Hillsborough 28 Years On Still Needs Respect for Fans Action

Can you imagine entering a football stadium and being caught in the entrance tunnel pushed along by an unpredictable moving mass. And then face absolute fear as it squeezes the life from you, or someone next to you, when the unrelenting crowd surges forward.

That was the case in 1989 at Hillsborough in Sheffield UK as Liverpool scored 4 minutes into an FA cup finals match.

April 15 is the anniversary of the human tragedy at the 1989 FA Cup Semi-Final played at Hillsborough Stadium in Sheffield, where 96 died and 766 injured.  It is also home of the local team “Sheffield Wednesday”. Being neutral, Hillsborough hosted that match between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest.

That tragic scene unravelled in 2016 at the 2nd inquest. It was very clear then that in the few minutes before the game got under way, that opening the gates to more admissions caused people to be crushed to death and seriously injured.

Nick Wetzel, who many who visit and live in Bangkok know well, owns and runs the famous Pickled Liver Pub there. He is a loyal fan of Sheffield Wednesday Football Club. Rain, shine or both, when they play it always on his big screens in his ever popular English Pub in downtown Bangkok.

This morning on his Facebook, Nick asked me along with his friends to sign a petition to change the Hillsborough restrictive  approach that still treats fans as the problem and instead treat fans with respect so going to Hillsborough, an always a good experience.

I am a paranoid claustrophobic, who has panic attacks at the thought of being a victim.  That day saw people made powerless by a culpable act. People turning blue gasping for a last breath of air, while being crushed to death was the horror scene. Surging crowds pushing into the already overcrowded entrance tunnels also saw people at standing room only steel fenced  pens crushed against them too, in the waves as the match went on. It  was a catastrophe that should never have happened.

It seems history shows the deaths started at the kick off and continued on as Liverpool side kicked that first goal and then for more than 20 minutes. The absolute panic had already made the football match irrelevant, but authorities, who failed to stop it and instead called for dogs to quell the “unruly” crowd, were not only incompetent, but also criminally negligent.

I can also imagine many more who have nightmares including those who has no choice to stop crushing the life from another human being, while they also scrambled to save their own.

For the angry families who lost their loved ones and those unfortunate survivors who carry  injuries that crushed away any option to live a normal life, the human community everywhere supports you. Applauded too is the cover-up history being corrected, 27 years on.

The shear stupidity to open a gate to pack even more into standing room only, in an already overcrowded steel fenced spectator pen is unforgivable.  

It seems minutes before the match start was the high risk time, when incompetence took over. With 5000 fans still queuing and in danger of being crushed,  a gate was opened to let 2,000 of them pile into the already overcrowded tunnels.

That moved the outside congestion problem to a much higher stakes one inside that had people dead in minutes. It also went directly against advice of stewards and police inside the ground who saw what was happening and wanted to delay the match.

They say it was due to the poor design and overcrowding of the stadium that segregated supported in steel fence pens. The standing room only areas have since been replaced by seats and fencing changed.

It is easy to find the history of Hillsborough Stadium which had several years before in 1981 seem a similar crushes, but no loss of life. The chairman of the Sheffield stadium, a regular FA cup host, at that time remarked: “Bollocks – no one would have been killed”. He was still in the chair in 1989 so I guess he believed his own rhetoric  and said “No problem to packed them in again”. Finding he was wrong he resign as Chairman soon after but curiously it seems he was exonerated by the OBE he got in 1991. 

Police on the day quickly blamed the hooligans, which turned out to be bollocks too.  As was the 1992 Coronial Inquiry verdict of it being just and accidental caused by the fans themselves. It seems little comfort that many more inquiries lead by the police said the same until the second coroner’s inquest in April 2016, 27 years on, delivered a verdict that supporters were unlawfully killed due to grossly negligence by the then authorities.

Many may ask why did they need to segregated fans into by fences in the first place. Hooliganism was rife then and often a cause for chaos and injury between rival team gangs.

But even though at a time it was proven that the Hillsborough disaster was not of their doing, The worry is football hoods still walk among us like terrorist groups.These low life diehard minorities of organised thuggery give genuine British Football followers a bad name. The fact is these gangs like any other aggressively intent gang are not about football. The get created from a sick mahen they cause with criminal intent.

The pity too is it still took a large force of shield  protected baton welding tactical response police in France last year, to keep English football hooligans out of the international football playoff matches.

