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RECHARGE :: Alan Hargreaves
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by Alan Hargreaves



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Recharge Archives

 

Wednesday
Apr152015

How to grow any business

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You’ve probably already got what it takes

There are several remarkable things about General Electric (GE). For a start, it’s been around for a while. Thomas Edison put it together in the late 1880s.

It was one of the first entrants in the Dow Jones Index. Out of the original members, it’s the only one still on the list. The rest have disappeared.

GE has arguably transformed itself a few times. It started making electric turbines. It developed leasing facilities for customers. That led it to finance. It’s said to have been the first business to actually own a computer. In the 1960s it had a significant computer division. It sold that business to Honeywell.

The financial crisis almost brought GE undone. Now it is exiting finance and reinvesting in manufacturing, buying industrial businesses that align with its historic strengths.

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Tuesday
Mar172015

The Wisdom of the Loud

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Groupthink is alive and well, and often wrong

I was warned at an early age. You can’t believe everything you read. And that was well before the internet was running fast and loose with the truth.

I was later alarmed to find Mark Twain didn’t exactly say reports of his death were greatly exaggerated. And to find Captain Kirk never said ‘Beam me up, Scotty’ in a Star Trek episode. And how disappointing was it when astronauts couldn’t see the Great Wall of China from space?

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Tuesday
Dec232014

The power of downtime

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Does doing nothing really help?

It’s sometimes hard to throttle back at this time of the year. After all, weren’t you going to get all that stuff finished by the middle of December?

It is often the result of the goals we set 12 months ago. Nothing like a bit of a stretch, we thought at the time. There’d be time to do it. Maybe there was, maybe there wasn’t. To-do lists have a habit of getting too long.

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Thursday
Nov202014

Are strong opinions that useful?

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Firmly held ideas don’t have a great track record.

Strong opinions have little to commend them. They’re correlated with high blood pressure, anxiety and depression. Psychological studies say they are associated with ego rather than evidence and can be blamed for poor decision-making in times of stress.

Yet we all have opinions, some of them quite useful. Where is the line between dysfunctional self-belief and a healthy point of view?

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Tuesday
Oct072014

Picking Winners

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Making decisions in times of rapid change

Why do managed funds invariably underperform the stock market? Even hedge funds – allegedly run by the smartest people in the room – have pretty poor performance.

Despite rigorous analysis, their decisions are still a guess. What’s more, it’s not a guess about whether they are right. It’s a guess about whether or not other people think that other people will think they are right.

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