What Makes an Effective Chairman of the Board?

I was chatting recently with Dermot Hill of Intramezzo who posed this question. Given my experience as a Chairman and my love of this role, it set me thinking. Note that I’m going to use the word “Chairman” in a non-gender specific context in this article.

Companies appoint a Chairman for a variety of reasons. If they are about to float, or are seeking external investment, they may pick someone who is acceptable to the “money men” and who has contacts in that arena rather than going for someone who can add real value to the companies proposition. But I suspect Continue reading

We Don’t Do Customer Service Anymore

Maybe it is just me, but shortly after posting about how pygmies are taking over the world, I had 2 really bad experiences of customer service from the same company.

There is a well-known budget hotel chain here in the UK called Travelodge. I have used its various hotels frequently in the last year or so. Normally my stay is a fairly painless experience – it’s a budget chain so you get what you pay for, but the rooms are pretty comfortable so I’m happy. I tend to arrive Continue reading

The Pygmies are Taking Over the World

As an entrepreneur, I have created many businesses. And these businesses need certain advisers like lawyers and accountants. Like many of you, these “species”, and I use the word advisedly, are not my most favourite people as they cost me lots of money and don’t appear to deliver much value.

Recently I was with one of these advisers and the conversation was not pleasant. In fact it made my blood boil. In a nutshell, I was asked, point blank, why I wasn’t making more money currently. Notwithstanding the incredible rudeness of the question, I was appalled that this came from an adviser that Continue reading