she braved it and went to Beijing. as I have been reading in CNN (Feb 21) about this they say like all the papers I have checked this is her most crucial stop-over in her Asia trip, signaling the new US administration’s first attempts to lay a foundation towards a China policy. Well I think she may have got away with it even though she should know you cannot beat the Chinese at Chinese checkers especially in China Well I think she may have got away with it even though she should know you cannot beat the Chinese at Chinese checkers especially in China. One clever ploy was her tactical plan. I saw on BBC TV tonight Hillary’s first port of call there was a state of the art power station, near Beijing that incidentally uses American technology and is one of the world’s lowest carbon emission sites. [...]

Can image selling tools really sell?

The power of images to sell has made dramatic advances in the last few years. “Adobe Flash” and “Microsoft Silverlight” and more with high speed vector change technologies, that have now made video highly pervasive useable and effective for all sorts of marketing training and general purpose needs. More recent advances in digital imagining with “Stich” technologies have made photos stacks literally come alive. [...]

Is Balance risk being traded for balance of power?

Some have suggested CFO’s risk energy is better placed to ensure economic fallout is less severe. I have to agree, many CFO’s have been focused on acquisition growth and leveraged efficiencies sometimes at the expense of fundamentals and the basics of risk management itself. Budgeting and expense management are vital but not the only issues that need to be managed as companies struggle to reduce their balance sheet exposures. I note Dr Kitbamroong’s comment on my post last week entitled “How is Managing Risk a vital CFO role? ?” He made the point very succincltysaying “if one of the daily activities of the CFOs were to monitor and execute risk management then economies wouldn’t have be so bad”. Squeezing the orange till the skin breaks syndrome on sometimes mindless consolidations may not have been all that smart either, as sell-offs are now all the go. With extraordinarily high prices having been paid, often for no more than market share based acquisitions, synergy clean-outs and less focused shared service SLA models have often been initiated to justify them and cut costs. This has have taken a huge toll on products, capability and good sense in risk management as overstretched sales forces struggle with no commercial awareness and ry to sell into confused overpowered markets who have also became more demanding and equally mindless with a single focus on ROI. [...]

How is Managing Risk a vital CFO role?

A guarantee of survival in 2009, is not necessarily a strong order book The risk it bring can tear out the heart of the business. The CFO’s work is not just about managing cash and costs, but also to get business through the tough times. The key metrics for this are risk assessment and constant monitoring. Equally involving is working with the front line to give them confidence to be assertive to be sure additional or new business is worthwhile. The CFO now must also ensure that adequate time is now spent on risk management and planning. [...]