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  • Staying the Course With Your Strategy Staying the Course With Your Strategy

    Staying the Course With Your Strategy

Staying the Course With Your Strategy

I recently listened to a podcast on one country’s handling of the original SARS pandemic.  How this virus was contained in 2003 offers us Lessons Found about business strategies.

SARS-CoV, a coronavirus with origins similar to COVID-19, made its debut seventeen years ago.  This “original” SARS was less contagious than COVID-19 and the outbreak was contained primarily to Asia.  Singapore’s experience with SARS started when several travelers were hospitalized with the contagion.  The virus spread quickly within and across hospitals.  Assuming the virus was related to healthcare settings, the government developed a “containment and elimination” strategy (more…)

  • Are you a “Leader” or a “Manager”? Are you a “Leader” or a “Manager”?

    Are you a “Leader” or a “Manager”?

Are you a “Leader” or a “Manager”?

I’ve recently found myself in discussions with CEOs and Owners about the difference between being a “leader” versus a “manager”.   And that is the subject of today’s Lessons Found.

According to Merriam-Websters, to “lead” is to “guide on a way especially by going in advance; to direct on a course or a direction.”  This is in contrast to the definition of  “manage”: “to handle or direct with a degree of skill such as to exercise supervisory direction of; to make and keep compliant.”  Considering both at their extremes, leadership takes a broad, future-focused (more…)

  • Hiring: Looking Beyond the Obvious Hiring: Looking Beyond the Obvious

    Hiring: Looking Beyond the Obvious

Hiring: Looking Beyond the Obvious

Did you know the inspiration for the N95 Mask was a molded bra cup?  That is where today’s Lessons Found start.

Sara Little Turnbull was an unlikely candidate to become one of the nation’s top industrial designers.  With a flair for interior design, Sara Little (her preferred professional name) was an editor at House Beautiful magazine before forming her own company in 1958.  At about the same time, she wrote an article, “Forgetting The Little Woman”, in which she took major manufacturers to task for ignoring end users when designing products.  And the corporate giants of the time took notice.  That is how she found herself in front of 3M’s all male executive team (more…)

  • Enrich Your Future Through Modeling Enrich Your Future Through Modeling

    Enrich Your Future Through Modeling

Enrich Your Future Through Modeling

“Control your own destiny or someone else will.”  This quote from Jack Welch, GE’s famed former CEO, is the inspiration for today’s Lesson Found.

I recently came across an article reconsidering the maxim “The Best Predictor of Future Behavior is … Past Behavior”. While the article’s focus is not business oriented, it does offer lessons on the current business environment. (more…)

  • Adapting to the New Reality Adapting to the New Reality

    Adapting to the New Reality

Adapting to the New Reality

There are many different ways to react to the disruption from coronavirus and the resulting downturn.  My clients have come to recognize it as an opportunity both for their business and for Lessons Found.

We have three choices in the face of a crisis.  1. Give up; 2. Act like nothing has changed; or 3. Adapt. (more…)

  • Building Sales – 1 Cookie at a Time Building Sales – 1 Cookie at a Time

    Building Sales – 1 Cookie at a Time

Building Sales – 1 Cookie at a Time

It’s Girl Scout Cookie season.  And the Girl Scouts’ new alliance to promote their cookies is the source of this week’s Business Lesson Found.

When you indulge in Girl Scout Cookies do you ever think: “This would make a great cake!”  The Girl Scouts have teamed with the Food Network to make this a reality. In a new show, Girl Scout Cookie Championship, bakers are challenged to feature the cookies in original baked goods.  From a marketing perspective, this show is a great way to extend the Girl Scouts’ reach. (more…)

  • Bringing Clarity To Your Exit Plan Bringing Clarity To Your Exit Plan

    Bringing Clarity To Your Exit Plan

Bringing Clarity To Your Exit Plan

The sale of the New York Mets was recently scrubbed because of one owner’s compulsion to retain operational control.  This is a cautionary Business Lesson Found for owners of both family and non-family businesses.

Hedge fund billionaire Steve Cohen offered $2.6 billion to purchase an 80% stake in the struggling Mets.  This was welcome news to some in the Wilpon family who have shares in the team but have grown increasingly frustrated with the meager results under the eccentric management style of Mets’ COO Jeff Wilpon. (more…)

  • The Cost of Missed Opportunities The Cost of Missed Opportunities

    The Cost of Missed Opportunities

The Cost of Missed Opportunities

I recently heard an economist identify “opportunity costs” as “the most useful idea in economics”.   That comment sparked this Business Lesson Found.

According to Investopedia “opportunity costs represent the benefits an individual, investor or business misses out on when choosing one alternative over another.” (more…)

  • The Millennial Solution The Millennial Solution

    The Millennial Solution

The Millennial Solution

Two weeks ago, I pointed to the perils of taking listening for granted.  But what happens if there is a generational schism in how we communicate?  That is where this Business Lesson Found begins.

When used in an email, what does an ellipsis, “…”, mean?  How you answer reveals your age.  Boomers and Gen Xers use ellipses at a sentence’s end to indicate their thoughts trailing off.  Millennials interpret ellipses differently.  As one millennial put it, “the dot-dot-dot is the height of passive aggressiveness.” (more…)

  • The 2 Sides of Listening The 2 Sides of Listening

    The 2 Sides of Listening

The 2 Sides of Listening

Last week I went to have my blood drawn for my annual physical exam.  The results included a Business Lesson Found.

The technician’s first question was if I was there for a “wellness visit”.  After a moment to consider whether an “annual physical” is considered a “wellness visit”, I said “yes”. (more…)