Monday, January 26, 2015

Mega-Mergers Popular Again on Wall Street

By David Gelles

Global deal-making in 2014 has topped the $3 trillion mark in a year for only the fifth time and is up 50 percent from the same time a year ago, while acquisitions targeting American companies are up 65 percent, according to Thomson Reuters.

Yet there are some dark corners in the dazzling successes of Wall Street’s deal makers. Even as companies spend on mergers and acquisitions, they are not spending in other areas. Wage growth remains sluggish, and hiring is growing only modestly.

Moreover, whether or not mergers and acquisitions are even a positive for the economy — and for the companies striking them — remains a subject of debate. Mergers also often create redundancies, which can lead to job cuts.

“There is some evidence that deals may actually be detrimental to the economy, particularly these big bursts,” said Tara M. Sinclair, an associate professor of economics at George Washington University. “Economists are pretty divided as to whether they’re a good thing or a bad thing.”

Regulatory hurdles also threaten to complicate some of the most audacious mergers. Comcast’s proposed $45 billion takeover of Time Warner Cable remains under scrutiny by antitrust officials in Washington, who are examining whether the combination will hurt consumers.

In another instance, SoftBank, the Japanese firm that owns the wireless provider Sprint, backed away from a planned acquisition of T-Mobile USA after it became convinced that the deal would not pass muster with antitrust regulators. And Halliburton’s deal for Baker Hughes could also draw a close look.

“The thing I’ve been anxious about all year is that some regulatory activity blocks one of these deals, and then the M.&A. recovery slows down,” said Gregg R. Lemkau, global co-head of mergers and acquisitions at Goldman Sachs. “No C.E.O. wants to do a ‘bet the company deal’ and not get it done, and regulatory scrutiny could be a roadblock to this continuing.”

Already, the Obama administration effectively scuttled one mega-deal. After a flurry of so-called inversions, in which American companies bought overseas competitors and moved their headquarters abroad to reduce their tax bills, the TreasuryDepartment in September announced rules targeting the transactions.

Weeks later, AbbVie, a drug maker based near Chicago, walked away from a $54 billion agreement to acquire its Irish rival Shire. Other inversions in the works were put off, and few such deals have been announced in recent months.

Nonetheless, the size and variety of deals being tried reflect a new sense of ambition among many of the world’s biggest companies.

“There is a frenzy for M.&A. that is driven in part by the low cost and accessibility of capital, and the need for consolidation in many industries,” said Brent Saunders, chief executive of Actavis, which on Monday struck the biggest deal of the year.

Many of the larger deals have been driven by sweeping changes that are shaking up entire industries. Drug makers like Pfizer and Actavis are on the hunt for new products to fill in gaps in their offerings. The health care industry is responsible for much of the surge in deal-making this year, producing $423.6 billion in announced deals, or nearly double the next-busiest year.

Telecommunications firms sought to bolster their footprints across the country and gain more negotiating power with content providers. Comcast’s agreement to buy Time Warner Cable was followed by AT&T’s agreement to buy DirecTV for $48.5 billion. Even media giants like 21st Century Fox, run by Rupert Murdoch, looked to deal making, in part to give them more clout to use against distributors.

And companies like social networks and cigarette makers also got involved. Reynolds American is seeking to buy a rival tobacco company, Lorillard, for $27.4 billion, and Facebook acquired WhatsApp for $21.8 billion.

Facebook, like many other big companies, paid for its acquisitions largely with its own stock, which has risen along with the broader market this year. Those companies that needed to borrow billions to pay for costly acquisitions were emboldened by interest rates, which remain near record lows and show no signs of rising soon.

Another factor fueling deal making this year has been the presence of activist hedge funds. William A. Ackman’s hedge fund Pershing Square Capital Management had been working with another company, Valeant, in an effort to buy Allergan, putting the Botox maker in play for its eventual sale to Actavis. And Carl C. Icahn has successfully agitated for the sale of a number of companies, including Family Dollar.

The previous two merger booms preceded sharp economic downturns. The dot-com bubble burst in 2001, and the leveraged buyout surge was scuttled by the financial crisis. But this time, bankers are not bracing for another downturn.

“The buildup here has been more disciplined, longer and more methodical, which hopefully means that it will continue,” said Blair W. Effron, co-founder of Centerview Partners, an independent investment bank that has advised on many of the year’s big deals.