So it seems there is always the possibility for them to return, But no-more in Sheffield after 1989 or since. If you even look like a hooligan there you immediately are off-limits.  

Football matches are a great family and friends spectator sport that builds communities. It is a social event where we like to win. In most arenas worldwide the Hillsborough lessons learned mean  fan controls are no longer built around a cloistered fear we will all turn into hooligan terrorists  Instead we see it replaced by facilities that encourage open partisan support where be-it winning or losing is always a healthy outcome. Congratulating your opponent is now a good thing to show how to be magnanimous when we lose and be humbly respectful to our opponents when we win. Many of us living in these communities elsewhere enjoy that so much. Hooligans now have no place in our sporting events and are not welcome. Causing chaos is not easy, when the real fans are treated with respect so no-one tolerates any nonsense.

But we must never forget what those wasted lives nor the lessons it gave the world to change. Sadly Sheffield Wednesday are still focussed on restricting Fans and need to change too.

As you “Walk the Talk”, did you notice the people now talking and walking have changed?

Maybe it is not just Climate Change we need to worry about. Evidence shows the internet may be disappearing into a Cloud.

We already see “On the Run” methodologies called “Agile”. replacing the longstanding System Development Life Cycles, as the way to plan and deliver projects that in their day drove the internet revolution. But sadly much more is changing as once hallowed jobs go and new concepts replace them.

For example, project managers who were once king are now lining up in droves in redundancy queues. Change management agents and business analysts, their replacements, are now firmly entrenched.

Bankers too, who traditionally lent the money as the way for ideas become a successful business, are also being replaced. At first, it was at drip feed pace, but now it’s almost frenzied, as an always competitive “Pitch” based Venture Capitalists are claiming this lucrative space.

Four letter words like BOSS WORK and HOME have also replaced by three letter acronyms, known as TLA’s. This sees Managing Directors and Finance Directors all but gone too.  In their place we see PWC and a plethora of Business Consulting Advisory firms, know as BCA’s, advising the Chief Financial Officer we call CFO.

The job of the CFO is to keep on hand, for the Board and Shareholders, a constant supply of clean high fashion Sarbanes-Oxley SOX. On the other hand keeping the CEO up to speed is the CFO mission designed to keep them both stay out of jail  The job of the CEO,  being the biggest O, too is no longer about running the business but more a hands-off job to just plan the course and focused on the strategy to get everyone there.

When we talked about flattening management layers in the efficiency focussed 90’s, we did not need a Chief Operating Officer as we got operations to do all that. Today we see COO’s titanically moving the chairs, as they also do the steering. That, of course, left operations directors all now defunct too.

And so the COO can direct the business, has his helpers. These include, a CIO for information,  a CTO for Technology, a CBO for Business Intelligence and a CMO for Marketing and so on.  Smart manufacturing using ERPs and ITC’s these days have also replaced the shop floor workers. So now when things go wrong they have no way to say “sorry about the chief”. So the chief, who has no union, gets a bonus to leave.

HOME too is now a place of WORK replacing the traditional go to the office. That legacy no longer resonates with the lost institution called leisure, that often began with the call “Hi Honey I’m Home”.

Small Office Home Offices known as SOHO’s are now seen all over the world. And collectively remote workers at HOME or in SOHO’s,  often don’t ever talk to each other face to face, They all now collaborate in the Cloud.

The traditional Management Team too with practices like team building,  career and succession planning, have also moved over for the C’s. They, in turn, have Seagulls to fly in and fly out to poop on workers not meeting quotas.

Managers, who used to be respected and responsible,  are now seen as passé. In their place, we see Vice Presidents and Executive Managers who come and go at the whim of new Job Search prizes. How long is it since we saw a Human resources manager? Vice President’s of Human resources and so on are abundant. Curiously too in some companies, they have a raft of VP’s who answer to no-one, given there is no President and just a CEO.

Salespeople too used to have one of the most important jobs. But sadly, VP’s of Sales and Executive Business Development Managers have also taken over. These euphemistic supermom experts on all their companies products spend their days going about replacing salespeople with channel partners and agents who in turn often know little more than the commission rate they will get. All too often too, to close deals they send out benefits hooks on PowerPoint to the field agents and partners, as a go figure value statement for a customer problem.

That is even more confusing to VP’s of Global Supply Chain Management, who actually still just want to buy goods. But they too have replaced the purchasing managers, who knew who sold what and where, because they were face to face people who stayed up to date. Artificially Inseminated Robots known as AI or BOTS, now look down us from the clouds and unlike the past, they never buy lunch.

