Inside the Ivory Tower

Inside the Ivory Tower

In May Contain Lies, I highlight the value of academic research. While it's far from perfect, it can be more reliable than practitioner studies for a number of reasons: Its goal is scientific inquiry, rather than advocacy of a pre-existing position or releasing findings to improve a company's image. It's conducted by those with expertise in conducting scientific research. Papers published in top scientific journals are peer-reviewed, which helpsimprove their accuracy. However, authors, journalists, and practitioners will sometimes cite research as if it bears the hallmark ...
Does only 2% of VC funding go to female founders?

Does only 2% of VC funding go to female founders?

A widely quoted statistic is that only 2% of VC funding goes to female founders. For example, this Forbes article highlights that "only 2% of all VC funding goes to women-led startups" and asks "Why is only 2% of VC funding going to female founders"? If true, this statistic is substantial underrepresentation and needs to be urgently addressed. However, it's problematic for several reasons. 1. The Statistic Ignores Diverse Teams The 2% statistic actually refers to companies founded solely by women. It ignores diverse companies founded by both men and women. This is strange, because ...
An unhealthy obsession with organisational health

An unhealthy obsession with organisational health

Two leading asset management firms drew my attention to the McKinsey Organizational Health Index as a potential tool to evaluate a company. A book, "Beyond Performance 2.0: A Proven Approach to Leading Large-Scale Change", written by two McKinsey partners, claimed that companies with high scores on this Index trounced their unhealthy peers along a range of performance measures. For example, their shareholder returns were three times as high. But as I wrote in an earlier post, rather than being more impressed by big numbers, we should be more sceptical. If it were really possible to ...