October 26, 2017

In 2015 the popular burrito chain Chipotle faced a crisis so large that some wondered if the company would ever recover. Towards the end of the year, stories about norovirus outbreaks originating from Chipotle restaurants became national news. People were shocked to learn how this supposedly safe and sustainable place to eat had poisoned hundreds of people with tainted produce. Soon Chipotle’s stock price dropped and its sales plummeted, leading many in the company to worry that its reputation Continue reading

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October 3, 2017

legosThe last decade has been a good one for the Danish company Lego. After surviving a brush with bankruptcy in 2004, the famous toymaker regrouped and pursued an aggressive sales strategy focused on creating popular product lines. The plan worked as brands like Lego Architecture and the Mindstorms series attracted thousands of fans both young and old. By 2010 profits had quadrupled from the same time two years before. The company has since released two hit movies while continuing to Continue reading

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August 3, 2017

timrockOver the course of four decades, more than 80,000 people have learned how to become McDonald’s managers on the the leafy grounds of Hamburger University. The company long considered this 86-acre Oak Brook, Illinois, institution to be the perfect place to train employees while also attracting top-level executives. Then last year McDonald’s surprised staff by announcing the company would move its headquarters out of the suburbs and into the West Loop of Chicago.

Located near an “L” train stop and Continue reading

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July 24, 2017

wedding-dressFrom now until the end of October, wedding season will be in full swing in the U.S. All over the country thousands of engaged couples are either ready to tie the knot or caught deep in the throes of the planning process. Of course, anyone who has taken part in a wedding knows just how agonizing they can be to organize. Whether it’s last minute cancellations from guests or caterers who can’t find the venue, weddings have a unique way Continue reading

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June 19, 2017

robert-scobleA few months ago we looked at how increased competition has hurt sales at Whole Foods and slowed its growth in recent years. Faced with the possibility of shutting down stores, CEO John Mackey cleared five people from the board of directors, appointed a new chairwoman, and hired a new CFO. Executives even developed plans to cut costs while also improving operations.

Then suddenly everything changed: last week Amazon announced that it would buy Whole Foods for $13.4 billion. This Continue reading

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April 25, 2017

chinese-companiesFor years tech giants like Facebook and Google have tried to set up shop in China only to see their efforts blocked by the country’s restrictive government. In place of these global brands, domestic companies like the search engine Baidu and the social network Weibo have flourished among China’s enormous Internet community. And in an ironic twist, this growing tech sector owes much of its success to the structure and culture of Silicon Valley’s biggest names.

Many Chinese companies are Continue reading

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March 9, 2017

SwedishSoftwareCompany-wo-CEOThree years ago, the staff of the Swedish software consulting firm Crisp felt it was time for a change in leadership. The company had been recently experimenting with its upper management structure, going from a standard CEO model to one that replaced the top executive annually through a staff vote. Then, a radical idea took root in the minds of Crisp’s employees. “We said, ‘what if we had nobody as our next CEO – what would that look like?’” said Continue reading

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March 7, 2017

LisaNottinghamIn recent years, many companies have sought to create work environments that place a heavy emphasis on collaboration. With flattened hierarchies and open door policies, these workplaces give employees easy access to managers and other top performers. The system is meant to improve office efficiency by allowing staffers to receive unique advice that makes their jobs easier.

But while regular employees can have their workloads lightened, managers quickly become overwhelmed by overly collaborative workplaces. After all, executives who spend much Continue reading

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February 16, 2017

KurtisGarbuttWhen Whole Foods launched in 1978, organic grocery stores were a unique concept for most of the country. As Americans became more health conscious, though, the Austin-based chain eventually expanded into an empire of 469 stores across three countries. In fact, the future for Whole Foods looked so bright that last year the company announced it would add 1,200 stores in the U.S.

But as 2017 arrived, the company’s long term outlook became far less optimistic. Now Whole Foods says Continue reading

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January 17, 2017

TorbakhopperRunning a small business takes a huge amount of work, so it’s not surprising that some entrepreneurs are more than happy to sell their companies if the right offer comes around. And according to data-tracking site BizBuySell, nearly 8,000 businesses did exactly that in 2016. This represents the largest number of small firms sold in a single year since data started getting collected in 2007.

But that doesn’t mean these companies were in financial trouble and needed outside buyers to Continue reading

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