Yet more than anything, it is the sense of relative stability that has unleashed Wall Street’s deal makers. And until that changes — in the form of a stock market crash or another debt crisis — the merger boom seems likely to continue.

“This is another consistent piece of information that the economy really is doing well right now,” Ms. Sinclair, the economics professor, said. “But there’s also reason to be slightly concerned. When you see a bunch of deals all at once, you wonder that if this is, once again, irrational exuberance.”

Global deal-making in 2014 has topped the $3 trillion mark in a year for only the fifth time and is up 50 percent from the same time a year ago, while acquisitions targeting American companies are up 65 percent, according to Thomson Reuters.

Yet there are some dark corners in the dazzling successes of Wall Street’s deal makers. Even as companies spend on mergers and acquisitions, they are not spending in other areas. Wage growth remains sluggish, and hiring is growing only modestly.

Moreover, whether or not mergers and acquisitions are even a positive for the economy — and for the companies striking them — remains a subject of debate. Mergers also often create redundancies, which can lead to job cuts.

“There is some evidence that deals may actually be detrimental to the economy, particularly these big bursts,” said Tara M. Sinclair, an associate professor of economics at George Washington University. “Economists are pretty divided as to whether they’re a good thing or a bad thing.”

Regulatory hurdles also threaten to complicate some of the most audacious mergers. Comcast’s proposed $45 billion takeover of Time Warner Cable remains under scrutiny by antitrust officials in Washington, who are examining whether the combination will hurt consumers.

In another instance, SoftBank, the Japanese firm that owns the wireless provider Sprint, backed away from a planned acquisition of T-Mobile USA after it became convinced that the deal would not pass muster with antitrust regulators. And Halliburton’s deal for Baker Hughes could also draw a close look.

“The thing I’ve been anxious about all year is that some regulatory activity blocks one of these deals, and then the M.&A. recovery slows down,” said Gregg R. Lemkau, global co-head of mergers and acquisitions at Goldman Sachs. “No C.E.O. wants to do a ‘bet the company deal’ and not get it done, and regulatory scrutiny could be a roadblock to this continuing.”

Already, the Obama administration effectively scuttled one mega-deal. After a flurry of so-called inversions, in which American companies bought overseas competitors and moved their headquarters abroad to reduce their tax bills, the TreasuryDepartment in September announced rules targeting the transactions.

Weeks later, AbbVie, a drug maker based near Chicago, walked away from a $54 billion agreement to acquire its Irish rival Shire. Other inversions in the works were put off, and few such deals have been announced in recent months.

Nonetheless, the size and variety of deals being tried reflect a new sense of ambition among many of the world’s biggest companies.

“There is a frenzy for M.&A. that is driven in part by the low cost and accessibility of capital, and the need for consolidation in many industries,” said Brent Saunders, chief executive of Actavis, which on Monday struck the biggest deal of the year.

Many of the larger deals have been driven by sweeping changes that are shaking up entire industries. Drug makers like Pfizer and Actavis are on the hunt for new products to fill in gaps in their offerings. The health care industry is responsible for much of the surge in deal-making this year, producing $423.6 billion in announced deals, or nearly double the next-busiest year.

Telecommunications firms sought to bolster their footprints across the country and gain more negotiating power with content providers. Comcast’s agreement to buy Time Warner Cable was followed by AT&T’s agreement to buy DirecTV for $48.5 billion. Even media giants like 21st Century Fox, run by Rupert Murdoch, looked to deal making, in part to give them more clout to use against distributors.


And companies like social networks and cigarette makers also got involved. Reynolds American is seeking to buy a rival tobacco company, Lorillard, for $27.4 billion, and Facebook acquired WhatsApp for $21.8 billion.

Facebook, like many other big companies, paid for its acquisitions largely with its own stock, which has risen along with the broader market this year. Those companies that needed to borrow billions to pay for costly acquisitions were emboldened by interest rates, which remain near record lows and show no signs of rising soon.

Another factor fueling deal making this year has been the presence of activist hedge funds. William A. Ackman’s hedge fund Pershing Square Capital Management had been working with another company, Valeant, in an effort to buy Allergan, putting the Botox maker in play for its eventual sale to Actavis. And Carl C. Icahn has successfully agitated for the sale of a number of companies, including Family Dollar.

