Randall Bolten Blog

June 26, 2014
This week I had the privilege of presenting at the Institute of Management Accountants Annual Conference in Minneapolis. They are a great audience for my “Painting with Numbers” message and I thoroughly enjoyed interacting with the IMA members.

June 18, 2014
A fascinating piece in a recent Washington Post draws a striking comparison between income inequality and political polarization. It suggests a high correlation between greater inequality and more polarization. That’s all well and good, but it’s all meaningless if you don’t hypothesize a causal relationship between the two.

June 05, 2014
During a week in which the most hotly debated news topic has been the quality of decision-making by senior federal government officials, my nominee for the worst decision is VA Secretary Eric Shinseki’s parting gesture not only to cancel performance bonuses for senior VA executives, but to ban patient wait time as a measure used in performance evaluations.

May 11, 2014
The standard realtor commission structure doesn’t motivate the realtor to do his or her best for you. As you read this post and my suggested improvement, think about how this situation relates to the incentive compensation plans in your own enterprise, and why incentive compensation is such a delicate art.

May 05, 2014
What are metrics for? When properly used, most are nothing more than a relative tool for comparing one time period – or company, or country, or person – to another, or actual results to planned or expected results. They are not an absolute score, meaningful on its own.

April 21, 2014
In today’s Washington Post, Jay Mathews writes about the dramatic increase in the length of college acceptance wait lists. His focus is on the strategies wait-listed high school seniors might pursue, but let’s consider just why those wait lists are so long.

April 15, 2014
Developing scorekeeping metrics is a critically important yet undervalued role of the chief financial officer. CFOs ignore this role at their and their organizations’ peril, because if they don’t set the scorekeeping metrics, others will, and will make a mess of it.

April 06, 2014
Enough with numbers and March Madness and Flight 370; let’s talk about words instead. John Merrow of Learning Matters, the Education Correspondent for PBS NewsHour, has written a nice obituary for the word “Whom.”

April 01, 2014
Finance professionals produce information. It’s what we do, so let’s think carefully about why and how we produce that information. In that respect, CNN’s coverage of Flight 370 is instructive.

March 26, 2014
This piece appeared originally on Proformative.com, an excellent website for senior finance professionals. It’s a little technical, and pretty long as my posts go, but very spicy – I take a novel perspective on what really went wrong in the Madoff fiasco. If it’s not your cup of tea, feel free to scroll down to the next post. Thanks for your interest.

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