9 websites to help you find remote work or freelance jobs quickly - Business Insider - Business Insider

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9 websites to help you find remote work or freelance jobs quickly - Business Insider - Business Insider9 websites to help you find remote work or freelance jobs quickly - Business Insider - Business InsiderPosted: 01 Apr 2020 04:08 AM PDT Millions of Americans have lost their job in the wake of the novel coronavirus pandemic. At the same time, companies that are still in business are going remote where possible, meaning that now is a great time to look for remote work. Here are nine remote-focused job searching platforms to look through, including Remote.co, Outsourcely.com, and JustRemote.co. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.A lot of Americans are looking for a remote job right now. Amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, more companies like restaurants and gyms are shutting their doors and laying off Americans by the hundreds of thousands. A record 3.3 million jobless claims were filed for the week ending in March 21, up from 281,000 the week before. But that's…

Why Innovation Management is Important for Your Company – 3 Strategic Reasons - Business 2 Community

Why Innovation Management is Important for Your Company – 3 Strategic Reasons - Business 2 Community


Why Innovation Management is Important for Your Company – 3 Strategic Reasons - Business 2 Community

Posted: 03 Feb 2020 07:04 AM PST

"Innovate or stagnate." It's a stark choice that businesses across all sectors must confront daily. Although many decision makers at large companies recognize the importance of innovation, most fail to implement it in a strategic, consistent, and effective way. A recent study by McKinsey & Company found that 84% of executives agreed innovation was important for their growth strategy, but only 6% said they were satisfied with innovation performance. In this article, we'll explore why innovation management is important for any company looking to remain competitive on the corporate landscape.

In a nutshell, innovation management can be defined as the methodical process of introducing 'something new' to an organization – be it a product, service, model, etc. It's the practice of implementing strategies to introduce this change in a way that best benefits an organization.

Now we've got a clearer picture of what innovation management is, let's explore why the practice is important for driving ongoing business success.

1. It Amplifies Employee Engagement

Michael Jordan once said, "talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships." These words of wisdom could just as easily apply to the benefits of creating an engaging innovation culture. You may have talented employees with great ideas. However, they will have little impact on your company unless they are encouraged to combine their intelligence with other employees, and work as a team to reach overarching innovation goals.

By implementing innovation management, you can create a company-spanning ecosystem where employees feel engaged and incentivised to contribute their ideas. Here are just a few methods you can use to sustain this ecosystem.

In this Business Insider interview, Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos discusses how his company has formulated a thriving innovation culture that helps ensure that employee talents are brought to the surface.

  • Add Gamification Elements: This could entail offering prizes to employees who contribute suggestions that are adopted, or running innovation competitions that involve departments, select teams, or even external startups. Participants are more likely to contribute productively in a project that is structured like a game, rather than one that feels like another standard procedure.
  • Develop a Communication Strategy: Create emails, newsletters, posters, and other communication materials to build the hype around innovation projects. This will let employees know that their input will be valued.
  • Keep the Conversation Going: Establish an online space where employees can collaborate around innovation projects, as well as upvote and comment on new ideas.

In addition to offering fertile ground in which new ideas can, an innovation ecosystem can also reveal areas where internal improvements can take place.

2. It Helps You Identify and Implement the Best Ideas

Why Innovation Management is Important - total

The 'Tilt' open innovation platform – powered by Qmarkets – allowed Total S.A to glean valuable insights form consumers.

Innovation management makes it possible to systematize the process of capturing, refining, and implementing groundbreaking ideas. To drive innovation, you'll need to have a process in place to solicit ideas from target audiences (employees, customers, partners, etc.) and then sort the 'gold' from the 'gravel'. Innovation management involves developing these processes in a repeatable, scalable way.

French energy giant Total S.A is a great example of a company that deployed an open innovation management strategy to capture profit-driving ideas. In 2015, Total S.A utilized the Qmarkets platform on their website to create their 'Tilt' program – a space where customers could contribute ideas in three categories (each representing a side of the company's offerings) – "My Home", "My Car", and "My Fuel Station". All ideas could be voted on by other users, and the submissions that received the most votes were evaluated for implementation. Users who submitted ideas selected for implementation were awarded with physical gifts (iPads, fuel cards, etc.) encouraging greater participation. As a result of the initiative, Total S.A was able to uncover invaluable insights for improving their offerings, while also letting their clientele know that they cared about their needs – humanizing their brand in the process.

