Iwan brandsma

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Big Acquisitions Can Fall Apart Over Tiny Details

In September 2005, Alphahealth*, a large American healthcare company acquired the British company Pharmateam*.<p>Pharmateam was an ideal target. With just a few hundred employees, the company was relatively small and affordably priced, but it had a solid product portfolio, over a century of history, …

Beware Africa’s “Middle Class”

If you have considered investing in Africa, you have no doubt been influenced by frequent recent reports on the continent’s apparently large, burgeoning middle class. These rising Africans are said to be increasingly armed with the hard currency, and the taste, to pay for your goods and …

We Took a Vote. You’re Fired.

Leave Your Title at the Door<p>The Boss Stops Here<p>New York Magazine<p>Let’s say you have a coworker who’s disruptive or isn’t pulling his weight. Your company probably has a hierarchical process for deciding the proper course of action, and that process probably doesn’t put you at the center of the …

Data is Worthless if You Don’t Communicate It

There is a pressing need for more businesspeople who can think quantitatively and make decisions based on data and analysis, and businesspeople who can do so will become increasingly valuable. According to a McKinsey Global Institute report on big data, we’ll need over 1.5 million more data-savvy …

Becoming a Better Judge of People

In business and in life, the most critical choices we make relate to people. Yet being a good judge of people is difficult. How do we get better at sizing up first impressions, at avoiding hiring mistakes, at correctly picking (and not missing) rising stars?<p>The easy thing to do is focus on …

The Most Effective Ways to Make It Right When You Screw Up

After promising your boss you would complete an important assignment on time, you realize you’re behind and it’s going to be late. You unintentionally leave a colleague out of the loop on a joint project, causing him or her to feel frustrated and a bit betrayed. On the subway, you aren’t paying …

The Black Swans Circling P&G

If you stand in the plaza of P&G’s Cincinnati headquarters and look up, you will see something circling. Birds. Locals say they’ve been gathering for the last several years now. They’re hard to see. And really who cares. But now that A.G. Lafley is back as CEO, it might be time for everyone at P&G …

Newsflash: New “Butter Coffee” Trend Might Not Promote Weight Loss (Gasp!)

Ah, butter! The most diety-of diet foods, guaranteed to slim your hips and trim your tummy! Wait — are we in an alternate universe? Why are people …

Before You Buy That Gallon Of Whole Milk Your Heart Is Set On, Read These Amazon Reviews

Open your eyes to the world of Tuscan Milk.<p>Forgiveness, dear Consumerist readers, I beg it of you. Last week some kind of demonic being temporarily …

How to Make Sense of Sales Force Turnover

Imagine a sales leader who’s looking over data from exit interviews with salespeople who’ve left his company in the last year. Among the departing reps, 32% left primarily because of their relationship with their first line manager, 27% left primarily because of inadequate pay, and 21% left …

Good Leaders Don’t Use Bad Words

During a painfully dull futures workshop Down Under, a simple word change helped transform a stagnant discussion.<p>The facilitator, with a world-class flair for bafflegab and platitude, had asked the group to envision products customers might desire a decade hence. The conversation regurgitated …

Even Cement Can Be Special

Companies in commoditizing industries tend to follow one of two strategies: either they try to find new services to offer around the product or they compete on price. The one certain outcome of these two strategies, of course, is to accelerate the commoditization process itself.<p>But, as an HBR …

If Your Mobile Strategy Can Win Here, It Can Win Anywhere

As a marketer, I work to engage women online with brands and causes. Ultimately, however, we hope for more than merely sales or action: we want to build a relationship with our audience. Ideally, a brand and a woman of influence interact directly, one to one. But there’s something that’s …