Minding My Own Business


  • A good run

    For the past eight years or so, I have been privileged through this column to share my thoughts, ideas, and observations with the readership of Label & Narrow Web magazine. Each issue has presented me with the challenge of utilizing 1,200 to 1,400 wo…
    01.14.09

  • Seeing the glass as quarter full

    Let's be blunt: The current financial crisis is a great deal more substantial and impacting than any of us could have conceived of just six months ago. Where we once concerned ourselves with preparing for a looming economic downturn, most of us now f…
    11.13.08

  • An era worth celebrating

    I recently experienced the frustrating but all too familiar you're-a-number-not-a-person treatment at the hands of one of our nation's wonderful telephone/television/web access monoliths. In the process of planning a move, I attempted to get out in f…
    10.08.08

  • Survive to thrive

    I don't know who first said that economics is the painful elaboration of the obvious, but today's business climate certainly validates that sentiment. If you've been watching television, surfing the web, or even, dare I say it, reading a newspaper, y…
    08.21.08

  • Dealing with the Curve

    Every industry is myopic to some extent. That is, business people tend to focus exclusively on the trends and challenges of their own company and industry, failing to recognize that their issues are inherently similar to those faced by executives in…
    07.22.08

  • Desperately seeking relevance

    I was doing some customer research for a sales and marketing plan recently when I came upon a worthwhile piece of advice to those with purchasing power in business. "Salespeople," the purchaser is advised, "always sell what they have in inventory w…
    05.13.08

  • Six keys

    Thomas Boswell, the sports columnist for the Washington Post, has long been one of my favorite writers. His columns and books, which include the wonderfully titled Why Time Begins on Opening Day and How Life Imitates the World Series, utilize profess…
    04.08.08

  • King of the Concrete Jungle

    Our firm recently conducted a strategic brainstorming session with the managers of a label converter client. As the full day session drew to a close, I summed up the perspective of ownership by using the title of the off-Broadway show "I Love You, Yo…
    03.14.08

  • Late to the party

    I am one of the few people in the United States who does not watch the television series 24. Or so it seems. Whether I am in the airport, at a business meeting, or even at a family get together, if the conversation turns to 24, I am the only one reac…
    01.15.08

  • Vision

    A client of ours recently faced a hiring dilemma. In seeking to fill a senior management position, the board had narrowed the field of applicants to two individuals, each of whom brought a unique package of qualifications to the table. As we analyzed…
    11.02.07

  • Specialist vs. generalist

    Here is an interesting ornithological fact: Certain birds of prey have features that have evolved over time which enable them to hunt for kinds of food other birds are unable to even pursue. The osprey, for example, has eyes with a particular trait t…
    09.27.07

  • That sinking feeling

    If you scan the bestseller lists these days, you find more than a few books focused on applying the principles of economics to everyday life. While they make for interesting and even illuminating reads, the problem with most of them is that, in the w…
    08.31.07

  • The Loft Principle

    Merger and acquisition activity is at record levels across not only the American business landscape, but throughout the global economy. Conversations about the frenetic pace of transactions usually focus on the M or the A. That is, the analyses and d…
    06.28.07

  • Atmospheric Pressures or, Culture Does Matter

    In 1993, I was living on the Upper West Side of Manhattan when Steven Spielberg's Jurassic Park was released. That Saturday night, some friends and I made sure to see the movie at a theater that was specially equipped with an oversized screen and…
    04.27.07

  • Strategy, mission & vision

    There is a famous parable that goes something like this: Every morning on the African plains, a gazelle wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the fastest lion or it will be killed. Every morning a lion wakes up. It knows it must outrun the slowe…
    03.27.07

  • Ideas that go Trump in the night

    I'll admit it. I watch "The Apprentice". Guilty as charged. I have seen every episode of every season of the darn show, following groups of overcaffeinated Type-A contestants vying to win sponsor-oriented "business" tasks assigned to them by Donald T…
    02.27.07

  • The new equilibrium

    "Close your eyes when you don't want to see. Stay at home when you don't want to go. Only speak to those who will agree. And close your mind when you don't want to know." Billy Joel might not be Peter Drucker or W. Edwards Deming, but there's n…
    01.11.07

  • Know your limitations

    Peter Drucker, perhaps the most famous management guru of the 20th Century, insisted that "management by objective works - if you know the objectives. Ninety percent of the time you don't." Those words echoed through my mind as I recently facilitated…
    11.01.06

  • Leadership does matter

    The importance of developing a team of first-rate managers and supervisors has never been more important. Whether you are a converter or supplier, an owner or senior manager, your company is perhaps the most significant investment in your life. I'm n…
    09.25.06

  • A funny thing happened on the way to this column

    After a successful career, a human relations guru found herself standing before the pearly gates. "We've never had a human resources director make it this far," declared St. Peter, "so we're not really sure what to do with you. So we'll let you exper…
    08.28.06