September 4, 2015
Leadership and Self-Deception is one of the most unusual business books I've ever read. It's a parable or fictional story, but that's not what made it different. A number of business books have taken that approach in recent years.
What surprised me was that I found nothing in this book about strategy, tactics, mission statements, creativity, disintermediation, Hedgehogs, BHAGs or getting the right people on the bus. It didn't talk about innovation or being customer focused or how we live in a totally new normal.Continue reading "An Un-Business Book"
Posted by Andy Le Peau at 9:13 AM
October 30, 2012
In business, psychology, science and politics, successful metaphors should be as common as one-liners at a comedy convention, as numerous as drunks at a tailgate party, as bountiful as bribes in Chicago politics.
In advertising, GEICO, the insurance company, has successfully grabbed attention with its use of metaphor (or it's close cousin, the analogy) in its "Happier Than" campaign.Continue reading "I Is an Other (5): Metaphors at Work"
December 15, 2010
A friend, David Horton, once said, "Some get paid to be critics. Everyone else does it for free."
We, like any organization or business, get our share of criticisms and complaints. How do we deal with it? Here are my guidelines.Continue reading "Unpaid Critics"
Posted by Andy Le Peau at 7:31 AM
March 2, 2010
Since I've been an editor all these years, many people assume I have a degree in English or journalism. They are wrong, of course. I have a degree in mathematics.
That may seem an odd thing, but studying mathematics has helped me tremendously as an editor in at least two ways. First, it trained me to think logically and rigorously. Second, it means I'm not totally lost when it comes to thinking about the numbers side of publishing. And there are a lot of numbers to think about: profit, loss, expenses, budgets, sales rates and projections, price calculations, spread sheets, and more.Continue reading "Not an Exact Science"
Posted by Andy Le Peau at 10:45 AM
June 24, 2009
Next week IVP undertakes its annual ritual of taking stock. I don't mean we will evaluate how well we did or didn't hit our goals for the end of our fiscal year on June 30. Rather almost all office personnel are commandeered by those in our accounting department and our distribution center to "do inventory." I and my colleagues will don lightweight grubbies (the forecast is for the high eighties) and partner with our more warehouse-savvy comrades to count books.Continue reading "Taking Stock"
July 28, 2008
Celebrate logistics, as I've said before, because logistics make the romance of publishing possible. A publisher can also outsource its logistics so it can focus on the sides of publishing it loves best and does best—probably editorial, sales and marketing. But just because you outsource doesn’t mean you can forget about operations, fulfillment and accounting. You just need to be involved in a different way at a different level.
* Outsourcing Accounts Receivable.
* Doing AR Yourself.
* Outsourcing Warehousing and Fulfillment.
Outsourcing was all the rage several years ago. And it can be very helpful for small or large publishers. But there are always drawbacks with every choice, and the industry is full of horror stories about outsourcing gone very wrong. Publishers should consider the pluses and minuses carefully when deciding how to handle logistics.
Posted by Andy Le Peau at 5:55 AM
March 27, 2008
Perhaps the least number-oriented species of human being is that of editors.* Figures, subtotals, net present value, gross margin are as nothing in their sight. So should we just consign editors to the outer darkness of a numberless eternity? Is there to be no accounting for editors?Continue reading "Is There No Accounting for Editors?"
February 25, 2008
The accountants I work with are some of my favorite colleagues. It's not their fault that accounting is backwards.
For example, "accounts receivable" is money other people owe you. And what does accounting consider this money to be that you do not have? An asset of course! And money you do have in the bank would seem like a good thing, right? Wrong. It is a liability if you have unpaid bills. No wonder eyes glaze over when accountants speak. (But as I say, it's not their fault.)Continue reading "Accounting Mysteries"
Posted by Andy Le Peau at 8:52 AM