Building is Hard

I’m helping to build a new institution on a volunteer basis. I sit on the Board. Every now and then, I think of the sheer magnitude of work the Executives do on a daily basis. From meetings to accounts to documentation to HR to emails to investment decisions. Just because they want to do things[…]

You Will Have More Than One Idea

I spoke to a young man recently about a business proposition. He was more concerned about the money he would make, than the opportunities he would gain. I’ve also noticed that many entrepreneurs seem obsessed with people stealing their ideas. Some entrepreneurs assume they will have only one great idea in life. So, they guard[…]

You Need a Closer in Management

If you run a growing business that needs to hire middle-level managers, this is for you. Please look for people who have a combination of these qualities which cannot be taught or which only need to be taught once: Wisdom, political savvy, intuition, responsibility, drive, intellect and maturity. Beyond skill which you can pay for,[…]

Concierge Economy

Unlike the US, Nigeria is not a D-I-Y economy. We do not work with our hands. In middle and upper class Nigeria, we do not fix our cars or blocked toilets. We get mechanics and plumbers to do so for us. We have been spoilt by househelps, nannies and artisans and so, we are book[…]

MVPs of Entrepreneurship

I like systems. I want to understand how things work, so I can customise, scale and adapt them. In the same vein, I seek to understand how industries work. Once I understand the fundamentals of an industry, I can decide how to play in it for profit. This year, I became fascinated by a few[…]

HR Lessons from New Edition

I watched BET’s three-part New Edition series. It reminded me of the urban entrepreneurial scene in Nigeria – a world characterised by shaky partnerships, testosterone fueled decision making, poorly read contracts and few structured brand assets. It brought to mind that Nigeria has an HR problem. If you’re familiar with Nigeria, by now you know[…]

Innovation

1. The hallmarks of a premium product are flexibility, options, customisation and on-demand service 2. If you’re tired of coming second place, change the game. PepsiCo played second fiddle to Coca-Cola in the beverage industry but then they ventured into food. Today, according to Fortune, PepsiCo is the world’s 2nd most admired food company while-Coca[…]

Source Allocation

One of the most interesting models for corporate savings and debt repayment that I have read reminded me of the Christian tithing model. In the traditional tithing model, 10% of every income is set aside for giving. Although there are variations of application, the general mindset is the money does not “belong” to you so it is[…]

10 Attributes of a Creative Company

Do you run or work in a creative company? Here are 10 core attributes I’ve developed to describe a creative organisation. You should rate your enterprise on each point. 1. A creative company is a hotbed of ideas. It’s at the edge of the innovation curve. It consistently creates and develops new content. 2. A creative company develops[…]

Failure

I love failure. It’s liberating and horizon expanding. I hate failure. It’s humiliating and demoralising. Nothing bitch-slaps humility into you like failure. For as long as I can remember, I’ve held one leadership role or another. In Primary School, I was class lead for Quantitative Analysis in Math Class, then in Secondary School, I founded our first[…]