The previous two merger booms preceded sharp economic downturns. The dot-com bubble burst in 2001, and the leveraged buyout surge was scuttled by the financial crisis. But this time, bankers are not bracing for another downturn.

“The buildup here has been more disciplined, longer and more methodical, which hopefully means that it will continue,” said Blair W. Effron, co-founder of Centerview Partners, an independent investment bank that has advised on many of the year’s big deals.

Yet more than anything, it is the sense of relative stability that has unleashed Wall Street’s deal makers. And until that changes — in the form of a stock market crash or another debt crisis — the merger boom seems likely to continue.

“This is another consistent piece of information that the economy really is doing well right now,” Ms. Sinclair, the economics professor, said. “But there’s also reason to be slightly concerned. When you see a bunch of deals all at once, you wonder that if this is, once again, irrational exuberance.”

Friday, January 23, 2015

Why You Lead Determines How Well You Lead

By Tom Kolditz,

One of the most telling questions you can ask someone in any kind of leadership role is what motivates them to be a better leader. Some will say it’s to enhance their personal effectiveness, or that leading is an expected part of their professional development. Others may say that they lead because of a sense of leader identity, purpose, or personal obligation to serve their organization and the people with whom they work. Many will proffer a mix of instrumental, external motivations (like pay or career progression) and more intrinsic, internal rationales (like the obligation to serve). The group with a combination of motives has the most reasons to lead, and so it seems intuitively reasonable to assume that they would be the most committed, high performing leaders. Right?

In a recent article published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, colleagues and I examined this assumption. Our study, massive in scale, tracked more than 10,000 Army leaders from their entrance into West Point, through graduation, and well into their careers. For perspective, the sample represents approximately 20% of the living graduates of West Point. We examined the motivations driving their decision to attend the Academy and become Army leaders, and we looked at their performance and potential as leaders in the years following their graduation. A key leader performance measure was identification of early promotion potential. Army performance appraisals are designed to compare officers’ performance to the organization’s leadership framework. Each annual performance appraisal gauged the officer’s potential to lead at higher levels, as judged by immediate and higher-level supervisors serving in positions to observe officers’ demonstrated performance in leader roles.

As one might predict, we found that those with internal, intrinsic motives performed better than those with external, instrumental rationales for their service — a common finding in studies of motivation. We were surprised to find, however, that those with both internal and external rationales proved to be worse investments as leaders than those with fewer, but predominantly internal, motivations. Adding external motives didn’t make leaders perform better — additional motivations reduced the selection to top leadership by more than 20%. Thus, external motivations, even atop strong internal motivations, were leadership poison.

Many believe that the best way to influence behavior is to incentivize it, and such external incentives certainly work with lab rats. In our study, however, adding external incentives clearly did not improve leader performance. In practice, consider leaders in the Veteran’s Health Administration, most of whom have strong, internal motivations to serve America’s veterans. Yet add hefty bonuses as motivation, and the VA finds itself with a significant leadership problem, where some administrators appear to have lost sight of the core purpose of the organization. One step in righting the ship will be a renewed focus on the internal motivation to help sick and injured veterans. Robert McDonald, awaiting confirmation as the new Secretary of Veteran’s Affairs, wrote about his own internal motive to lead while CEO of Procter & Gamble. In a personally authored document titled “What I Believe In,” McDonald kicks off three pages of leadership principles by first describing his motivation to lead:

“Living a life driven by purpose is more meaningful and rewarding than meandering through life without direction. My life’s purpose is to improve lives. This operates on many levels. I work to improve the lives of the 6.5 billion people in the world with P&G brands, and I work every day to have a positive impact in the life of just one person.”

One of the longstanding dichotomies in the field of leader development is whether to teach leadership as skills that lead to higher performance (a competency-based model that is relatively easy to metric), or to teach leadership as a complex moral relationship between the leader and the led (a values-based model that is challenging to metric). Our study demonstrates that those who lead primarily from values-based motivations, which are inherently internal, outperform those who lead with additional instrumental outcomes and rewards.

The implications of this study for leader development — and practice — are profound. In business, the cost of leader development programs is often measured, or at least estimated, as an instrumental consequence — an increase in performance of the organization resulting in a return on investment for the program. This is reasonable, given estimates that place the annual cost of leader development at more than $60B . It is important, though, that talent managers and executive decision makers do not allow external consequences of leader development to become external motivations among organizational leaders. If those we seek to develop as leaders adopt external justifications for leading well — such as an increase in shareholder value, better pay or perquisites, or increased profits — they are likely to be less successful as leaders in comparison to those who seek to lead for more internal, intrinsic reasons alone.

