• Wawa Celebrates 50 Years of Success

    Wawa is a convenience store located in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, and Florida. This year, Wawa celebrates its 50th anniversary. In the video below, Former CEO Howard Stoeckel just published a new book, The Wawa Way: How a Funny Name and Six Core Values Revolutionized Convenience. The name, Wawa, came from the Pennsylvania town where the headquarters is located.


    How has Wawa's strategy and business model evolved over the years?

    How is Wawa's culture a competitive advantage?

    What is servant leadership?

  • Dress for Success

    The above slide show by Talener is a guide to help you learn professional fashion terms and provide some helpful pointers for your next interview. 

    Once you get a job, the slide show below gives you guidelines on what not to wear to work.

    Why is it important to look professional?
    How will you present a positive, professional image?
  • CEO Pay Tops $10 Million

    Median Chief Executive Officer (CEO) pay is more than $10 million according to a joint study by the Associated Press and Equilar, an executive pay research firm. That is 257 times the salary of an average worker. (See how CEO pay was calculated.)

    Who is the highest paid chief executive?

    Why do CEOs make so much?

    Why does the top manager keep getting a huge raise, while the paycheck of the average employee increases just a little over one percent?

    How is employee compensation influenced by robots, high unemployment, and globalization (outsourcing)?

  • José Andrés, Commencement Speaker

    In the above video, President of Think Food Group, celebrity chef, José Andrés offers life lessons to the 2014 graduating class of George Washington University (GWU). He teaches a course at GWU called "The World on a Plate: How Food Shapes Civilizations" and contributes to a course called "Science and Cooking" at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. Time magazine named Andrés one of the 100 most influential people in the world, and he was the James Beard Foundation’s 2011 Outstanding Chef.

    What do you think about the celebrities appearing in his video?

    What do you think about José Andrés referring to himself as a "cook" who got a shot at the American dream?

    What does he mean by  “Don’t use a recipe…if things don’t go as expected, make the unexpected work in your favor. Change the name of the dish.”

  • Chipotle Cultivates Thought

    Chipotle introduces the Cultivating Thought literary packaging series (cups and bags). Jonathan Safran Foer, author of "Eating Animals" and "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close", was having lunch with the CEO of Chipotle and suggested using the surfaces of their cups and bags to give more to their customers to help customers feel more engaged while eating lunch. He suggested putting together a series of two-minute essays written by different authors and then published on the sides of Chipotle's cups and bags.

     You can read "the words and whimsy of thought-leaders, authors, and comedians through unique, you'll-only-find-them-at-Chipolte essays, each illustrated by a different artist."

    What do you think of the Chipotle CEO  Steve Ells's decision to give customers something to learn instead of giving them a blank bag or cup?

    All are interesting reading. How does Michael Lewis's approach to time management help you manage time?

  • Digital Strategy

    In this video, McKinsey director Paul Willmott, discusses six critical decisions CEOs must make to address the strategic challenge posed by the digital revolution.

    1. Are you in the right industry?
    2. What technology solutions do your customers want to use?
    3. Should we attack or defend? What is the right balance of attack and defend?
    4. Should the CEO lead the digital transformation? Or,
    5. Should the CEO delegate to a chief digital officer? Or,
    6. Should the CEO delegate the digital agenda?

    How is digitization altering the nature of competition?

  • Congratulations! Small Business Person of the Year 2014

    Congratulations to Billy and Brook Taylor of Portland, OR-based Pacifica, the National Small Business Persons of the Year for 2014.

    Organizational culture is a dynamic system of shared values, etc., that give an organization its distinctive character. Core values -- such as respect for the individual, integrity, trust, and continuous improvement -- should never change. Pacifica's values are "founded in taking good care of the environment, the kids, and the place where you live."

    How does using natural ingredients mesh with the values of Pacifica? 

  • Managers Should Give Sincere Apologies

    Why does a customer or an employee sue the company and manager? Research tells us that companies and managers are sued because of the way the person was treated. Many managers offer an apology, but it doesn't seem sincere. Furthermore, they don't take responsibility for the mistake.

    When we think of being sued, the health cared industry comes to mind. In the video below, error expert Lucian Leape says there are four stages of an effective apology:

    1. Admit, 
    2. Explain, 
    3. Apologize, and 
    4. Take Responsibility. 

    An example of an effective apology is the letter below from Karen Katz, CEO of Neiman Marcus. The company suffered a data breach over the holidays, exposing customer credit card data to potential theft.

    To our loyal Neiman Marcus Group customers:

    As the investigation into our cyber security incident continues, I want to provide you with an update. Your trust in us is our absolute priority.

    As always, we want you to feel confident shopping at Neiman Marcus. What I said in my prior message to you remains the same: there is NO indication
    • that Social Security numbers and birth dates were compromised
    • that our Neiman Marcus cards have been used fraudulently
    • that any online customers were impacted
    • that any PINs were at risk since we do not use PIN pads in our stores

    We do know, and our forensic reports have confirmed, that malicious software (malware) was clandestinely installed on our system and that it attempted to collect or "scrape" payment card data from July 16, 2013 to October 30, 2013. I reported last time that approximately 1,100,000 customer payment cards could have been potentially visible to the malware.

    Our investigation has now determined that the number of potentially affected payments cards is lower—approximately 350,000. The number has decreased because the investigation has established that the malware was not operating at all our stores, nor was it operating every day in those affected stores, during the July 16 -October 30 period. Of the 350,000 payment cards that may have been affected by the malware in our system, Visa, MasterCard and Discover have notified us to date that approximately 9,200 of those were subsequently used fraudulently elsewhere.