Here are just some of the ways you can utilize innovation management to identify, develop, and implement valuable ideas.

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  • Harness Employee Expertise: Encourage employee innovation with brainstorming sessions and co-creation tasks. It may seem old fashioned, but having an online 'suggestion box' for random ideas could also help you find diamonds in the rough.
  • Capture Creativity from Outside Sources : Crowdsource key insights from customers, partners, and other external stakeholders via open innovation
  • Unleash the Competitive Instinct: Run hackathons to add a competitive dimension to innovation projects and incentivise internal and external stakeholders to contribute their best ideas.
  • Streamline Idea Workflows: Develop the funnel your ideas must progress through to become actualized, adding key approval 'gateways' and assigning the decision makers who must oversee them.

By using a combination of these approaches, you can help ensure that ideation at your company yields the best possible results.

3. It Can Ensure Outstanding and Repeatable ROI

The old adage "you can't manage what you can't measure" holds particularly true when it comes to innovation. Although it's vital to have the mechanisms in place to uncover great ideas, it's just as critical to monitor how these ideas progress towards implementation and assess the impact they have on your bottom line.

Part of what makes innovation management so indispensable is that it gives companies a way to 'incubate' ideas – ensuring they are developed with input from multiple stakeholders so they are primed to generate optimal ROI. Incubation could involve assigning experts from relevant departments to assess the viability of an idea, enabling customers to vote on a range of new product options, or simply giving employees a means to upvote and comment on innovative suggestions.

Why Innovation Management is Important - stats

One of the primary reasons why innovation management is important is that it allows new ideas to be actualized in a way that is methodical and supported by data. The Qmarkets platform makes it easy to manage all aspects of idea 'incubation' , as well as track the ROI of innovation projects.

A central component of innovation management is the gathering of key metrics – profits gained, market adoption levels, positive feedback, etc. – that can inform adjustments that need to be made for future projects. This, in turn, can help minimize the risk and uncertainty associated with the development of new products and services, as well as reveal what innovative practices consistently generate value. Armed with this data, you can take your innovation endeavours from strength to strength.

Generate Genius with Innovation Management Software

Given the points above, it's easy to see why innovation management is important for companies across all sectors. The next question you're likely asking is, "how can I implement this practice at my business?". The answer – in short – is innovation management software.

Qmarkets offers a comprehensive range of collective intelligence platforms, each designed to help you manage innovation in a way that accommodates the needs of your enterprise. With Qmarkets software, you can:

✔ Use an array of customizable features for boosting employee engagement and facilitating co-creation around innovation tasks

✔ Implement ideation workflows – informed by field-proven best practices – to gather, develop, and implement ideas for full effect

✔ Meticulously measure all aspects of your innovation projects with advanced reporting and analytical tools

✔ Launch and manage open innovation projects to gain insights from partners, customers, and other external stakeholders

Remember, innovation is the lifeblood of any successful company. It's the power that transforms crisis into opportunity and alters the disruptive currents on the corporate landscape. Managing this tremendous force should be a constant priority.


Analyze Competitors for High-traffic Content Ideas - Practical Ecommerce

Posted: 03 Feb 2020 10:24 AM PST

Ecommerce competitors can be a good source of inspiration and ideas. Analyzing a competitor's content — good or bad — could generate ideas for your own company's articles, videos, podcasts, or similar.

In this post, I'll look at a simple way to produce content marketing ideas from your competitors' best-performing pages using Ahrefs, the search-engine-optimization tool.

Identify Competitors

If you don't already have a list of your store's top competitors, create one.

For example, imagine that we are about to launch an online store that sells high-end, second-hand cookware.

The company's virtual shelves would contain gently used enamel-coated cast-iron Dutch ovens, braisers, and saucepans. The brands might include Le Creuset, Zwilling, and Cristel Castel' Pro.

If you were selling used cookware online, your site would feature well-known brands, such as Le Creuset. <em>Source: Le Creuset.</em>

If you were selling used cookware online, your site would feature well-known brands, such as Le Creuset. Source: Le Creuset.

