COMMON CORE OF UNITY
THERE HAS TO BE A “COMMON CULTURE” OR AT LEAST A “CULTURAL AFFINITY.”
Successful diversification by acquisition, like all successful diversification, requires a common core of unity. The two businesses must have in common either markets or technology; through occasionally a comparable production process has also provided sufficient unity of experience and expertise, as well as a common language, to bring companies together. With-out such a core of unity, diversification, especially by acquisition, never works; financial ties alone are insufficient.
One example is a big French company that has been built by acquiring producers of all kinds of luxury goods: champagne and high-fashion designers, very expensive watches and perfumes and handmade shoes. It looks like the worst kind of conglomerate. The products have seemingly nothing in common. But all of them are being bought by customers for the same reason, which, of course, is not utility or price. Instead, people buy them because they are “status.” What all the acquisitions of this successful acquirer have in common is their customers’ values. Champagne is being sold quite differently from high fashion. But it is being bought for much the same reason.
ACTION POINT: In any acquisition, make sure there is a common culture or a cultural affinity between the two entities.
RESPECT FOR THE BUSINESS AND ITS VALUES
THE ACQUISITION MUST BE A “TEMPERAMENTAL FIT.”
No acquisition works unless the people in the acquiring company have respect for the product, the markets, and the customers of the company they acquire. Though many large pharmaceutical companies have acquired cosmetic firms, none has made a great success of it. Pharmacologists and biochemists are “serious” people concerned with health and disease. By the same token, few of the big television networks and other entertainment companies have made a go of the book publishers they bought. Books are not “media,” and neither book buyers nor authors – a book publisher’s two customer – bear any resemblance to what the Nielsen rating means by “audience.” Sooner or later, usually sooner, a business requires a decision. People who do not respect or feel comfortable with the business, its products, and its users invariably make the wrong decision.
ACTION POINT: Take an acquisition with which you are familiar. Was there a temperamental fit between the two companies? How did the companies respect, or fail to respect, each other’s business?
You can make positive deposits in your own economy every day by reading and listening to powerful, positive, life-changing content and by associating with encouraging and hope-building people.
Government’s view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.
Our workforce and our entire economy are strongest when we embrace diversity to its fullest, and that means opening doors of opportunity to everyone and recognizing that the American Dream excludes no one.
Agriculture is not crop production as popular belief holds – it’s the production of food and fiber from the world’s land and waters. Without agriculture it is not possible to have a city, stock market, banks, university, church or army. Agriculture is the foundation of civilization and any stable economy.
Most of us understand that innovation is enormously important. It’s the only insurance against irrelevance. It’s the only guarantee of long-term customer loyalty. It’s the only strategy for out-performing a dismal economy.
Illegal immigration is crisis for our country. It is an open door for drugs, criminals, and potential terrorists to enter our country. It is straining our economy, adding costs to our judicial, healthcare, and education systems.
Animals have come to mean so much in our lives. We live in a fragmented and disconnected culture. Politics are ugly, religion is struggling, technology is stressful, and the economy is unfortunate. What’s one thing that we have in our lives that we can depend on? A dog or a cat loving us unconditionally, every day, very faithfully.
The reality is that business and investment spending are the true leading indicators of the economy and the stock market. If you want to know where the stock market is headed, forget about consumer spending and retail sales figures. Look to business spending, price inflation, interest rates, and productivity gains.
Globalization has produced a new of level of interdependence among us. The economy and multinational supply chains do not abide by political boundaries. A computer ordered in Brazil is designed in California and assembled in several other countries. Economic integration was the first strong evidence of a new era.
Nuclear power will help provide the electricity that our growing economy needs without increasing emissions. This is truly an environmentally responsible source of energy.
True security is based on people’s welfare – on a thriving economy, on strong public health and education programmes, and on fundamental respect for our common humanity. Development, peace, disarmament, reconciliation and justice are not separate from security; they help to underpin it.
The Great Depression, like most other periods of severe unemployment, was produced by government mismanagement rather than by any inherent instability of the private economy.
Collaboration is important not just because it’s a better way to learn. The spirit of collaboration is penetrating every institution and all of our lives. So learning to collaborate is part of equipping yourself for effectiveness, problem solving, innovation and life-long learning in an ever-changing networked economy.
The shift to a cleaner energy economy wont happen overnight, and it will require tough choices along the way. But the debate is settled. Climate change is a fact.
Change, Fact, Happen
Raising the minimum wage to $10.10 will benefit about 28 million workers across the country. And it will help businesses, too – raising the wage will put more money in people’s pockets, which they will pump back into the economy by spending it on goods and services in their communities.
To me, it really seems visible today that ethics is not something exterior to the economy, which, as technical matter, could function on its own; rather, ethics is an interior principle of the economy itself, which cannot function if it does not take account of the human values of solidarity and reciprocal responsibility.
POPE BENEDICT XVI
Economy is the basis of society. When the economy is stable, society develops. The ideal economy combines the spiritual and the material, and the best commodities to trade in are sincerity and love.
There is not Communism or Marxism, but representative democracy and social justice in a well-planned economy.
A successful economic development strategy must focus on improving the skills of the area’s workforce, reducing the cost of doing business and making available the resources business needs to compete and thrive in today’s global economy.
The truth is the Super Bowl long ago became more than just a football game. It’s part of our culture like turkey at Thanksgiving and lights at Christmas, and like those holidays beyond their meaning, a factor in our economy.