• Don’t Think of a Pink Elephant (or a Black Swan Event)

    What happens when you put a black swan event in the same room with a pink elephant?  According to an article last month in Harvard Business Review, you get a “black elephant event” – a rare, unpredictable, but potentially devastating risk (a black swan event) that no one wants to talk about (the pink elephant…

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  • The Value of Maintaining, Not Just Innovating

    What if being an “innovator” wasn’t the coolest thing on Earth after all?  What if having a “maintenance mindset” in business was just as cool? In a new book, The Innovation Delusion, two university professors discuss the importance not only of innovating, but also of maintaining what’s already been built.  Read a Fast Company interview…

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  • Know Thy Audience – Pre-Class Surveys

    The Temple of Apollo is said to have had the inscription “Know Thyself” etched high upon its marble entrance.  For business simulation instructors, we recommend that you add “Know Thy Audience” to these wise words. In fact, you should get to know your audience well before your class actually starts by using a pre-class survey…

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  • Virus in the Supply Chain

    The shine is being tarnished on the global supply chain as a working capital crisis hits smaller suppliers deep in the chain. Regardless of the industry, all companies have a network of suppliers that provide the products and services they need to stay in business.  Some of these are very small suppliers running extremely lean…

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  • Experience-profiling your audience before an event

    As part of our course prework we ask that participants complete a simple 6-10 question survey. Participants are asked to self-assess their competencies on a scale from 1 (low) to 5 (high). The competencies surveyed include dimensions such as Strategic Thinking, Business Planning, Leadership, and Financial Statements. We’ve found these assessments valuable for instructors. The…

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  • Welcome to Your New Budget. Zero.

    The ancient Babylonians may have been the first to classify “zero” as a number.  Which at least gives those who have been subjected to “zero-based budgeting” someone to blame. Zero-based budgeting is just as painful as it sounds – new budgets are set at zero dollars instead of being based on historical spending trends and…

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  • Objectives and Key Results (OKRs)

    In 1983 Andy Grove, Intel’s CEO at the time, published a simple yet powerful framework to help answer two important business questions: Where would you like to take the business in the future? And, how are you going to get there? This framework later became known as OKRs, or Objectives and Key Results. Rooted in…

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  • Devaluing the Good in Goodwill

    When used in finance, the term “goodwill” doesn’t refer to benevolent and kindly feelings about a company.  But right now, many businesses probably wish that it did. Instead, goodwill is actually an intangible asset on a company’s balance sheet.  It is created when a company acquires another company for a price in excess of the net…

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  • Business in Crisis – 2020 Edition

    Business acumen (“Business savvy” and “business sense” are often used as synonyms) is keenness and quickness in understanding and dealing with a “business situation” (risks and opportunities) in a manner that is likely to lead to a good outcome (Wikipedia, 2020). We all hope our business leaders have some of this today. How do you…

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  • Deflation – Crashing an Already-Bad Party

    Falling prices – it doesn’t sound like that could that be a problem, does it? But from an economic standpoint, deflation is actually a serious concern. Like driving below the speed limit on a busy freeway, it seems like it would be safer, but you might just cause a 25-mile traffic jam. Deflation occurs when…

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