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Case Studies

NFI: Keeping the Entrepreneurial Spirit Alive


Success can kill the entrepreneurial spirit of a company.If we are not actively engaged in protecting the innovators within our own ranks, the systems and process that must necessarily accompany growth will strangle them. But how do we grow and stay entrepreneurial?… Continue Reading >

Victor Allis and Quintiq: Fairness is Fundamental

Nothing jeopardizes a high performing corporate culture more than real or perceived unfairness. Conversely, nothing engenders loyalty like a leader and a culture that is committed to being straightforward and fair in dealing with people.

Anyone with kids knows that the word “fair” quickly becomes a four-letter word.… Continue Reading >

Hiring Business Athletes

My observation is that many businesses overly constrain themselves by being too wedded to hiring people with industry experience. Yes, our businesses are unique – but so is everyone else’s. I would rather hire a quick study who possesses the ethics, drive, and personality that I want vs.… Continue Reading >

Domino’s Pizza and Building a Team of A-Players

Last January, the New York Times ran a great article about building a business by creating a team of A-players (For a Franchise, Success is in the Hiring; January 6, 2008). The article introduces Dave Melton, who owns 5 Domino’s Pizza stores in NYC with total sales of $5 million, has 100 employees – and experiences essentially zero turnover.… Continue Reading >

How to Hire Your Next A-Player

Originally Published in Running Intelligence

For most running specialty stores, hiring just one more A-player can make a huge difference in your business. If you are weighed down with multiple responsibilities –managing your retail floor, trying to drive customer acquisition, overseeing your backroom operations – it’s time to recognize that you can’t do it alone and you need to invest the time and effort required to find a great person to share the load.… Continue Reading >

The Downfall of My Favorite Restaurant

I went to my favorite restaurant in West Philly yesterday for lunch. I found this place a couple of years ago. The food was phenomenal and it was always packed with Penn students and faculty. Business was good enough that, this past summer, they closed down for a month and did a complete renovation.… Continue Reading >

You Have a Beautiful Home

When my wife and I sold our home in St. Louis to move to Philadelphia, we interviewed a number of realtors. One of my standard questions to these realtors was, “What are the problems with this house? What do we need to change or neutralize in order to sell it for the maximum price?”… Continue Reading >

A-Players are Attracted by High Standards

An executive recently interviewed for and accepted a leadership role with a new company. As part of the interview process, the company required him to go through multiple interviews and a series of leadership and management assessments. The human resource person apologized to this man for how much time the whole process took – she was embarrassed that he had to take most of the day to complete the assessment process.… Continue Reading >