If you aspire to lead in business or society, first ask yourself, “Why do I want to be a leader?” The answer to that question, as it turns out, will make a significant difference in how well you lead.


Brigadier General (Ret.) Tom Kolditz is a Professor in the Practice of Leadership and Management and Director of the Leadership Development Program at the Yale School of Management. His experience as a leader development expert spans four decades in the public, private, and social sectors. To learn more about Tom Kolditz or to book him for your next event, follow this link to Tom's bio page at BigSpeak Speakers Bureau.



Thursday, January 22, 2015

7 Valuable Leadership Lessons From LinkedIn's Billionaire Founder

By Richard Feloni,

After getting a master's degree in philosophy from Oxford in 1993, Reid Hoffman was ready to enter the world of academia. But a job at Apple started a career in tech that eventually led him to cofound LinkedIn in 2002.

Today, Hoffman is a Silicon Valley power player with an estimated net worth of $4 billion, and LinkedIn has a market capitalization of about $26 billion. He serves as the executive chairman of LinkedIn and partner of venture capital firm Greylock.

Entrepreneur and author Ben Casnocha has worked closely with Hoffman since 2010, collaborating on the books "The Start-up of You" and "The Alliance," and serving as Hoffman's chief of staff from 2012 to 2014.

In Casnocha's new blog post, "10,000 Hours with Reid Hoffman: Lessons on Business and Life," he reflects on the time spent with his mentor. We've summarized seven of the leadership lessons he learned from Hoffman.

1. Recognize that everyone has flaws, but acknowledge their strengths.

Casnocha writes that Hoffman doesn't fall into the easy trap of seeing people in a binary way, as in brilliant or an idiot, ethical or conniving.

Hoffman, Casnocha writes, "appreciates the full spectrum of strengths and weaknesses of a particular person. He'll comment on a friend's character flaw — say, self-centeredness — but in the next breath note one of their unique strengths. Flaws that cause others to completely disengage are, for Reid, 'navigable' (to use a Reid-ism) en route to their better side."

2. The best way to get powerful people's attention is to offer them value.

"As chief of staff, I reviewed thousands of requests for Reid's time/attention/money. It was stunning how few requesters offered to help him on something," Casnocha writes.

If you're looking to connect with someone important, offer them information that only you can provide, Casnocha says. You're fighting for the attention of someone who is tremendously busy. Stand out from the crowd by explaining why you're worth their time.

3. Move fast, keep things simple, and trust your employees.

Casnocha says that Hoffman has never formally studied corporate strategy, but he's developed his own three-tiered approach based on speed, simplicity, and empowerment.

"If you move quickly, there'll be mistakes borne of haste. If you're a manager and care seriously about speed, you'll need to tell your people you're willing to accept the tradeoffs," Casnocha writes.

Hoffman told him that he's willing to accept a mistake rate of 10% to 20% for the sake of speed, with one caveat: While startup managers should move extremely fast, they need to slow down their decision-making process as the company grows.

Along with speed comes focus, which means that your company's direction should be clear enough that you and your team know exactly how to move forward.

And finally, trust your managers to make their own decisions. Communicate that the strategy you pass onto them is subject to any changes they think will work best. Maximize efficiency, and avoid micromanaging.


4. Let people know they're appreciated.

There are times when you praise someone's work simply because they deserve it and you're being kind. It's important to understand, however, that your superiors appreciate flattery the same way that your underlings do, even if they act as though they don't.

"Reid is a student of self-deception behavior and builds mental models for specific people and the areas where there tends to be a gap between their self-perception and reality. One common case of this has to do with flattery," Casnocha writes. Even if someone acts like they're above compliments, use them at key moments and things will go more smoothly.

That said, only offer these compliments if you mean them, Casnocha writes, since your superiors can easily detect when you're sucking up and not think the better of you for it.

And finally, treat everyone you encounter in your career with respect. Casnocha remembers the time when former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer warmly introduced himself to him and Hoffman, while a tech exec's publicist shook Hoffman's hand but acted as though Casnocha didn't exist. Sometimes the lower-profile people you encounter are more powerful than you think, or will be one day.