It seems too that even who does the work is no longer clear. Be they modern well-fed sweat shops in factories or well-oiled chain gangs in offices, replacement is happening there too. Global Supply Chains, invisible to social controls seen only in the Cloud,  now do the real work.

Is the 80-20 Law of Probability Still Relevant?

In the focus of this picture, you may notice that two of the three artists are left-handed.  That is not surprising. History shows a substantially higher percentage of left-handed people are creative compared to the rest of us. However, with only 10% of the world being left-handed, and the recognized creators for the future likely to be in their ranks, should we dismiss as just followers, the 90% of communities that are right-handed?

It is also reported that 20% of road accidents are caused by drivers with excess  blood alcohol levels. Given the remaining 80% of accidents are caused by sober drivers, it could be argued, that it is safer to be drunk.

With the creative paradox and the humorous chestnut a close reality, is it fair to suggest that the 80-20 rule disciples may be wrong? When it comes to the macroeconomics and efficiency concepts for handling revolutionary change, we may need to flip the focus to the 80% and just leave the already proven 20% alone.

With Big Data now ubiquitous and possible for all we are seeing this happening more and more. The emerging revolution and re-forming of the Information Technology industry is targeting the 82% of organizations who still lack visibility on a line of business profitability.

Of the 18% who do, they have long since learned the powerhouse value of using deep dive access analysis. Governments agencies, tax departments and the like all now link our transactions and metadata to make economic decisions and ensure compliance.  In the Insurance industry, I learned this week from a discussion with Mike Plaxton CEO at FWD Life, that the track record of achievement there with their leap-frog market share growth in the last 3 years, has been due to this style unconventional approach. Adopting a hand-off model on what works, with systems to manage both the big data parts and the whole, has let them stay in control while they press on with their market competitiveness and grow ambitions.

Business and Large Organizations know the latency of post qualifying silo processes means getting results that way is far too slow. For example, it is no longer valid is waiting for Finance to prepare reports to assure integrity. Even simple pervasive technology on an android phone is able to link profit performance directly to product sales right at the cash register stage. So integrating performance responsiveness is not longer just for elite big budget businesses.

However as big data business engines are now unstoppable, a paradigm shift is still underway to move Small to Medium business thinking to take on big data operating mode to survive. That means getting them to leave behind conventional indirect reporting methods such as unconnected spreadsheets that are costing them dearly.

Businesses that continue with these dinosaur methods, that lack direct responsiveness analysis, risk becoming extinct as competitors and markets outdate them.

The landscape of business software market is also changing. The cash cow days of  “Traditional” business intelligence-based performance management tools are also over. These products, with out-dated expensive lock in licensing models, are now almost commodities and to survive must merge into higher level service models with either on-premises or cloud managed delivery options.

Those that do will tap into the highly intuitive multifaceted small to medium business market. That has completely different needs, including how they see and manage things like supply chain based costing and delivery performance.

The spreadsheet which for 3 decades has given power to the user must also adapt, being all too often limiters to scaling up. The vital business intelligence buried in these complex labyrinths of manipulated data diminishes the value in these unsecured unstructured reports.

For an example of the already powerful, misplaced link to data sources function in Excel is not exploited. As an integrated analytics function, its unstructured flexibility fails as people prefer remaining simple and miss the secondary benefit.

Most everyone wants timely analysis reports delivered directly from their own transaction data systems. Hence the all too often dominant and highly inefficient disparate middleware processing including the reporting role of standalone massaged Excel is all but an already extinct process. Facebook Google and other social media that have become giants with enormous analytics value have also turned marketing on its ear. The challenge for the business software industry is adapting to these changes making it all much more seamless and simple to own and use with the big data able to be tamed and harnessed.

The professional services industry tied to this, to deliver the capability,  also needs to change. Traditional slow consulting that “borrows your watch to tell you a new way to read it” have all but changed forever too. Rapid deployment methods with support based models have been replacing traditional long gestation “system life cycle developments”

The so-called journey to get end users get up and running fast, is days, not months, This previously time-consuming processes is happening so much faster and often too in a highly responsive live environment.

Business intelligence, so-called, is also no longer just fancy word only big business understand. As high-quality insights and responsiveness have become a norm in live interactive data dashboards delivered on hand devices, everyone, even the kids, is able to use and understand  how get information for value.

