Moving Past Fear – Secrets of Successful Post-Merger Integrations

Merger activity is at a fever pace this year, on pace to hit new record levels. But are many of these deals doomed to fail, driven more by fear than coherent strategy? Overcoming market pressures to pursue M&A activities that are both strategic and successful in driving business results takes more than simple due diligence. You need to understand the pitfalls along the path, have a strategy for success and a playbook that helps to guide the process.

Read More

Brands – Know Thy Customer

A recent chat with my colleagues about our kids turned into a great lesson about building resonant brands. I’d mentioned my daughter’s recent obsession with everything Ivivva – the Lululemon spinoff brand for tween girls – and one of the folks around the table suggested the company must be losing out on a lot of brand equity by going with the “Ivivva” brand, instead of calling itself “LuluKids.”

Read More
hiring

The Lessons You Don’t Learn in Business School – Making That First Hire…Intelligently

When building a business from the ground-up, your first inclination may be to bootstrap it and do everything yourself; I know mine was. But after awhile you realize your time and energy is better spent on the 20 percent of things where you add the most value to the business. So you pivot to hiring folks who can support your growth. Sometimes you make mistakes along the way, but here is what I’ve learned from them.

Read More

The Lessons You Don’t Learn in Business School – Building to Scale

Mid-May marks the start of the annual business school graduation season. Over the next few weeks, schools from Anderson and Booth to Wharton and Yale will graduate some of the top new business talent, who all feel “ready to lead organizations into the future.” I put that in quotes – why? Because that’s the mindset coming out of business school, of the graduates themselves…but the reality is that couldn’t be farther from the truth.

Read More

Melting Pot: Marketing Strategy That Takes Culture into Account

Most of us wouldn’t think of Walmart as a premiere shopping destination for ethnic foods, but walk through one of the company’s supercenters in certain neighborhoods today and you might be surprised. Mangoes and papaya are stocked next to Chinese eggplant, and the next aisle over might feature imported foods from South America – all carefully curated to appeal to growing local Hispanic and Asian populations.

Read More

Making the Conversion: Merging Data & Experience in Analytics

The annual convergence of the end of NCAA basketball season, the onset of the NHL and NBA playoffs, the lead-up to the NFL draft, and the kickoff of the major league baseball season have player stats and sports analytics front of mind for many fans and data nuts – myself included. But rumbles of discontent portend a possible storm on the horizon. It seems not everyone’s a convert to the data-driven future of sports (or business).

Read More