    Regardless of whether or not your card was affected, we have notified customers for whom we have mailing and/or e-mail addresses who shopped with us either in-store or online in 2013. Additionally, we are offering one free year of credit monitoring and identity-theft protection. Sign up instructions for this service can be found below in the Question and Answer section.

    For over a century, our company's mission has been dedicated to delivering exceptional service to each of our customers, and responding properly to this attack is our top priority. Our goal is to do everything possible to restore your trust and to earn your loyalty.


    How does CEO Katz's apology follow Dr. Leape's four stages of an effective apology?

    How does saying your sorry differ from taking responsibility?

    Think of a situation where a manager should apologize to a customer or an employee. Use the four stages of an effective apology to write an apology to this customer or employee.

  • The Value of Visualization

    The Value of Visualization from Column Five on Vimeo.

    We've all heard that "a picture is worth a thousand words." We all like pictures better than words. But, why do we like visuals? The Motion Graphic above describes the value of visualization. See the attached, "A Business Guide to Visual Communications."

    How do you make knowledge powerful? 

    What can you do to make your next presentation more visual?

  • Dairy Queen CEO on the Minimum Wage - CNNMoney

    Dairy Queen CEO John Gainor says 'people need to be paid a fair wage,' low wages are connected to turnover, and that the company is currently dealing with rising minimum wages in states.

    Think about a federal minimum wage of $10.10 an hour.

    What is your state's minimum wage?

    What is a living wage? Select your location and calculate the living wage for the town where you live or go to college. Be sure to compare the living wage to a typical hourly wage for management. How much more does a manager make? Why does a manager make so much more money?

    What is a fair wage for teenage and part-time employees? Explain.

  • The Value of Bosses

    See the full Infographic, "Real Cost Bad Bosses." at http://www.inc.com/maeghan-ouimet/real-cost-bad-bosses.html

    In The Value of Bosses (NBER Working Paper No. 18317), authors Edward Lazear, Kathryn Shaw, and Christopher Stanton use data from a large service oriented company to examine the effects of bosses on their workers' productivity. They estimate the daily productivity for 23,878 workers matched to 1,940 bosses over five years and find that bosses vary greatly in productivity, with the difference between the best bosses and the worst bosses being significant. 

    The authors report that three findings stand out.

    1. The choice of boss matters. Replacing a bad boss with a good boss increases a team's productivity.
    2. The boss's primary activity is teaching skills that persist.
    3. Good bosses increase the productivity of high quality workers by more than that of low quality workers.

    Co-author of the working paper, Kathryn Shaw says, "Good bosses are teachers. In fact, their teaching accounts for 67% of a boss's effect on employees' productivity."

    Do you think of managers as teachers? Explain.

    How do managers teach employees?

  • Happy Mother's Day!

    Mother's Day is this weekend. It's a holiday, invented by companies to sell cards and gifts, such as chocolate and flowers. In the video below, Sarah Kay, speaks poetry, "If I should have a daughter, instead of Mom, she's gonna call me Point B ... " This talk inspired two standing ovations at TED2011. (She tells the story of her metamorphosis -- from a wide-eyed teenager soaking in verse at New York's Bowery Poetry Club to a teacher connecting kids with the power of self-expression through Project V.O.I.C.E. -- and gives two breathtaking performances of "B" and "Hiroshima.") Amazon says, “B” is a thank you note, a love letter, a wish, a promise, a confession, and a secret.

    Many businesses offer deals for mom on or around Mother's Day. Check these businesses: Boston Market, California Pizza Kitchen, Spaghetti Wearhouse, Texas Roadhouse, National Public Gardens, museums, Redbox, and Snapfish.

    What does Mother's Day mean to businesses?

    Have you wished your mom "Happy Mother's Day"?

  • Office of the Future

    Where will you work in the future? Not all employees will work from an office. Many will work from home or on the go. Hewlett-Packard reports "a recent study by Deloitte noted that between 30 percent and 40 percent of physical workspaces are vacant at any given moment of a traditional business day." Thus, companies can save money by allowing employees to telework.

    But, do all employees want to work from home? What are the advantages and disadvantages of working from home?

  • Did you skip lunch today?

     Did you take an hour for lunch today? If so, you're in the minority of American workers. In the above video, MarketWatch's Charles Passy joins the News Hub at The Wall Street Journal  to tell us why people at work are skipping the lunch hour. They are using the time to run errands. Or, they just keep working through the lunch hour.

    Did you enjoy your lunch today?

    Is the lunch hour dead?

    What should managers do to encourage employees to enjoy their lunch time?

  • Target Replaces Chief Executive Gregg Steinhafel

    Monday, Target replaced chief executive Gregg Steinhafel. Target suffered a major security breach of 40 to 70 million customer credit and debit card records before Christmas. He is the first manager of a major company to lose his job over a breach of customer data.

    The Target board said in a prepared statement, after discussions with Steinhafel that they both "have decided it is the right time for new leadership at Target."

    The Boston Globe reported that Cynthia Larose, chair of the privacy and security practice at the law firm Mintz Levin, said "He was the public face of the breach. The company struggled to recover from it. It's a new era for boards to take a proactive role in understanding what the risks are."

    The news stated that the Target CEO resigned over the security breach. Did he resign or was he fired? What is the difference?

    Why is the CEO accountable for a data breach?

  • The Best Management Jobs of 2014

    The 100 best jobs of 2014, according to U.S. News & World Report, are focused primarily in three industries: computer technology, health care, and engineering.

    Of those, the best management jobs are listed below.

    IT Manager

    Construction Manager

    Business Operations Manager

    Marketing Manager

    Financial Manager

    Sales Manager

    Which management job interests you? Why?

    What are the requirements for the job?

    What will you need to change to get the job?