Let’s Talk about ‘Shareholder Value’

Let’s Talk about ‘Shareholder Value’

When the wave of Japanese competition finally crashed on corporate America, those best equipped to understand it—the engineers—were no longer in charge. R&D was just a useless expense, no matter the murmurings of foreign industries catching up to us. American...

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Business Is More Art than Economics

Business Is More Art than Economics

Okay, so there has to be more income than expense…a given. Boring, but a given and I admit that. Yet, the real deal for long-term success is creativity, an art-form if you will. Simply look at what influences have sprung up in just the past ten years to derail the...

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Let Me Tell You a Story about Corporate Ethics

Let Me Tell You a Story about Corporate Ethics

I was low-bidder on a very large contract for work on a project for the Marriott Corporation near O’Hare Airport in Chicago. This was decades ago, but it taught,me a lesson I’ve never forgotten about corporate ethics. You may be surprised by my experience I got the...

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The Bravest Story Ever Told: Giving Up Control

The Bravest Story Ever Told: Giving Up Control

There are reasons why the brilliance of startups often fail to hold off the ravages of time. I am not only a witness to what goes haywire, but a victim as well. That gives my opinions a flavor I’d just as soon not admit, but honesty is a better policy than most. The...

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Who Does the CEO or Owner Talk to When They Need Assurance?

Who Does the CEO or Owner Talk to When They Need Assurance?

Good question. It's certainly not a wife or partner, because they live directly under the  umbrella of protection from rainy days, and it's a mistake to share any clouds on that horizon. Not a member of the Board either, for an almost identical reason. Surely not a VP...

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Imprisonment by IPO, the Riches Come with Loss of Control

Imprisonment by IPO, the Riches Come with Loss of Control

  Ah, the much sought-after initial public offering, where all those who sweat out the labored birth of a great idea get rich. Party time. Pop the champaign corks and settle into the life of a millionaire and sometimes billionaire. And then the fun begins,...

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Drive the Results or Be Empathetic

Drive the Results or Be Empathetic

  That's today’s lead question in the head office, and a lot depends on whether you’re a long-game or short-game company. I define short-gamers as those companies that are set up to be sold off for a quick profit. Nothing wrong with that, but it means squeezing...

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At the Office, Dress for the Job You Hope to Get

At the Office, Dress for the Job You Hope to Get

We have Steve Jobs to thank for the fact that office dress, even at the highest levels (which he came to define) has slowly deteriorated from casual Fridays to jeans and sloppy T-shirts in the lower ranks. And I guess that’s okay, certainly more than okay as the...

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Why I Only Work with Owners or CEOs

Why I Only Work with Owners or CEOs

Why I Only Work with Owners or CEOs It’s not an ego thing, although most people might see it as one. I can advise and relate to workers on the line and enjoy that as well. But there’s a crucial difference. Those below the top seldom have the permissions for actual...

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What’s Your Corporate Culture?

What’s Your Corporate Culture?

Have you thought about it lately? It’s not weekend PaintBall and year-end bonuses. The thing about company culture is that it doesn’t happen by stating you have one. The culture we belong to has to do with our tribe, and by that I mean our close friends, people we...

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2023 the Year of Too Much

2023 the Year of Too Much

The year just past had its own special challenges for business. Among them we might include an inexorable move toward employees choosing to opt for offsite work that made homelife a tad more agreeable, as well as eliminating the unpaid nuisance of commuting. From the...

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Sometimes a Bit of Pain Is a Good Thing

Sometimes a Bit of Pain Is a Good Thing

The bloody-nose on a schoolyard is a good example. My father taught me early-on that, if a fight comes to you, hit your opponent squarely in the nose. He’ll no doubt beat the hell out of you, but after that the bullies will leave you alone. I’ve not had much occasion...

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Elon Musk, on “Lords and Peasants”

Elon Musk, on “Lords and Peasants”

We’re talking about unions here, and the right to organize. Musk has been quoted as saying, “I just don’t like anything which creates a lords and peasants sort of thing. I think the unions naturally try to create negativity in a company.” Which is a really strange...

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The Latest Fad—Data Driven Business Decisions

The Latest Fad—Data Driven Business Decisions

It’s unfair to call out a trend as a ‘fad,’ so let’s define it. ‘An intense and widely shared enthusiasm for something, especially one that is short-lived and without basis in the object's qualities.’ Okay, that’ll do until proven otherwise. And understand, at the...

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