As these changes give ever more visibility to see whom and what is delivering the best value,  it will become part of everyday life to uncover the secret of the elite mantra in the 19th century Vilfredo Pareto concept of efficiency.


Updated from a 20/80 hypothesis first published By Gordon Wood on May 4th, 2014

Is the Way to Change in Asian Cultures also changing?

It is said, in Asia it is all about face. The truth is the politics of face in any human endeavor is universal and not just confined to Asia. In Asia, as elsewhere, marinating is needed to soften long-standing workflows and decode black boxed processes.

Outsiders can and do help to make things transparent with unbiased ideas to catalyze improvements. But cultural differences for change can leave the unwary who try, using so-called tried and true approaches may face very high risks.

Continuous improvement programs, like six sigma with metrics-based performance dashboards, spring to mind when we talk about process improvement. In Asia, these are widely adopted especially in automotive and high-tech industries, so lessons in that arena are not new.

Not unlike elsewhere, many in not so well organized Asian industries still developing, have entrenched traditional work practices that work against innovation. In spite of this, Asians have the fastest growing economies, so to keep them afloat and practical we must look to things like competitive benchmarking and best practice leveraging as the cultural change ingredients.

It is also too easy to fall for the trap to homogenize Asia. The one thing in common, however, is dense populations with intense competitiveness the entrenched trade way of life. In many developing countries education is also limited to a few. This means traditional workforces, with breadwinners also social security providers for families. resistance to change is high, as it translates to more hardship.

That begs the question of how to change the strategic control of the culture which also includes a high level of daily embedded religious activity. It is often easier and still the preferred way to keep workforce controlled by fear and not by developing people to be more organically collaborative to grow.

At the heart of this are things like long-standing ways of employment with often very tough worker penalty clauses. e.g. salary cuts for behavioral issues, such as poor timekeeping and poor KPI delivery etc. As for vendors, late delivery penalties, are imposed, as a norm. This “Might is Right” model when systemic change is needed, invariably works against best practices . That makes change management, that requires creative collaboration, not easy at all.

Confusing this are regimes with the false positives of benevolent paternal practices, that see management’s maintaining consistent classes and social fabrics for conformists workforce. This is all to often based on a join in and turn up lifestyle incentive that also ruthlessly puts people out at the first sign of problems. Surprisingly unlike highly developed convention cultures loyalty remains very high.

At the sharp end where it matters most, making process improvements means taking risks and testing new ideas. Hence in such cultures, unlike a continuous improvement ethos, ideas are never forthcoming. Or when they do they remain unworkable until a great deal of bottom-up work is done.

Even then the time needed to get any sort of acceptance is often ballooned out as change issues are invariably ill-defined up front . Then attempts to have open discussions to explore the options and get the changes agreed can fail with even the slightest hint of risking punishment which can include losing face.

In Supply Chain driven business cultures, as things are found to be wrong, the paradox principle kicks in to put them right. This idea that human condition cannot accept confusion does not work in Silo cultures where the “I’m alright Jack and “it’s not my problem” paradigm prevails. Then when people are faced with things being wrong they just say nothing and wait and see with a non-committal or semi-conditional “it’s up to you”, acceptance.

For the change management agent, despite any rhetoric of a better life in the sales or business case stage, there is rarely any teaming inventive considered or inbuilt into contracts to encourage successful change programs. Consultants who then uncover roadblock issues are between a rock and a hard place, with no means to influence as their time extends and money is threatened or cut. They are at the mercy of the engagement managers who rely on inexpert acceptance for sign off.

To make this point more clearly, more often than not in the highly focused businesses in Asia the change management capability is just not the same as US or Europeans know it. So in spite of promises to the contrary, when the chips are down the rules change and the adviser is left to take total responsibility. The makes no sense commercially, with a lose- lose positions and outcomes.

The unacceptably long gestation then occurs as issues do not get sorted out in timely ways . It can get even worse if failures are blamed on the advisor especially when Managements who abdicated taking direct management responsibility for the change itself, rely upon the word of their so-called loyal staff who have vested interests in keeping their job.

In matrix cultures, it is, of course, much easier and less of an issue. Management and functional teams are more instinctively alert to recognize supply chain issues and accept any need to fix them. The absence if this is often missed in setup planning and requirements due diligence in silo cultures.