5. Be upfront with any misaligned objectives you may have with whoever you're working with.

When Casnocha and Hoffman met with Random House for their first book, they made it clear that they were more interested in getting readers than reaping a profit, and floated the idea of offering a free ebook version, which the publisher didn't like. "This misalignment didn't torpedo the deal. But being aware of it helped us better navigate the ongoing relationship," Casnocha writes.

"Make misalignments explicit with yourself and the other party so that if and when they rear their head, neither side is surprised."

6. Prioritize personality over skill set when hiring.

Casnocha says that Hoffman believes you should, "Trade up on trust, even if it means you have to trade down on competency a bit." That is, the trust you have in someone is ultimately more important than their résumé, since if they're capable enough, they can always learn a new skill.

Casnocha says he benefited from this personally. After he and Hoffman built a strong degree of trust in each other, Hoffman would give Casnocha assignments that he wasn't necessarily the best qualified for on paper, but they moved forward with "lightning speed" because they knew how the other worked.

7. Surround yourself with people you admire.

This is the most important lesson of all, Casnocha says.

"[T]he people you spend the most time with will change you in ways you cannot anticipate or ever fully understand after the fact. The most important choice of all is who you choose to surround yourself with."

You can read the full essay, which includes an in-depth look at 16 lessons, at Casnocha's blog.


Ben Casnocha is an award-winning entrepreneur, author, and executive in Silicon Valley. He is coauthor with LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman of the recent New York Times bestseller The Alliance: Managing Talent in the Networked Age, which has become one of the most sought-after management frameworks on how to recruit, manage, and retain entrepreneurial employees. He is also co-author with Reid of The Start-Up of You: Adapt to the Future, Invest in Yourself, and Transform Your Career, the bestselling guide to the new world of work. To learn more about Ben Casnocha or to book him for your next event, follow this link to Ben's bio page at BigSpeak Speakers Bureau.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

How To Turn Cold Emails Into Conversations & Clients

By Aaron Ross,

Heather R. Morgan runs a B2B cold emailing consultancy, and these are some of her tips…

What’s the difference between the cold email template that no one opens or responds to and the one that generates leads from dozens of new customers?

Is it the subject line, the length, the way the copy was written, or the content (and the ideas in that content)?

The answer is a combination of all of the above. If you have a good targeted list and your response rate is less than 10% with personalized emails, then your emails could use some work.


Great Company, Crappy Emails

Earlier this year, a B2B company came to me for help with their outbound emails. They offered an incredible service for SaaS companies, but weren’t very successful with cold email: response rates were below 2%. In about a month of working together I created a single email template that got them more than 16 new customers.

Why Their Emails Were Bad Before

#1) Too long: No one wants to read a mini e-book in an email.

#2) Tried to make too many points: They have an amazing product, but highlighting too many value props confused people.

#3) Too “Me Me Me”: Their emails talked way too much about why they were awesome, listing their company’s features instead of putting it in terms of value for the customer.

#4) Too Hipster: They wanted to seem young and modern, but all their fancy marketing automation templates made their cold emails seem impersonal and spammy, even with custom inserts. No one thinks they’re getting a personal email if it’s too pretty.

Remember: Keep It Simple.



Aaron Ross is the best-selling author of Predictable Revenue: Turn Your Business into a Sales Machine With The $100 Million Best Practices of Salesforce.com. Called "The Sales Bible of the Silicon Valley," the book has been #1 on amazon's telemarketing list for over 2 years. To learn more about Aaron Ross or to book him for your next event, follow this link to Aaron's bio page at BigSpeak Speakers Bureau.



Monday, January 19, 2015

My Top 10 Quotes On Failure

By Sir Richard Branson

Every person, and especially every entrepreneur, should embrace failure with open arms. It is only through failure that we learn. Many of the world’s finest minds have learned this the hard way – here are some my favourite quotes on the importance of failure, and the road to success.

10. When we give ourselves permission to fail, we, at the same time, give ourselves permission to excel.

- Eloise Ristad

9. Success is most often achieved by those who don’t know that failure is inevitable.

- Coco Chanel

8. The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one.

– Elbert Hubbard

7. Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly. 

- Robert F. Kennedy

6. Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.

