The Other End of the Telescope, by Ian Russell
How to increase the metabolic rate and success of your business
By: Ian Russell
This book draws on more than 25 years' experience of leading and working in large organisations, around the world, to distill the key themes and challenges confronting big business today.
Tackling key topics such as organisational cholesterol, the loneliness of leadership, human capital strategy failures, performance destroying 'head offices' and the 'myths' of talent scarcity, among others, each essay pairs a deep understanding of the real world and lessons learned the hard way, with powerful and pragmatic insights on how big business can change the way in which it does things.
The lightness of Ian's style makes this a highly readable book, but it does not dilute the impact of his incisive observations and insights. Passionate, irreverent and challenging, The Other End of the Telescope will make you think deeply about your business and your career – and your role in both.
… brutally calls out the reality that corporates need to learn that the pace inside their business needs to be faster than the pace outside if they want to survive. – MICHAEL JORDAAN, Venture Capitalist and former FNB CEO
… provides a quirky, no holds barred insight into the work of a CEO and how to overcome the challenges they face. – PROFESSOR ADAM HABIB, Vice-Chancellor, University of the Witwatersrand
… expect to learn something, be provoked and otherwise entertained by The Other End of the Telescope. – STEVE ROSS, Chairman of Christel House and former CEO of the Edcon Group
Read it and you'll be able to step into the corporate jungle with confidence, agility and foresight. – NKANYEZI MASANGO, Creative Director at King James Group, Founder of Blackboard
Ian's book is the wisdom of 25 years of hindsight, distilled into one potent antidote for the Kool-Aid being consumed by most businesses as they attempt to face a new world order in which all the old corporate rules no longer hold sway. – DION CHANG, Futurist and Founder of Flux Trends
… in the corporate world, decisions are slow, accountability is scarce and somehow the same mistakes keep being repeated. Ian Russell has some excellent insights into why corporates just can't get it right and it's really worth a read. – DAVID O'SULLIVAN, Broadcaster
IAN RUSSELL started his career with Ford Motor Company as a graduate trainee back in the early 1990s when Ford was one of the largest companies in the world. Working mainly in procurement and supply chain, Ian was lucky enough to become ultimately accountable for buying and managing Ford's performance engines around the world.
Barclays Bank Plc was Ian's next port of call, where he worked in various roles in the UK, Africa and the Middle East, culminating in him leading part of the Mergers & Acquisitions team that ultimately acquired Absa, then South Africa's largest retail bank.
Then Ian joined SABMiller to lead a number of their globalisation initiatives, working across Africa and Europe.
Joining the troubled, virtually bankrupt South African telecommunications company Telkom in 2014, Ian was a key part of its inspirational turnaround.
Ian's last corporate role was as Chief Executive Officer of BCX, Africa's largest technology company, with a $2 billion turnover.
Ian now divides his time between speaking, writing, and advising large corporates on change and strategic responses to marketplace disruption.
Ian remains firmly focused on sustainable and responsible development of the economy, and sits on a number of not-for-profit boards and advisory groups, focused on leveraging technology and education for the benefit of the youth of South Africa. As such, all Royalties from The Other End of the Telescope are being donated to the not for profit school, Christel House.
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