For the sake of generating content ideas, the aim is to find a narrow set of competitors. For example, if you search DuckDuckGo for "Le Creuset," you could find results from the manufacturer's website, Williams-Sonoma, Sur La Table, and Amazon.

Of these, the first three are likely good choices for our purposes as Amazon has too broad an inventory to be useful for finding cookware-related ideas.

Next, use an SEO tool, such as Ahrefs, to further identify worthy or useful competitors.

In Ahrefs, navigate to the Site Explorer tab. Enter a competitor's domain — Surlatable.com, for example.

Ahrefs' Site Explorer provides backlink data for individual domains. It is a starting place for both identifying competitors and finding potential topics.

Ahrefs' Site Explorer provides backlink data for individual domains. It is a starting place for both identifying competitors and finding potential topics.

The resulting page on Ahrefs includes info about the Sur La Table website, including its Ahrefs rank, a backlink count, and its estimated organic traffic.

A result page from Site Explorer will be the hub from which we find information about competitors.

A result page from Site Explorer will be the hub from which we find information about competitors.

In the left-hand column, there is a link to the "Competing domains" report, which should help us add to a list of competitive sites from which we want to glean some content ideas.

Use the "Competing domains" report to help you identify competitive stores.

Use the "Competing domains" report to help you identify competitive stores.

Not every site on this report would make sense for our example. But we would be interested in those that have many keywords in common with Sur La Table. Don't be surprised if you find a few blogs or online journals on the list too. These sites can also be a good source of topic ideas.

Blogs or online journals can be a good source of topic ideas in addition to ecommerce competitors.

Blogs or online journals can be a good source of topic ideas in addition to ecommerce competitors.

Combine your knowledge of the industry with the companies we found on DuckDuckGo's search results page (or Google's) and the competing domains list in Ahrefs should produce a substantial list of competitors.

Top Pages

For each competitive site on the list, use Site Explorer. The result page is the same one we used to find competing domains. We now want the "Top pages" report — a few blue links above "Competing domains" — as it's the next step in generating content ideas from competitors. This report will show us which pages get the most traffic for a competitor in view.

The Top pages report will show which pages get the most traffic for the competitor in view.

The Top pages report will show which pages get the most traffic for the competitor in view.

If we use the Top pages report for Williams-Sonoma, for example, we would find that about 7,760 visitors are hitting the store's Le Creuset landing page from organic search results each month, making it the fifth most popular page on Williams-Sonoma's site.

The Le Creuset page, however, is only supported by 32 referring domains, which could make it a relatively easy target. Perhaps our used cookware store should create some click-worthy content about French enameled pots.

Look for pages with a fair amount of traffic but relatively few referring domains.

Look for pages with a fair amount of traffic but relatively few referring domains.

Similarly, we might notice that Williams-Sonoma's recipe landing page receives the sixth-highest organic search traffic, at 7,196 monthly visitors. Thus, we might want to include a few key recipes.

Keywords

As you repeat this process for every competitor on the list, look at the keywords associated with each of the top pages.

For example, when reviewing the top pages for the Le Creuset website, one result was a "care and use" page, which ranks for 1,001 keywords, including the phrases "season cast iron skillet" and "how to season cast iron pan."

The keywords that a page ranks for could help generate article or video ideas for your ecommerce business.

The keywords that a page ranks for could help generate article or video ideas for your ecommerce business.

Each keyword phrase in this portion of the Ahrefs' report is a link. Click it and see detailed information. For example, the phrase "season cast iron skillet" has a keyword difficulty score of 34, meaning any content we created around seasoning skillets would need to earn approximately 43 backlinks to have a shot at breaking into the top 10 results on a Google search results page.

Ahrefs ranking difficulty score for season cast iron skillet

Ahrefs estimates how many backlinks you will need for your new content to rank in the top 10 search results. "Season cast iron skillet" would require 43 linking websites.

Ahrefs offers additional help a bit further down the page, listing out questions related to the keyword phrase in view. These questions could help us produce meaningful content ideas.

Drilling down to the questions for a specific keyword should solidify traffic-generating topic ideas.

Drilling down to the questions for a specific keyword should solidify traffic-generating topic ideas.

This is especially true when combining our industry knowledge. For example, Le Creuset's website was ranking for "how to season a cast-iron skillet," but its products are enameled and, therefore, don't require seasoning. So you might write an article or create a video entitled "Why you don't need to season a Le Creuset cast-iron pan."

