Monthly Archives: December 2012

Three messages to warm your spirits during the hectic Christmas period

A HECTIC round of after-work parties and shopping, interspersed with a few brief moments wondering where the year went. Then a frenzy of unwrapping, a battle in the kitchen with a recalcitrant turkey, the family lunch, a silly game, a surreptitious snooze in the middle of Pirates of the Caribbean. Christmas has its routines, but every year need not be the same. Here are three things that shouldn’t be missing from your list this festive season. Continue reading

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Filed under Art, Christmas

At the end of the day the business cliche just masks woolly mindedness

LET’S open the kimono. The language of business is a joke. It now seems to be best practice to get your ducks in a row for corporate meetings by memorising phrases like value proposition, point person and core competency. At the end of the day, buzz phrases and bizarre metaphors may take it to the next level, but the most insidious part of this corrosion of office communication is more banal: loose usage, cliche and jargon that conceal lazy thinking. Continue reading

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Filed under Business, Liberal education, Politics

How to build a self-healing bank

BANKS should be more like cats than washing machines. So suggests Nassim Taleb, ex-trader and controversial author of The Black Swan, who has a new book out in time for Christmas. What he means is that living things – cats, economists, bankers – display a property that even our best-designed machinery lacks: a quality that he names antifragility, fragility’s true opposite. Continue reading

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Filed under Economics, Finance