• Spiraling Out of Control – Wages and Prices

    Unless you’ve been hiding in your basement for the last couple of months (understandable if you were), you’ve probably heard about the dreaded Wage-Price Spiral (WPS) that many economists are predicting. A WPS can occur when prices rise, causing workers to demand higher wages.  Companies then raise prices again to cover their now-higher wage expense…

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  • New CEOs – Do Only the Things Only You Can Do

    Being a CEO is tough.  But…what do they actually do, anyway?  Aren’t all of the other people at the company doing all of the actual work?  Maybe so, but we still need CEOs.  According to a McKinsey study, the things that CEOs do create 45 percent – almost half – of a company’s performance results….

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  • Shokunin – Values and Purpose (Mission)

    Reading Bob Igers’ book “The Ride of a Lifetime”, I came across an interesting concept, Shokunin – the “endless pursuit of perfection for a greater good”. According to Wikipedia the Shokunin “has an obligation to work his best for the general welfare of people”[2]. This concept resonated with me as it is a good reminder…

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  • Housing, Humans, and Algorithms…

    Echoing the past, it seems Zillow has re-experienced some of the business dynamics that brought down the hedge fund LTCM, as was famously described in the book When Genius Failed.  Zillow announced in November of last year that it would close its house flipping business, Zillow Offers, and write off over $500 million in losses….

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  • Saying Goodbye (to a Supply Chain Partner) Is Hard To Do

    The global supply chain just played a real-world version of MIT’s “The Beer Game” – and lost.  And due to soaring costs and super-slow deliveries, a breakup with China may now be in the offing.  Maybe we should have just stayed home… As discussed in a previous PriSim post, no matter the industry, your company…

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  • Create an Unfair Advantage During a Recession

    Could any rational company actually look forward to a recession?  Here’s an article from the Associated Equipment Distributors that outlines how you can prepare for, rather than dread, an economic downturn.  The article describes how Caterpillar actively planned for the 2008 recession and was able to produce a profit and advance its financial condition –…

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  • 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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