If a capability is not an ingredient in improvement and growth projects planning then they will struggle to listen to process heartbeats. In the early stages, this is a vital element to get a clear understanding at the As-Is business process analysis stage and to see what is needed for the To-Be and how to get it.

To have a chance for success cross-functional responsibility must get the full process understanding. By focusing the thinking on the change to supply based horizontal activity helps removes traditional roadblocks inside hierarchically managed verticals. Hence dis-aggregation of vertical teams, with key players moved to adopting parallel influence, is the key to forming empowered teams to lead and sponsor end to end innovations.

None of this is new and relates to any social cultures. We all know to make changes a change to the thinking foundations must be addressed first. “Change the mindsets and the hearts will follow”

In Asia however, even with contracts and scope tightly managed, conservative bottom-up cultures and lifestyles that blend with productivity equivalence must be recognized as significant and factored in. Then it change happens and happens well.

Edited from First published July 13th, 2012

When are Spin Ethics in Life and Business Valid?

For selling innovation, humour can be used to get a win over a sceptic who wants to stick traditional solutions just because they are trusted and true.

Handling such competition is not always about meeting it head on. A get out of jail card I like is this rhetorical quote embodied in a double dip third party endorsement;

“I think it was, Professor Roland F. Chessman (1), who used a famous Yogi Berra quote to answer that, – ‘Nobody goes there anymore; it is too crowded.“?

Yogi Berra was a champion US baseball player, not the kids show,“Yogi Bear”. But who cares who if you don’t know either of them? By attributing his clever one-liner to a so-called credible person like the Professor associates the ambiguousness of the “humorous one liner” to debunk “don’t go there” situations.

Ok, so you may have heard of one of the Yogis. but who is this Professor, Roland F. Chessman?

“He is a quick witted travelling mentor attached to the prestigious University Ofardnok and adjunct to the faculty at the National Space Center in Partakeinloif. He specialises in teaching the value of original thinking to move people away from the risk of just following convention wisdom.”

But hold on, name dropping a pedigree. is that ok?  Roland may also be concerned that his name as a professional is being linked in a sales pitch.

“Seriously Roland, I only borrowed your professional (2) credentials to get the show under way. Didn’t you do that by quoting Yogi? And we both got the deal done so everyone is happy.”

Ok so while my story is tongue in cheek, what about the ethical side of using this sort of “Come in Spinner” approach?

Before I address that, let me digress.

Some years ago my sister was stressed over how her son was handling his academic endeavours. One issue he had was a system that so often fails to recognize talent of people who just struggle with process.

My nephew, incidentally is a brilliant musician and very sharp, but the bureaucracy and its scoring system held no value for him. I told him Einstein failed at mathematics in grade school, but that did not  inspire him. So I took another tack using a Chessmen styled spin to a famous person quotation.

The initially unnamed quote begged a challenging question of the reader to ask,“Who am I?” In the title too “Who Said” it also begged the reader to also ask who begged the question.

In a blog entry entitled “Who said that” I re published it in on Humour for All Occasions and other third party blogs with some editorial additions. I then forwarded the link to my nephew.

To save you clicking the link here is the text.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Who Said That?

To quote a very famous man,

“In the first place, God made idiots. That was for practice. Then he made school boards.  So don’t let your schooling get in the way of your education.”

“Para-phrasing this great writer, I am reminded that the secret to success is having a clear view of where you are going. You must know too “you can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus”.

Here are some other tips:

  1. Get your facts first and then you can distort them as much as you wish.
  2. When in doubt on integrity, just tell the truth so you can believe in yourself.
  3. Know the real secret to success in life is to make your vocation your vacation.
  4. Face yourself and got on with it.  Denial isn’t just a river in Egypt.
  5. Find people who encourage you and shun those who belittle others and their ambitions.
  6. Great people make you feel you can be great too. Small people do the opposite.
  7. It is much easier to start off as a great person so why not?

Posted by Gordon Wood at 9:39 PM

Thankfully it had the desired effect and he got right on track for a kicker result.

To get a credible message over to my nephew my tactic had been to appeal to his curiosity. He quickly cut and paste the quote into Google to identify the author was from Mark Twain, who himself was an enigma (5). In this case, I was clearly ethical, as I did not mislead to give an impression for my advantage. Nor did I infer a third party endorsement or that the quote was mine.

