BizBasics: ‘What Is Diversification?’

By Richard B. Evans

Investment dollars are like eggs — it’s risky to keep them all in one basket. Rather than put themselves at the mercy of one investment’s ups and downs, many investors choose to diversify, spreading out their investments across multiple channels. A portfolio of multiple stocks can ease the extremes of the individual stocks’ volatility, and investors can decrease volatility even more by... CONTINUE READING

Clash of the Teammates: How the Ideal Team Works Through Conflict

Successful teams have three things in common: They meet their performance goals. Their members feel satisfied that they are learning/benefiting from being a part of the team. The process the team uses to collaborate sets it up for future success. Recent research, however, suggests that in as little as five weeks of working together, only about 25 percent of teams meet these criteria.... CONTINUE READING

How Advertising Budgets Are Like Fly Balls

By Paul W. Farris

New and better budgeting processes are a near-universal pursuit among businesses, particularly in advertising divisions. In an era of big data and powerful computing, the end of this pursuit is often assumed to include some type of algorithmic method — a mathematical technique that, once and for all, will identify the optimal amount to spend on advertising. But what if there isn’t a single... CONTINUE READING

A Ketchup Strategy That Cuts the Mustard

By Ronald T. Wilcox

Reevaluating its ketchup product line, Heinz worked to analyze what assortment of ketchup sizes to offer, and at what prices. Determining how to proceed involved two key marketing concepts: One, retail pass-through, which measured the amount of promotional savings that actually reached the consumer, given the retailer’s portion; when Heinz offered a dollar-off promotion, the retailer might... CONTINUE READING

The Nuances of Cross-Cultural Communication

Across industries, Chinese and Western managers say their main difficulty doing business with each other stems from poor communication. Both groups need to understand the cultural differences in business communication, etiquette and how their actions may be interpreted. This note introduces readers to some of the most important cultural dissimilarities and suggests strategies for communicating... CONTINUE READING

An Educational Revolution

After China’s Cultural Revolution and the closing of public institutions of higher education, the nation was in want of professionals with demonstrated proficiencies — even after universities and colleges reopened. The Education Bureau created a new kind of credential: the Self-Teaching Diploma Exam. People could earn diplomas by taking a test, but without training, only 6 percent... CONTINUE READING