2017 MARKET UPDATE – January

Early results from the 2016 Innovations State of Play survey
December 18, 2016
Financial Analysis of Gold Market – January 2017
January 31, 2017
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2017 started with improved valuations for commodity producers as investors realized they neglected this sector too much. The miners have not had such good market performance since 2008 and the oil & gas sector looks equally good. But behind the scenes, the deliberate efforts to improve margins remain the critical play. There is no fundamental reason to believe that price increases will bring external relief.

We believe that following structural investments to impact unit costs, the best sustainable management activity this year will be to continue transforming the sector towards digital. This is a complex call as the elements of such a transformation are not just NPV calculations. As Warren Buffett so famously said “No insight is required on the quantitative side – the figures should hit you over the head with a baseball bat. So, the really big money tends to be made by people who are right on the qualitative decisions.”

Digital transformation includes a culture change towards speed and agility, and a process change towards fully visualizing how work is executed in the organization. Technology can then enable the continuous improvement of work practices that result in higher margins.

Paul Leonardi's Bio

Paul Leonardi is the Duca Family Professor of Technology Management at UC Santa Barbara. He holds appointments in the Technology Management Program (TMP) and the Department of Communication. He is also the Investment Group of Santa Barbara Founding Director of the Master of Technology Management Program.

Dr. Leonardi’s research, teaching, and consulting focus on helping companies to create and share knowledge more effectively. He is interested in how implementing new technologies and harnessing the power of informal social networks can help companies take advantage of their knowledge assets to create innovative products and services.

He has authored dozens of articles that have appeared in top journals across the fields of management, organization studies, communication studies, and information systems research. He is also the author of three books on innovation and organizational change. He has won major awards for his research from the Academy of Management, the American Sociological Association, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the Association for Information Systems, the International Communication Association, the National Communication Association, and the National Science Foundation.

Over the past decade, he has consulted with for-profit and non-profit organizations about how to improve communication between departments, how to use social technologies to improve internal knowledge sharing, how to structure global product development operations, and how to manage the human aspects of new technology implementation.

Before coming to UCSB, Dr. Leonardi worked at Northwestern University on the faculties of the School of Communication, the McCormick School of Engineering, and the Kellogg School of Management. He received his Ph.D. in Management Science and Engineering from the Center for Work, Technology, and Organization at Stanford University.

Willem Buhrmann's Bio


Willem Buhrmann is an experienced mining professional that has extensive African and international experience in project management, strategy implementation and corporate finance. Willem was previously Business Development Manager (Africa) for Rio Tinto Energy and more recently consulted to the wider mining industry including majors and a variety of juniors. He holds degrees in finance (Chartered Accountant) and the legal world (LL.B.)

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