On that bootlegging score, just be aware. My opinion is, plagiarism is for fools (6) whereas adding to a creditable source is often admired. People these days’ research the web and on finding material often forget to acknowledge original authors as they cut, paste and edit furiously to meet deadlines. Such unaccredited material gets embodied leaving the writer in jeopardy to falling foul of a bad name. Another example is Google lowers the ratings on self duplicated material. So I could be judged guilty by Google here as I have reused some from my 2009 post.

Spinning off a credible base can despite good intent can be an ogre and a dubious activity in sales. So beware when quoting from customer’s stories and public domain sources to discredit a competitor for advantage. Using or implying misleading information added to relay an impression can come back to bite you very hard too.

Using Humor well, on the other hand, is often a good tactic to deflect objections or win the debate. As for my borderline case with Roland, I will let you be the judge. A good rule generally is, “The central theme must be original and stand on its own. Then the use of credible references or argued opposing references to support a proposition is usually fine if accurate sources are quoted without inference.”

Ethics aside, commercial integrity is even more transparent these days.  And for any copycats not yet convinced, copyright and related laws are real and enforceable with a commercial flow on and litigation a very likely outcome for breaches. And it is always expensive.

Traditional Solution Selling and SPIN Selling (7) are both legitimate methodologies. But there is no substitute for a quality product with well-matched customer needs. A transparent, honest sales process needs credible people who can think fast and listen well. They need a good process and skill to research prospects landscapes. The key is timing and being able to assess the value they can bring, while always understanding competitive influences.

This combination will always win over shortcuts and clever salesman tricks of deliberately misleading to relay an advantageous impression.

On the other hand not having a good approach to handling objections will invariably find you up the creek without a paddle.

  1. The real name and biography of Roland F. Chessman, if he exists at all, is withheld. It has no relevance to this article at all except to make a point.  So fictions or not he shall remain nameless and can rest easy and uncompromised.
  2. It is frowned on in many Professions and in some cases illegal for misuse of a practitioner’s  name. In professions with high standing of public trust, for examples such as medical, scientific, accountants and financial advisors, misuses of their standing for commercial advantage is unacceptable. Any spin-off advantage to a third party outcome, even with legitimate professionals themselves advocating it, is seen by many as dishonest. Professional people are therefore very wary of approaches for use of their names.
  3. 3 Yogi Berra us now one of my favorites now, thanks to my mate who is real and introduced his humour to me.  And I am very happy to quote him directly even if you don’t know anything about American baseball heroes. He is such a dry humoured man with a quick wit. Check him out?
  4. 4 Humour for all Occasions is a private blog with a humour collection from colleagues and friends. Humour material is often great as an aid to business understanding and a tool for learning.
  5. Samuel Langhorne Clemens (November 30, 1835 – April 21, 1910), better known by the pen name Mark Twain, was an American humorist, satirist, lecturer and writer. (Wikipedia).
  6. Publishers, Universities and such now routinely test for plagiarism by uploading a submitted document to software programs, that look for copied objects and text in millions of cross-references sources over the web.  There are also many free scanners e.g. http://www.scanmyessay.com
  7. Solution Selling and SPIN Selling are well tested and legitimate sales methodologies

Solution selling is a special approach to sales. Rather than just pushing an existing product the salesperson focuses on the customer’s pain(s) and addresses these in his or her solution to these problems. The goal is to present a “no-brainer” decision, whereby the sales person offers a solution to a “pain” or problem admitted to and preferably quantified by the customer. Retrieved from “http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solution_selling“SPIN is an acronym for a well tested sales methodology that works.  It is NOT about dubious misleading practices but stands for Situation Problems Implications Solutions and makes up the as cornerstone of this quality sales process. See  Neil Rackham, SPIN Selling, McGraw Hill, 1996

  1. Come in Spinner – is an Australian phrase that refers to a sucker being taken in by confidence trick.

It is said to have come from and association with a famous Australia working man’s past time called Two-up. Here two coins are tossed for group betting. Many lost their wages in the process. But this gambling game was very popular in the pioneering days and a national favorite that flourished in the face of moralists of the time who also declared it Illegal. The truth is It was also subject to rouges and trickery in the side betting, Hence the spinner term association with suckers.The game is very popular in Casinos where it is now played.  Bets are placed on a mat on one of 3 squares in ring style format, Bets are closed on the call, “come in spinner”, as the two coins are then tossed off a flat batten by the spinner with the result being only one of three possible outcomes of heads and tails. The game is continuous as winners and losers are declared and wagers paid by the banker. This simple group gambling game is infectious and quite unique.

