Getting Something for Nothing

Sometimes relatively insignificant measures can assume an absurdly disproportionate importance. For decades U.S. News and World Reports has been ranking the country’s top universities and colleges. These rankings have taken on great importance to college...

Why Mergers Make Sense… On Occasion

With funding cuts and rising demand for services, nonprofits are in a bind. One reaction – which sometimes makes sense, but often doesn’t – is to consider merging with another organization. After all, if the combined organizations paid only one CEO instead of two, and...

Front Seat, Back Seat

A few weeks ago I was in California on business, and my last evening there I visited the home of my high school friend Dori, now an English professor at a major university. Dori started telling her 12-year-old daughter about our adventures nearly forty years ago...

Learning From Warren

I am pleased to discover that I have a few things in common with Warren Buffett. (Unfortunately,  being fabulously wealthy is not one of them.) Like Warren, I’m not one for formalities, and I’m known to appreciate a bargain. So I got a kick out of hearing the...

The First Rule of Business

My friend Rory, who has made a good living selling medical equipment, shook his head describing a failing company. “They violated the first rule of business,” he told me. “Make it easy for people to do business with you!” When I look at the websites of a lot of small...