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Book review: The Nature of Investing – Katherine Collins (2014)

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The Nature of Investing: Resilient Investment Strategies Through Biomimicry is constructed on the foundations of extensive knowledge and experience in the field of investing. Author Katherine Collins makes the interesting connection between natural laws and the manmade world of investment.

Collins calls for a change in the approach towards investment from the roots-up, calling for a greater emphasis on research that promotes sustainability both in investor return and business practice.

Calling on over 20 years of experience in the industry, Collins cites real-life experience and examples from the natural world and its constructs – proving that a change is needed for the highly mechanized infrastructure of investment.

Collins states that at the beginning of her experience investment was far more organic. It relied on communicating directly with other people, only using technology when it was inconveniently available. But this has dramatically changed, a change that has promoted efficiency and speed over sustainability and reality.

Resiliency in investment, argues Collins, is of fundamental significance over the synthetic complexity of today, a need for elegant simplicity, like many things in nature.

Collins’ use of naturally inspired metaphors adds a certain unique observation of a highly human, and consequently superficial construct. For example, a rapidly growing business must also invest heavily in research and development so as to support itself as it becomes bigger – much like a sunflower, which needs an equal root growing below the ground as to sustain its above ground development.

The obvious inspiration from bees and their super-efficient collective drive is clearly a point Collins wishes to emphasise.

The author does not obsess, however, over the natural world – an extensive knowledge of finance markets and research methods dominates a large portion of the narrative. But the message is clearly focussed on taking heed of lessons that are naturally placed around us. To encourage sense of rigid adaptability, for the long term, over short term fixes that inevitably lead to bigger problems.

Books & Films

Book Review: Ubernomics

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ubernomics

Step inside the next generation of economics, business strategy and investing.

In this radical business book, Barbara Gray makes it clear that all is not as it seems. Just when we think we know the rules of the road, we find we have hit the age of economic abundance—and surprises await.

Gray navigates us through this journey with great insight and acuity, sharing stories and case studies about a new breed of “rebel with a cause” companies such as Starbucks, LinkedIn, Airbnb, and Uber, whose founders relish disruption of the status quo. Taking us through the highlights of her research, Gray reveals her discovery of the next generation of business strategy for companies looking to create economic abundance and rise above the competition.

Barbara Gray is a former top-ranked sell-side equity analyst and the founder of Brady Capital Research Inc., a leading-edge research and strategy consulting firm. She has more than fifteen years of sell-side equity research experience in Canada and the United States covering a wide range of sectors. Barbara has a Bachelor of Commerce (Finance) from the University of British Columbia (1993) and earned her Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation in 1997. She lives in Vancouver, Canada with her husband and two sons.

Reviews

Ubernomics is über-needed by any organization that wants to be around in the next five years. Read it and you’ll be here for fifty–and more! Barbara Gray is half brilliant analyst and half seer. The result is a book that is both crystal clear and a crystal ball.”
–Joey Reiman, Chairman, BrightHouse and Managing Director, The Boston Consulting Group

“Barbara is one of the most astute and forward-looking analysts who covered lululemon. Ubernomics gave me a framework to think about the sharing economy capital structure and the value that can be gained from that.”
–Christine Day, CEO, Luvo (former CEO, lululemon)

“Barbara’s overall analysis centering on the three new values of advocacy, connection and collaboration is very powerful. And the examples, both of firms born in the new economy and others trying to adapt to it, are fascinating.”
–Jean-Claude Larreche, Professor of Marketing, INSEAD, and author of The Momentum Effect

 

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Books & Films

Book Review: Business as an Instrument for Societal Change

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Business as an Instrument for Societal Change: In Conversation with the Dalai Lama is the result of two decades of research and dialogue with His Holiness the Dalai Lama and other leaders in business, government, science and education. Author Sander Tideman, a lawyer and banker who has maintained a friendship with the Dalai Lama over all these years, presents a practical framework and methodology to develop a new kind of leadership – one fit to repurpose the business world and tackle escalating social, economic and environmental needs.

The Dalai Lama rarely speaks directly on the topics of business, leadership and economics. Yet in the dialogues recounted here, his wisdom – combined with key insights from business and public leaders – creates a unified shift towards a consciousness of interconnectedness, offering profound insights for practitioners and general readers alike.

Tideman unites the scientific worldviews of physics, neuroscience and economics with the positive psychology of human relationships, and ancient spiritual wisdom, to formulate practical business leadership solutions. At the heart of this book lies the journey to discover our shared purpose. This ignites new sources of value creation for the organisation, customers and society, which Tideman terms ‘triple value’.  We can achieve triple value by aligning societal and business needs, based on the fundamental reality of interconnection.

Business as an Instrument for Societal Change: In Conversation with the Dalai Lama is a readable and intelligent exploration of how leaders can actually help to shape a sustainable global economy by embracing innate human and humane behaviour. It is also Tideman’s fascinating personal journey, which brought him to question the underlying motivations and goals of business leadership and to seek a new paradigm for a more sustainable approach. Reflecting Tideman’s sharp perceptions and infused with the Dalai Lama’s unmistakable joy, this book has the power to change your way of thinking.

 

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