Category Archives: Business Strategy

SUCCESSFULLY MANAGING THE SMALL BUSINESS ENTERPRISE

(Talk given at The President’s Forum, The College of Business, Eastern Michigan University)

During the past day and a half you have heard about a range of experiences and opportunities on the subject of entrepreneurism.

Naturally every entrepreneur wants his or her company to grow. Most of you here know, of course, that this process is not simply a matter of getting more business or accomplishing more sales every year. (I wish it were as simple as that!)

Management for growth is a complex process with many variables. It requires many changes – and much flexibility- along the way.

I can speak from personal experience as Chairman, President and Founder of J.P. Industries, Inc., which grew in just 10 years to become a Fortune 500 industrial company. Continue reading SUCCESSFULLY MANAGING THE SMALL BUSINESS ENTERPRISE

The Challenge of Rapid Change in a Borderless World

The article below is an edited version of the keynote speech given by “Dr. John” at the graduation
celebrations at the Nyenrode Business University, Breukelen, The Netherlands.

Many centuries ago a fellow Greek, Plato, said among a few other things that

“Nothing endures but Change itself”

Let’s take a look at the global scene today:

Major changes in communications and information technology; great and rapid progress in transportation; international institutions and agreements; strong commitments to globalization, etc., have resulted to a significant economic and financial interconnectedness between nations and markets, which in effect have created a “BORDERLESS WORLD”

Capital, Technology, and Information do not have nationalities anymore. They flow essentially freely in and out through national borders.

Fifty years ago the USA, with a 27% of the world’s Gross Domestic Product was the
world’s economic power

The poorest countries such as India & China, were barely making  4% of the world’s
GDP each.

Now let’s jump ahead in today’s world. Let’s look at the state of the economies, about 50 years later and see what changed:

The USA portion of the world’s GDP has dropped to 22%

The “poor” countries of fifty years ago are growing at a rate that in another
30 years or so their economies will surpass those of the USA, Western Europe,
and Japan together!

Population Growth: with 6.5 billion people, the world demographic results in increase in life
expectancy; drop in fertility rates; increase in population age.

This might enhance economic growth in Africa and other underdeveloped areas.

Labor flow: the world has about 180 million migrants today. This number could expand significantly when we consider those regions with low income.

Multinational agencies such as the World Bank, world Trade Organization, and International Monetary Fund, have a very important role to play particularly if they evolve and continue to offer more effectively the needed expertise on economic issues such as development, monetary policy, and trade.

With these relatively rapid changes come risks, this time of major consequences, i.e. the recent melt down of the financial markets that are creating a recessionary environment due to uncertainties and credit tightness. Continue reading The Challenge of Rapid Change in a Borderless World

Understanding Derivatives: Beyond Good and Evil

H. Nejat Seyhun, contributing writer to The BusinessThinker magazine, is the Jerome B. & Eilene M. York Professor of Business Administration and professor of finance, Ross School of Business, University of Michigan. He is an internationally  recognized authority on financial issues and Derivatives.

Derivatives are often viewed as mysterious and dangerous instruments and they are much maligned these days.  The most famous investor, Warren Buffet, referred to derivatives in Berkshire Hathaway’s 2002 Annual Report as ‘I view derivatives as time bombs, both for the parties that deal in them and the economic system.’ Buffet continued:  ‘The derivatives genie is now well out of the bottle, and these instruments will almost certainly multiply in variety and number until some event makes their toxicity clear. Central banks and governments have so far found no effective way to control, or even monitor, the risks posed by these contracts. In my view, derivatives are financial weapons of mass destruction, carrying dangers that, while now latent, are potentially lethal.’  These are strong words from a wise man.  Since we cannot put the genie back in the bottle, we have no choice but to deal with the genie. Continue reading Understanding Derivatives: Beyond Good and Evil