• Best Buy is Still In Business. How is That Even Possible?

    The last decade was brutal to the U.S. consumer electronics retailing industry. Several well-known companies failed, including Circuit City, Radio Shack, and Brookstone. And with the entrance of giant discounters CostCo and WalMart together with Amazon into the market space, success in the industry has become even more difficult to achieve. Yet against all odds,…

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  • The Importance of Execution

    A business leader’s job is to successfully move the organization forward and improve business performance. This requires a continuous process of reflection, analysis, planning and execution. There is no better way to learn/practice these skills than “by doing”. During a business simulation exercise participants create their own plans and execute them in the simulation. The…

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  • A Playbook for Profits (but it might be painful)

    Profits can sometimes be as elusive as a unicorn. But that elusiveness can create opportunities – even if they’re in the painful form of cost-cutting, stringent budgeting, or a merger. And woe to you if you don’t see the opportunities; there are unicorn-hunters in the world of business ready to do what you can’t or…

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  • Losing Sight of the Founder’s Vision

    It almost seems inevitable: that any nimble, fast-growing company will eventually slow down and calcify. Probably due to a business model that has become rusty and outdated. But maybe not always. Consultants Chris Zook and James Allen argue that the most common reasons for “stall out” are actually increasing complexity, bureaucracy, and internal dysfunction –…

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  • Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank – Top 10 Rules for Success

    Great leaders can offer us valuable insights and advice. As such, we strongly encourage you to watch this 10-minute video of Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank’s Top-10 Rules for Success. Click here to view it on YouTube. We’ve summarized his list below, but we recommend you watch the video to hear the story behind each…

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  • Farewell to Impulse Buying?

    “Peapod” – while the name may sound innocent, the company is helping to destroy a lucrative component of retail sales: the impulse buy. Popular online shopping services such as Amazon and Peapod increase the “intentionality” of shopping behavior and reduce the temptation of impulse buying. The dynamic is a contemporary example of one of Porter’s…

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  • Business Competition Between Master of Engineering Management Programs

    We don’t often do public service announcements but here’s one we really believe in – the Master of Engineering Management (MEM) degree. If you’re an engineer thinking about getting an MBA, we recommend you look into the value of an MEM degree as another option. The degree combines advanced engineering classes with business and management…

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  • Dividends and Buybacks – A Symptom of Short Termism?

    Is the dividend/buyback glass half-empty or half-full? Defenders of dividends and buybacks point out the value returned to shareholders when there are few other investment options. Critics argue for using the cash to build a stronger business for the long term. A recent study by the Boston Consulting Group supports the critics’ viewpoint. Their research suggests that…

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  • Innovation Clairvoyance

    We’ve all heard it – innovation is the lifeblood of any business. Innovation may be hard to manage (as discussed in Forbes), but it’s not impossible. Companies have to choose wisely when spending time, money, and resources on innovation. This may even mean saying “no” to great ideas in order to focus on the best…

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  • Be Comfortable Being Uncomfortable with your Competitive Advantage

    Be Comfortable Being Uncomfortable with your Competitive Advantage Competitive advantage – once you attain it you’ve completed your task and your business is set for the long-term. Right? But as we discuss in our classes – you don’t “arrive” and you’re never “there”. It’s a constant process. Markets change, customer needs and wants evolve, and…

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