Category Archives: Business Strategy

Justice unfairly slow

Alexis Papachelas is a guest editorial writer to The Business Thinker. He is currently the Executive Editor of the long standing and highly respected daily Greek newspaper “Kathimerini”.

Despite the intense debate about Greece’s numerous structural problems, any focus on the judicial system has been pretty limited. Yet, one of the main reasons behind the crisis in our political system has to do with the fact that the country’s judiciary has not lived up to its full potential in probing major scandals and reinforcing the overall feeling of justice.

Some critics like to point a finger at the judges and their closed, near-autistic microcosm. However, the problem does not lie so much with the judges but with the means that they have at their disposal and with the country’s general culture when it comes to legal issues.

One fundamental issue concerns the outrageous foot-dragging in the administration of justice. When a case has been deferred for years, the citizen who is in the right inevitably grows frustrated, while the wrongdoer interprets the delay as a sign of impunity. While a number of practical steps would rectify the situation, it all boils down to political will and consultation with the judiciary. Continue reading Justice unfairly slow

Business Strategy, Decisive Management and Success

Plato, many centuries ago, said, “Nothing endures but change itself “. What is different in our era is not the presence of change but its pace—the rapidity with which ideas arise, are developed and applied, and the immediacy and degree of their impact in our lives. Let me illustrate.

When I were a student at MIT in the 50′ s, it used to take five to ten years for an idea or research result from a University to become reality in the market and in our lives. Today it is almost simultaneous. This drastic change has fundamentally altered how we manage business and how the universities relate to the society at large and to the economic development demands more-specifically. In the long past corporate strategists could rely on the likelihood that things would not change for a relatively long time. Long term periods were identified as ten year long, while a short term plan  was for a three year time. Today these expectations are tossed out of the window. There is no “static” period to plan within. Things are ever changing. We live in a time phase when strategies must be dynamic, flexible and responsive to the ever changing conditions around us.

The success of a business depends, even more so today than ever before, on a well-defined flexible, proactive strategy implemented by decisive management. Decisive management comes from well-trained persons that understand the process of management and the basic elements of competition within a free market economy. Continue reading Business Strategy, Decisive Management and Success

What Do General Partners in Private Equity and Venture Capital Funds Bring to the Table: Intellectual Capital and Value Generation

Dr. Tamir Agmon is an invited contributor to The Business Thinker. He is a Professor of Financial Economics at the School of Business, Economics and Law at Gothenburg University in Sweden.

Much of the value in the world today is generated from intellectual capital (or intellectual assets). Intellectual capital is human made, based on ideas and is expressed as capabilities, systems, organizations, and other non-physical and intangible structures within firms that generate future cash flows. The growing industry of private equity funds and venture capital funds is one place where specific intellectual capital owned by the general partners is applied to generate value. The difference between physical (tangible) assets and intellectual (intangible) assets can be observed and measured in two dimensions; the past, how the asset was built using primary factors and labor, and the future, how the market evaluates the future stream of cash flows from an asset. The discussion of the difference between intellectual and physical assets is done in the paper in the context of an incomplete market with imperfect competition. Where the general partners of a private equity fund add intellectual capital to the existing assets in place in a target company, they do so in the expectations of generating additional value. The process by which additional value is generated by employing specific intellectual capital is demonstrated in the context of valuation model as practiced by private equity funds. Continue reading What Do General Partners in Private Equity and Venture Capital Funds Bring to the Table: Intellectual Capital and Value Generation