How McKinsey Destroyed the Middle Class - The Atlantic

Posted: 03 Feb 2020 03:30 AM PST

When Pete Buttigieg accepted a position at the management consultancy McKinsey & Company, he already had sterling credentials: high-school valedictorian, a bachelor's degree from Harvard, a Rhodes Scholarship. He could have taken any number of jobs and, moreover, had no obvious interest in business. Nevertheless, he joined the firm.

This move was predictable, not eccentric: The top graduates of elite colleges typically pass through McKinsey or a similar firm before settling into their adult career. But the conventional nature of the career path makes it more, not less, worthy of examination. How did this come to pass? And what consequences has the rise of management consulting had for the organization of American business and the lives of American workers?

The answers to these questions put management consultants at the epicenter of economic inequality and the destruction of the American middle class. The answers also explain why the Democratic Party's left wing is so suspicious of the nice and obviously impressive young man who wishes to be president.

Management consultants advise managers on how to run companies; McKinsey alone serves management at 90 of the world's 100 largest corporations. Managers do not produce goods or deliver services. Instead, they plan what goods and services a company will provide, and they coordinate the production workers who make the output. Because complex goods and services require much planning and coordination, management (even though it is only indirectly productive) adds a great deal of value. And managers as a class capture much of this value as pay. This makes the question of who gets to be a manager extremely consequential.

In the middle of the last century, management saturated American corporations. Every worker, from the CEO down to production personnel, served partly as a manager, participating in planning and coordination along an unbroken continuum in which each job closely resembled its nearest neighbor. Elaborately layered middle managers—or "organization men"—coordinated production among long-term employees. In turn, companies taught workers the skills they needed to rise up the ranks. At IBM, for example, a 40-year worker might spend more than four years, or 10 percent, of his work life in fully paid, IBM-provided training.

Mid-century labor unions (which represented a third of the private-sector workforce), organized the lower rungs of a company's hierarchy into an additional control center—as part of what the United States Supreme Court, writing in 1960, called "industrial self-government"—and in this way also contributed to the management function. Even production workers became, on account of lifetime employment and workplace training, functionally the lowest-level managers. They were charged with planning and coordinating the development of their own skills to serve the long-run interests of their employers.

The mid-century corporation's workplace training and many-layered hierarchy built a pipeline through which the top jobs might be filled. The saying "from the mail room to the corner office" captured something real, and even the most menial jobs opened pathways to promotion. In 1939, for example, all save two of the grocery chain Safeway's division managers had started their careers behind the checkout counter. At McDonalds, Ed Rensi worked his way up from flipping burgers in the 1960s to become CEO. More broadly, a 1952 report by Fortune magazine found that two-thirds of senior executives had more than 20 years' service at their current companies.

Middle managers, able to plan and coordinate production independently of elite-executive control, shared not just the responsibilities but also the income and status gained from running their companies. Top executives enjoyed commensurately less control and captured lower incomes. This democratic approach to management compressed the distribution of income and status. In fact, a mid-century study of General Motors published in the Harvard Business Review—completed, in a portent of what was to come, by McKinsey's Arch Patton—found that from 1939 to 1950, hourly workers' wages rose roughly three times faster than elite executives' pay. The management function's wide diffusion throughout the workforce substantially built the mid-century middle class.

At the time of Patton's study, McKinsey and other management consultants still played a relatively minor role in how American companies were run. The earliest consultants were engineers who advised factory owners on measuring and improving efficiency at the complex factories required for industrial production. The then-leading firm, Booz Allen, did not achieve annual revenues of $2 million until after the Second World War. McKinsey, which didn't hire its first Harvard M.B.A. until 1953, retained a diffident and traditional ethos—requiring its consultants to wear fedoras until President John F. Kennedy stopped wearing his.

Things changed in the 1960s, with McKinsey leading the way. In 1965 and 1966, the firm placed help-wanted ads in The New York Times and Time magazine, with the goal of generating applications that it could then reject, to establish its own eliteness. McKinsey's competitors followed suit, as when the Boston Consulting Group's Bruce Henderson took out ads in the Harvard Business School student newspaper seeking to hire "not just the run-of-that-mill but, instead, scholars—Rhodes Scholars, Marshall Scholars, Baker Scholars (the top 5 percent of the class)."