The  Come in Spinner Featured Image is taken from http://www.history.sa.gov.au/media_releases/images/twoup.jpg






When counting the 12 Apostles is their attraction success just what you make of it or is there a formula?

The 12 Apostles, when christened by Victorian Tourism in the 1920s, had only nine in the cluster. Now there is eight.  The rate of erosion will inevitably see that number reduce even further.

Remarkably Victorian Tourism maintains the 12 apostles metaphoric brand as its centrepiece to increasingly attract millions of visitors each year. What is their secret? 

The clue might lie in this “10 Best things” article by Michael Blayne, at http://intheblack.com. a keeper check list is for business sustainability.

The headers are also copied here.


10 ways to give your business the best chance at longevity

1. Consistently innovate

2. Embrace change

3. Set a fearless goal

4. Build your company around a set of core ideologies

5. Develop a strong and cohesive culture

6. Serve the customer

7. Think long-term

8. Build a team

9. Compete online

10. Develop customer loyalty programs

Michael Blayney

Closing in on 25 years’ service as a journalist, Michael has written for many of Australia’s major newspapers and magazines, specialising in business, politics and travel. He has also ghost-written a number of bestselling non-fiction titles. Outside working hours, Michael spends most of his time delivering three children under 12 to sporting commitments and the odd party – on time and in one piece.

Should Nest Egg Management be Taught at School so Retirement Planning is Intuitive When Starting Work?

Many planning to retire, find it is quite a job.  Self-accountability is a big one to master, when previously, as we just did our job, we had  it all done by superannuation professionals. But being cut loose from a life of working in structured and supported activity that brought money in, thrusts the burden to keep a superannuation nest egg productive to live on for the rest of your life.

For many in the regular workforce,  the planning to get a nest egg is foregone outcome, taken care of by routine superannuation contributions.  But when you retire all that stops and it then takes a great deal more to manage and keep it all healthy to live on.

That is not  easy for many, who for the first time in their lives want to enjoy fruitful daily activities that also generally see their money going out. Enticements, providing so called well deserved but often high priced indulgent activities, are aimed at those transitioning. These  often see the unwitting targeted with their savings reduced to poverty state very fast.

To manage that requires a brand new sets of skills to limit falling into those traps or conversely being frozen for fear of that, with a poverty lifestyle still the outcome.

My wife, who retired some years ago, with more time began to actively manage our investments. She did very well on day to day operational decisions of buy and sell. On the control side a spreadsheet did an okay job until she  found it inadequate to track everything well.

So we moved to an all singing all dancing online software tool with an attached subscriber based advisory service. When our expensive subscriber system and its equally so advisors, who send robotic newsletters, on what was worth buy  and sell, went out of business, it told its own story.

On reverting to a free yahoo tool, that we found it easy not only for positions reviews but for daily tracking and as a good resource in making decisions. We then learned for ourselves how to research and make our own buy and sell moves.

One thing we are thankful for was is taking an hour or so each quarter, for a structured discussion, That let us ensure we had an updated plan to keep in on track and growing. A night out for dinner, makes it a good the recipe to ensure we maintained our pledge.

Even though, like everyone investing for their own retirement plan, we could not avoid taking a beating on equities in the crashes, In our case  with a spread  blue chip at the core,  it has all come back.

In essence our portfolio management is no different to a business. We work as a team to plan and review all the parts together. And operationally we have separate responsibility for executing the day to day.

It seems businesses, as opposed to personal investment, tactics and the associated risk attitudes may seem different. But as the aim the same at  the pinnacle, the  governance process is similar.

In a bull run with its upward sales and product demand being all forgiving, taking risks seems less of an issue. Conversely it can be quite fatal to learn by mistakes in a downturns especially for those highly geared financially.

In portfolio management,  just like the underlying businesses this represents, it needs a review process to expose weaknesses and  balance objectivity so it does not get off plan and out of its depth.

The business of managing an investments like any business too needs a transparent and objective review of various aspects of risk across the spectrum of key aspects and respective roles that manage them.

Shared resolve with inbuilt accountable control on portfolios, using a husband and wife team, an advisor or both, also makes it more fun. This Chairman of the Board process,  where in our case my wife is the chairman, routinely stops and asks “What are we doing and does it fit the plan?”

When I finally do retire, it will hopefully be to just swap one activity for another, with the burden of re-learning how to manage money no different and not something new.