- Winston Churchill

5. One who fears failure limits his activities. Failure is only the opportunity to more intelligently begin again.

- Henry Ford

4. The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall. 

- Ralph Waldo Emerson

3. Develop success from failures. Discouragement and failure are two of the surest stepping stones to success. 

- Dale Carnegie

2. I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.

- Michael Jordan

1. I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.

- Thomas A. Edison



Sir Richard Branson is the founder and president of Virgin Group. Virgin is one of the world's most recognized and respected brands and has expanded into aviation, hospitality and leisure, telecommunications, financial services, health and wellness, and clean energy through more than 200 companies worldwide, employing approximately 50,000 people in over 30 countries. One of Richard Branson's newest ventures, Virgin America, was recognized as "Best Domestic Airline" by Travel + Leisure's "2007 World's Best" Awards.  To learn more about Sir Richard Branson or to book his for your next event, follow this link to Richard's bio page at BigSpeak Speakers Bureau.


Friday, January 16, 2015

Certified Professional Innovator


We are excited to announce the launch of the Certified Professional Innovator Certificate Program by Jeff DeGraff and University of Michigan-MConneX. The course will cover topics such as Prismatic Thinking, Innovation Growth and Setting High Quality Targets.

This program is designed to develop highly practiced innovation and growth leaders. It will provide the necessary tools and techniques to stimulate and lead innovation. Leaders will be given frameworks and methods for strategizing, developing, and implementing innovative solutions. The aim of the program is to provide leaders with the perspective and skill base necessary to manage breakthrough innovation-focused projects, people, and ventures.

The program will emphasize how innovation tools and methods can be successfully employed in real work environments. It will consist of several basic components which include:

  • Innovation Leadership Assessment
  • 14 instructional videos and self-paced modules about the fundamental innovation principles, method, and process
  • A CPI workbook for the 14 video modules
  • A two-day jumpstart boot camp where participants craft their innovation challenge and create an action plan to develop a solution
  • Bi-weekly group coaching and teleconference for 90 days after the boot camp to build on momentum, keep participants focused and projects moving along, and help participants develop a proof of concept/prototype
  • Project review teleconference where participants present a venture capital committee style short pitch summarizing their innovation project, its progress, key insights, and future plans

Each segment of the program is designed to engage leaders in action based learning experiences and to develop real expertise in innovation. In this rigorous, multi-media program, you will explore and master research-proven and real world-tested methods in a minimal amount of time.

To learn more or enroll, please click here.


Jeff DeGraff is a world-renowned professor, speaker and innovation guru. Referred to as the “Dean of Innovation,” Jeff’s expertise has been shared globally at top innovation incubators and think tanks such as the Aspen Institute and with companies that include Eaton, GM, SPX, 3M, Apple, Coca-Cola, GE, Johnson & Johnson, LG, Pfizer, and Toyota.  To learn more about Jeff DeGraff or to book his for your next event, follow this link to Jeff's bio page at BigSpeak Speakers Bureau.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Redefining Partnership

By Kate Vitasek,

When you hear the word “partnership,” what does it really mean to you? And what does it mean for your business partner?

All too often I find individuals and organizations are not on the same page with a foundational definition of what they mean when they toss out this term. And this causes mistrust and misalignment of intentions, and almost inevitably, outcomes. For example:

  • I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve heard suppliers proclaim, “When I hear the word ‘partnership,’ most of the time I find that means my clients want me to start giving them all kinds of things for free.”
  • In one workshop I recently hosted with procurement executives, they felt that when a supplier talks about a “being more strategic” it’s basically a code word that means they want access to their data and their end customer data so they can use it against them in the future.
  • And of course, there are the hundreds of operational executives who roll their eyes when they are told by their legal departments that “you can’t call your strategic suppliers ‘partners’ because that is a technical legal term that puts you at risk.”

The next time you hear the word “partnership,” stop and ask those in the room to define what they really mean, and why they have those views. In doing so you mind find yourself on the way to beginning a highly collaborative relationship that turns into a bona fide win-win partnership—just by creating a shared vision of what you mean.


Lauded by World Trade Magazine as one of the "Fabulous 50+1" most influential people impacting global commerce, author, educator and business consultant Kate Vitasek is an international authority for her award-winning research and Vested® business model for highly collaborative relationships. To learn more about Kate Vitasek or to book her for your next event, follow this link to Kate's bio page at BigSpeak Speakers Bureau.