Entries by chriscurnow

In times of great change

In times of great change, the learners will inherit the Earth while those attached to old certainties will find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists. Eric Hoffer

James Hardie – Why did they do it?

The general commentary on the recent James Hardie verdict is that it sets a new bar for non-executive directors. I’m not sure I agree. A more obvious interpretation is that James Hardie’s directors acted with extraordinary disregard for their duties and deliberately set out to deceive their stakeholders. The question that remains in my mind […]

Where is the focus of your attention?

There’s nothing like a crisis to focus our attention. We saw that recently here in Victoria on Black Saturday where all the emergency agencies, the government and a great proportion of the community could think of nothing else. On a wider scale, the global financial crisis has focused the attention of world governments, financial regulators, […]

Trujillo kills agency theory

Well this title is not exactly correct. I would like to think that Sol Trujillo’s resignation as CEO of Telstra, his performance in the role and subsequent payment of $40m from the telco would clearly and unequivocally lay Agency Theory to rest. Take this excerpt from The Australian: But the legacy he leaves will last […]

The End of Wall Street’s Boom

The Spiral Path has linked to Michael Lewis on several occasions. In this piece, Lewis gives his take on what went wrong on Wall Street. In the introduction he reminds us of his three years at Salomon Brothers: To this day, the willingness of a Wall Street investment bank to pay me hundreds of thousands […]

Australia’s worst ever natural disaster

I have to pause for thought to remember the events of the last few days around me. As I sat in air-conditioned comfort last Saturday, Australia suffered its worst ever natural disaster with at least 170 people having lost their lives and the towns of Marrysville and Kinglake wiped off the map as devastating bushfires […]

Now is the time to innovate

It’s pretty scary reading the papers and listening to the news these days. We are all left wondering how this current downturn will play itself out. Unfortunately I don’t have a crystal ball and make no claim to any ability to predict the future. I don’t know what is going to happen any more than […]

The Heroic CEO (again)

Late last year I was at one of the usual round of Christmas parties I attend each year. Also as usual, I found myself talking to a new acquaintance explaining that I work as a Leadership Mentor when a third person joined the group. The conversation moved to executive remuneration and specifically CEO remuneration. During […]

Is that all there is?

Most Christmas messages are light hearted homilies full of good cheer, hope for humanity, celebration and high spirits. We all need a break from the pressures of everyday life and Christmas is one of those times many of us use to relax. Personally I love Christmas. I love the atmosphere. I love getting together with […]

What actually happened in 1929?

With the recent volatility in the stock market, I thought I would look at a bit of the history. I was particularly interested to find out what actually happened in 1929. For those of you who might be interested, this is my summary of events. In 1929, the Dow Jones reached its peak of 381 […]