for an In-house Colloquium, Seminar, or Short Course
by: Dr. I. C. Runge, Capital Strategy Pty Ltd.
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the Program, Presenter, Who
this Program is for, Suggested
Corporate Program, Address for contact.
Seminar/Course/Colloquium: Capital Strategy ... in a Fast—Changing
- What is Different about
Capital Investment Choices. “Plans,” or “Strategies?”
- How to Value Capital and
make Capital Investment Decisions under Uncertainty.
- Why Procrastination is
Rational (sometimes, at least). The Matching Law
- Distorted Market Signals
and Inappropriate Economic Models—Why Investment
Returns Fall Short of Expectations
or Mis-leading? A Fresh Look at
Capital Investment Decision-Making
- Rational and
Not-so-rational Investments in Information from a Corporate Perspective
- “At-risk” Capital
Investment Analysis—differentiating the
probability of loss from the amount of (possible) loss.
- Why a Strategy of “Making
Management Accountable” leads to lost profits.
- Asset Values—Accounting
Convention or Corporate Management Tool?
- How the Economic Structure
of Capital Intensive Business Enterprises limits the Scope for Change
- Promoting Entrepreneurship
or Enhancing Core Competencies?—the
limitations and pitfalls for genuine growth strategies.
- Capital Investment Criteria
for the next decade and beyond
Background to this Program:
Capital intensive industry faces unique difficulties in achieving planned
returns on investment, and these difficulties are not well addressed in
business school models or in economic theory.
After directly observing business decision-makers in
the mining, transport, and electricity industries for 20 years, and noticing
time and again seemingly logical choices that resulted in unintended and
unwelcome outcomes, Ian Runge became convinced that some fundamental
shortcoming existed in the way capital investment choices are understood and
decisions made. Drawing on first-hand involvement in major resource projects—some of which had proved most successful, and some
of which had proved abject failures—he went back to
the drawing board to find where economic theory had gone astray in its
understanding of capital.
This work has so far resulted in two books that are
the foundation to the program set out in this brochure. The first—Mining Economics and Strategy—is aimed at the resources industry, and combines insights
from economics with modern business strategy. It includes new techniques
for quantitative evaluation of risk and comparison of choices with different
risk-return profiles. The book was published by the Denver-based Society
of Mining, Minerals and Metallurgy in September, 1998. The
second—Capital and Uncertainty—is a book of economic theory that examines the fundamental
process of capital investment choice under uncertainty. This book draws
upon and extends the insights of economic scholars in the opportunity cost
tradition, particularly Nobel Economics Laureates James Buchanan, Hayek, Arrow,
Stigler, Simon, and Coase, with modern game theory and
new institutional economics. This book was published in September 2000.
Ian Runge is an engineer and economist. He is Founder and
Non-Executive Chairman of Runge Ltd. and Director of Capital Strategy Pty Ltd.
Ian Runge is a business person and practitioner who
has served his apprenticeship through academic effort, at senior levels in
business, and via the the real world forces of
With an entrepreneurial approach and an understanding
of risk that he now writes about, he founded his own company in 1977 at the age
of 24—a company that now boasts 7 offices in 5 countries, sales to 24
countries, and a reputation as one of Australia’s
leading mining technology and services organizations. Runge has been
integrally involved in the decisions for major resource projects for 30
years. In 1992 Runge withdrew from day-to-day involvement with his company—putting to the test his own theories of
entrepreneurship, innovation, delegation, and management accountability—and
started a privately funded research program into the issues set out in this
program. He retains a major equity interest in the company, but works
In 1997 Runge formed Capital Strategy Pty Ltd.
to apply the results of this work in capital intensive industry and into management
policy and re-commenced limited consulting and lecturing to private clients in
Ian Runge is an experienced and entertaining
presenter. He revels in challenging the mainstream view of management, business
strategy, and economics.
Who this Program is for:
The topics covered in this outline are aimed at business decision-makers—primarily company directors, executive and senior
management, finance, engineering, accounting and senior production personnel
with decision-making responsibility. Topics focus on capital intensive
industry such as mining, energy (coal, oil, gas),
power generation, transport, infrastructure projects, and knowledge-based
We assume participants have a serious interest in business economics, a familiarity
with commonly used models of business strategy, and an understanding of finance
and accounting terms including discounted cash flow techniques.
The program is a tailored-to-suit combination of the
path-breaking research in capital undertaken by Runge, coupled with practical
applications in cash flow analysis, choice from an opportunity cost
perspective, fundamental economics, and new applications in decision-making
under risk and uncertainty. The program is offered on a corporate basis
Suggested Corporate Program:
of issues—capital decision process,
return-on-investment criteria, risk and uncertainty. (1-2 hours with 1 or
2 senior personnel) No charge, no commitment. Proposal
management colloquium. A mini-seminar (1 2 hours) raising and
challenging fundamental issues, followed by a question and answer session
(1 2 hours). Objective: to identify early those
elements likely to yield the greatest gain from changes in strategic
thinking in the capital investment and management process. Brief report, and preparation of seminar outline.
In-house Seminar, focusing on ideas refined from the colloquium.
Attendance by large cross-section of management—including
general management, finance, accounting, marketing, HR, and senior
production personnel. Comprehensive notes
provided. Some case study material discussed.
Course or Series of 3-day Courses on Capital Investment Strategy (maximum
10 people each course). This is an extension of the seminar with
specific techniques of how to apply the ideas and concepts in the seminar
using generic and company-specific case studies.
Contact: Dr. Ian
G.P.O. Box 569
Brisbane, Qld. 4001
Ph: (07) 3210-2788
Fax: (07) 3210-2799