Posted by: Bill von Achen | February 28, 2013

What I’m Reading Now (February 28, 2013)

Ideas for best practices in business come from everywhere!  So here’s a brief list of some of the articles, blog postings, videos and other items that I’ve come across during the past week:

Are You Ready for ObamaCare? (Inc Magazine, March 2013) For many companies, 2013 marks the beginning of the implementation of the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as ObamaCare. The folks at Inc. Magaine have just pubished a simple and informative flowchart that can help you to determine exactly how the ACA will impact your company in the year ahead, and what penalites may be applicable.  Check out the chart…

The Truth (?) About China’s Economy?  (The New Yorker Magazine, February 25, 2013) Everyone talks about the China economy, but much of the data on which the mostly positive press is based comes from government sources. Now, lawyer and entrepreneur Leland Miller has compiled what he calls the China Beige Book , modeled after the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank’s compendium of economic data.  Favorite quote from the article? “The answer to better Chinese analysis is not better Chinese analysts…The answer to better Chinese analysis is better data.”  Learn more…

How Will You Measure Your Life?  (Interview with Clayton Christensen, Wired Magazine,  February 12, 2013)  It’s been 16 years since the publication of The Innovator’s Dilemma, Clayton Christensen’s ground breaking book on disruptive innovation. As part of its review of iconic business thinkers, Wired Magazine’s Contributing Editor Jeff Howe interviewed Christensen on the origins of Dilemma, and his views about industries where disruptive innovation is at play right now (think higher education!). But Christensen also shares some thoughts from his newest book about the meaning of leadership in business. Most inspiring thought?  “Many think of management as cutting deals and laying people off and hiring people and buying and selling companies. That’s not management, that’s dealmaking. Management is the opportunity to help people become better people. Practiced that way, it’s a magnificent profession.”  Read the interview…

Why Big Companies Can’t Innovate (Harvard Business Review Blog Network, February 19, 2013)  Speaking of innovation, Steven Blank, author of Four Steps to the Epihany, opines in this Harvard Business Review blog posting about the challenges facing big companies that are trying to be innovative.  According to Blank, we expect entrepreneurs to be innovative, since an innovative idea is often the spark for a new business.  But, even with more resources at their disposal, large companies often fail because their job is not to innovate but to execute their existing business model.   Best “aha!” idea?  “Finding a viable (new) business model…requires iterative experimentation, talking to large numbers of potential customers, trying new things, and continually making adjustments…(Therefore) companies need a portfolio of new business start-ups rather than putting all of their eggs into a limited number of baskets.”  Read more…

Another Client Company in the News  (Los Angeles Times, February 17, 2013) Last week our good friends Mark and Pam Fisher were featured in a Washington Post article about business-marriage partnerships. This week, a 2012 analysis of the residential housing market by our long-time client Pro-Teck Valuation Services was the subject of an article in the Los Angeles Times.  According to Pro-Teck’s analysis, real estate prices across the country increased in 2012 over 2011 levels. Notable quote from the article: “Pro Teck’s median price per square foot is more helpful than other measures in gauging the path of housing prices…(and) Pro Teck’s figures are more current.” Kudos to Pro-Teck president Tom O’Grady!  Read the article…

What have you read recently that might be of interest to others? Let us know by posting your comments here. Thanks!

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