Precision About Less Important Details Can Kill ROI

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We all understand that T s should be crossed, I s must be dotted and rows & columns of numbers should reconcile exactly. But an obsession with absolute accuracy and complete perfection can destroy the ROI of an acquisition or roll up.  A board member (Director) can help by asking questions about the optimum pacing [...]

Your CFO and CMO Must Become “Bilingual”

Prominent proponents of diversity in the workplace acknowledge that the unique languages spoken within different professions (departments) can become more confusing and divisive than the differences between genders, generations, races and cultures. Maybe that is because gender, age, and race differences provide more visual cues for each of us to make the effort to understand [...]

WHAT IS YOUR MAGIC NUMBER to DRIVE BETTER DECISIONS in 2015?

If your CFO spent the last several weeks pushing out year end financials and calculating so many numbers that they have all become “insignificant ratios”, pause for a moment to make sure that all of the executives in your company know one MAGIC number that will guide their decisions in 2015. As many readers of [...]

Appoint NACD Certified Board Leadership FELLOWS

Global competition. The rapid pace of technological advances. The uncertain economy. Cybercrime. Sarbanes Oxley & Dodd Frank. Activist investors. Terrorist groups. Shrinking windows of opportunity. The explosive influence of social media. As a business executive, you and your board have a lot on your plate. Typical board members understand what is expected from the standard [...]

Blurred Lines

Although Alan Thicke is handsome and talented and perhaps a bit troubled (thus interesting fodder for blogs), he is not the only person confused by “blurred lines.”  Folks who are trying to navigate publicly traded businesses have more reason to be confused than ever. Look at what is happening with the DARDEN Corporation. They own/operate [...]

A Belief in Diversity or a Set Up to Fail?

Warning: This blog entry reveals a bit of cynicism. I would like to believe that the boards of major corporations actually understand the value of a diverse workforce, including at the executive level. Varied experience and viewpoints can provide perspective and insights to generate exciting strategies or solve complex challenges. If the leadership of General [...]

Your Second Email can KILL Your Growth Financing

Each week, my email inbox includes several inquiries from entrepreneurs who are looking for startup or growth financing for their businesses. Typically, the first email is polite and conveys a sense of excitement about his/her product innovation. Most of the emails include a request for a referral to appropriate funding sources. Some information to provide [...]

Is Community Service/Activism worth the Effort?

Alright…I admit…I am probably too close to this topic. Those of you who have known me for a long time know that (although it sounds corny to some people) my personal mission has long been to be “a positive force for economic development.”  Think about all of the time and money you and other parents [...]

Acquisitions: The Buyer’s Corporate Culture Can Impact a Seller’s Price

A recent pre acquisition due diligence process raised a fascinating question for the leaders of both entities. Like most due diligence processes, the leaders of each business began with valuation formulas and a series of questions. If the industry multiplier for acquisitions is currently averaging between 5 and 6, would 5.5 X net profit be [...]

Transformative Growth Goals Based on Key Ratios (Magic Number)

If your business grew by 5% last year, should this year’s goal be 6%? If your segment of an industry has been shrinking by 8% each of the last 3 years, should you scrap your growth goals and only focus on cost cutting? Or are a series of sub goals related to increased productivity, product [...]

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