Recipe for Failure

Recently, I came across this evaluation of a post-acquisition effort to integrate managers of an acquired company into the culture of the buying company. The author has decades of experience in organizational development and training and, one imagines, has contributed to and participated in hundreds if not thousands of corporate culture and change exercises. This […]

Annals of Incompetence

What do a South Dakota radio station, Virgin Islands perfume shop, a Utah dog boutique and scores of Dunkin Donuts and Subway shops around the nation have in common with nearly 17,000 other small businesses? Two things: First, they received more than 85% of the billions of dollars Congress asked the Small Business Administration to […]

John Yoo and The Liar’s Paradox

Most readers have heard of The Liar’s Paradox: “This sentence is false.” For most of us, it is a kind of linguistic game — a curiousity demonstrating the flexibility of language. For philosophers and logicians, however, it has sparked centuries of debate and reflection — one upshot of which is to point out the sentence’s primary purpose […]

The Santorum Brand: Update On Meaningless Politics

An earlier post discussed Pennsylvania poll results indicating that Senator Rick Santorum’s personal brand, while well defined and understood by Pennsylvania voters, was nonetheless not doing a good job of appealing to a majority of them. Beginning with the Clinton impeachment, Santorum chose to brand himself in ways that gained him notice within the national Republican […]

Kong Attacks Financial Markets!

Dateline Wall Street: King Kong has broken free from theaters nationwide to attack the transparency and integrity of financial markets!! Cleverly dressed in the guise of unfunded pension and other benefit liabilities, Kong has eviscerated the credibility of the balance sheets of hundreds of the nation’s largest companies. The crisis seems to have unfolded with […]

The Science of Market Research Turns On Science

Market research is a social science as opposed to natural science. Market research, when done well, uses the scientific approaches of sociology, anthropology, psychology, political science, linguistics and more to identify, characterize, understand, respond to and, yes, shape human belief and behavior. Like other social sciences, market research operates with less elegance than natural science. […]

Values Then and Now

Then: “Those who would sacrifice essential liberties for temporary security deserve neither liberty nor security.” — Benjamin Franklin Now: Commander-in-Chief George W. Bush acknowledges that for several years now he has acted preemptively and unilaterally without legally required judicial review* to authorize the sacrifice of individual liberties through government monitoring of phone calls and emails […]

Letter To The New Republic

To The Editors, In “Bad News”, Franklin Foer warns against a vast left wing conspiracy of bloggers hell bent on ‘savaging’ newspapers such as the NY Timesand Washington Post — papers whose objectivity, writes Foer, is an essential bulwark against the right’s alliance with business and mastery of partisan media. Yes, Foer acknowledges in Rumsfeldian terms, there have […]

The Five-Step Shuffle

According to a new study cited by Christian Sarkar, it is more important than ever for Chief Financial Officers to: (1) focus on delivering against growth and earnings commitments expected by financial markets that punish missed commitments while also (2) complying with the morass of rules and regulations imposed by an angry Congress seeking to get […]

Be A Global Capitalist For $25

Absent the nightmarish destruction of the Internet (which, according to Legal Affairs is a concern to take seriously), globalization is as much a condition — a force at work — in our 21st century world of markets, networks, organizations, friends and family as gravity. Such forces drive the good, the bad and all in between depending on ourshared purposes and […]

Hope For The Holidays

Thomas Rice (who with his colleagues at the Interaction Institute for Social Change have brought hope to literally millions of people) sent along this reflection on HOPE by Vaclav Havel and suggested that it be shared with others: HOPE Either we have hope within us or we do not. It is a dimension of the soul and […]

Visibly Poor Performance

Harrisineractive has just published it’s 2005 Survey of the “Reputation Quotient” for the sixty most visible companies in America. The top company, Johnson&Johnson, received a “B” grade (albeit just barely: J&J got a numerical score of 80%). Of the rest of the top 60: 27 got a “C” 24 got a “D” 8 got an “F” Overall, […]

Craig’s Fist

Christian Sarkar alerts us to an urgent call for government action and political will by Craig Barrett, Chairman of Intel. who warned BusinessWeek the United States continues to fall behind other nations in producing the scientists and engineers demanded for sustainable national economic performance. The percentage of science and engineering degrees granted in the US have trailed competitor […]

The Spirit Of The Law

Our founding fathers and mothers had an easier time grasping the upside of ‘the rule of law, not men’. Not that the late 18th century in North America was some kind of Eden. But, the variety and persistence of capricious interference from across the great pond gave a daily primer on how laws — principles […]

Ford to GM: Me Too!!

According to the Boston Globe, bad strategy and thinking inside the box catch up with Ford: “Ford Motor Co. is reportedly considering the elimination of 30,000 salaried jobs and the closing of 10 North American factories. The news follows colossal job cuts and plant closings disclosed last month by General Motors Corp. Both companies are hamstrung by costly health and […]

The Values Bubble In Real Estate

Today’s Los Angeles Times reports that the incidence and variety of mortgage fraud is increasing as rapidly as insurgencies in Iraq. It’s a good introduction to what happens when an ‘anything goes’ profit motive is given a field day by political forces who claim the ‘only good regulation is no regulation’. Mid-way through the article, Eric Von […]