It All Started with a Tweet

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A poor attempt at humor by someone in the JPMorgan Chase marketing department led to my faceoff with the co-founders of the Rochester Chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) on live radio.  Chase’s tweet made fun of those who can’t figure out how to keep their bank accounts out of the red.  In our debate, I maintained that people should take responsibility for the consequences of their own actions while the DSA crowd advocated that people are victims of marketing and should get some relief from those who impose unreasonable costs on them.

You shouldn’t be surprised that we didn’t reach agreement.  But it was something that I said to the younger of the two that stopped him in his tracks (although we didn’t explore it).  I am on record as predicting that Millennials will save capitalism (see The Fourth Turning: How Millennials Will Save Capitalism) and cited the Conscious Capitalism Continue reading “It All Started with a Tweet”

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Mission vs. purpose: the what and why of doing what we do

mission1Have you ever repeated a phrase so often that you find you’ve forgotten what it means?  In a group meeting this week, I referred to a company’s “mission” using a phrase that I’ve repeated for years.  A new member of the group challenged me and threw me off balance.  What I was really referring to was the company’s purpose.

Simon Sinek, author of “Start with Why” and a speaker whose TED talk is among the most watched in history (over 41 million views), Continue reading “Mission vs. purpose: the what and why of doing what we do”

Succeeding Without Losing Your Soul (Part 4)

The following are the author’s remarks at the Financial Leader of the Year (FLY) awards dinner on October 4, 2017, sponsored by the McCracken Institute and Rollins College.  This is Part 4 of 4. 

To read Part 1, click here.

To read Part 2, click here.

To Read Part 3, click here.

But suppose you’re not a Millennial with the inclination to travel to Outer Mongolia to do business directly with goat herders. (I can tell you that’s not on my bucket list.) Suppose you work for a big company. Let’s say a global corporation… like Nestlé.

Nestlé is an $89 Billion food and beverage company. The company’s mission statement is “Good Food, Good Life.” If you’re an espresso drinker, you may be familiar with one of their products: Nespresso. Perhaps you’ve seen a TV ad that features these guys:

ClooneyDevito

Nespresso follows the old Gillette razor blade business model. Nestle doesn’t exactly give away Nespresso machines like Gillette gave away razors. However, selling coffee in little pods is a very profitable business for them. And, it enjoyed 30% annual growth in its first decade on the market. It’s fair to say that Nespresso expanded the market for premium coffee and, simultaneously created a huge problem for Nestle:

Where would they obtain a reliable source of coffee to feed the demand they had created?

The traditional playbook for procurement managers is to commoditize the supply and Continue reading “Succeeding Without Losing Your Soul (Part 4)”

Succeeding Without Losing Your Soul (Part 1)

The following are the author’s remarks at the Financial Leader of the Year (FLY) awards dinner on October 4, 2017, sponsored by the McCracken Institute and Rollins College.  This is Part 1 of 4. 

Our prosperity is like oxygen.solarfield

Every moment, we breathe in and we breathe out. We never think about it. We simply take it for granted that each breath will allow us to keep living.

Yet, if we were to be deprived of it – oxygen, that is – oxygen would be all we could think about. We’d be gasping for our next breath.

Our prosperity is like that too. American prosperity, that is. We take it for granted. We expect that our infrastructure will support a healthy lifestyle, that our military and Continue reading “Succeeding Without Losing Your Soul (Part 1)”

When to disagree with the boss

career-management-disagreeing-boss

If your boss is a narcissistic tyrant, read no further. Go directly to Monster.com and find a new job. Do not pass Go; do not collect $200.

The rest of you should read on.

Businesses that are well conceived develop and can articulate their mission and strategies. In my experience, missions rarely Continue reading “When to disagree with the boss”