A new ideal of shareholder primacy, powerfully championed by Milton Friedman in a 1970 New York Times Magazine article entitled "The Social Responsibility of Business is to Increase its Profits," gave the newly ambitious management consultants a guiding purpose. According to this ideal, in language eventually adopted by the Business Roundtable, "the paramount duty of management and of boards of directors is to the corporation's stockholders." During the 1970s, and accelerating into the '80s and '90s, the upgraded management consultants pursued this duty by expressly and relentlessly taking aim at the middle managers who had dominated mid-century firms, and whose wages weighed down the bottom line.

As the business journalist Walter Kiechel put it in his book Lords of Strategy, consultants openly sought to "foment a stratification within companies and society" by concentrating the management function in elite executives, aided (of course) by advisers from consultants' own ranks. Management-consulting firms deployed a panoply of branded processes against middle management. Another account of the industry, The Witch Doctors, explains that the Computer Sciences Corporation's consulting arm, working with the Sloan School of Management at MIT, developed corporate "reengineering" to "break an organization down into its components parts," eliminate the redundant ones, namely middle managers, and then put the remaining parts "together again to create a new machine." GTE, Apple, and Pacific Bell would all cite reengineering as responsible for their downsizing. McKinsey framed its path to downsizing, which the firm called "overhead value analysis," as an answer to the mid-century corporation's excessive reliance on middle management. As McKinsey's John Neuman admitted in an essay introducing the method, the "process, though swift, is not painless. Since overhead expenses are typically 70% to 85% people-related and most savings come from work-force reductions, cutting overhead does demand some wrenching decisions."

Management consultants thus implemented and rationalized a transformation in the American corporation. Companies that had long affirmed express "no layoff" policies now took aim at what the corporate raider Carl Icahn, writing in the The New York Times in the late 1980s, called "corporate bureaucracies" run by "incompetent" and "inbred" middle managers. They downsized in response not to particular business problems but rather to a new managerial ethos and methods; they downsized when profitable as well as when struggling, and during booms as well as busts. The downsizing peaked during the extraordinary economic boom of the 1990s. The culls, moreover, were dramatic. AT&T, for example, once aimed to cut the ratio of managers to nonmanagers in one of its units from 1:5 to 1:30. Overall, middle managers were downsized at nearly twice the rate of nonmanagerial workers. Downsizing was indeed wrenching. When IBM abandoned lifetime employment in the 1990s, local officials asked gun-shop owners around its headquarters to close their stores while employees absorbed the shock.

Production workers did not escape the whirlwind, as companies—again with help from consultants— stripped them of their residual management functions and the benefits that these sustained. Corporations broke their unions, and jobs that once carried bright futures became gloomy. United Parcel Service, long famous for emphasizing full-time workers and promoting from within, shifted to part-time work in 1993. Its union—the Teamsters—struck in 1997, under the slogan "Part-time America won't work," but lost the strike. UPS has since hired more than half a million part-time workers, with just 13,000 advancing within the company.

Bureau of Labor Statistics
Bureau of Labor Statistics

Overall, the share of private-sector workers belonging to a union fell from about one-third in 1960 to less than one-sixteenth in 2016. In some cases, downsized employees have been hired back as subcontractors, with no long-term claim on the companies and no role in running them. When IBM laid off masses of workers in the 1990s, for example, it hired back one in five as consultants. Other corporations were built from scratch on a subcontracting model. The clothing brand United Colors of Benetton has only 1,500 employees but uses 25,000 workers through subcontractors.

The shift from permanent to precarious jobs continues apace. Buttigieg's work at McKinsey included an engagement for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, during a period when it considered cutting up to 1,000 jobs (or 10 percent of its workforce). And the gig economy is just a high-tech generalization of the sub-contractor model. Uber is a more extreme Benetton; it deprives drivers of any role in planning and coordination, and it has literally no corporate hierarchy through which drivers can rise up to join management. As ever, consultants are at the forefront of change, aiming to disrupt the management function. A new breed of management-consulting firms now deploys algorithmic processing to automate not the line workers' or sales associates' jobs, but the manager's job.

In effect, management consulting is a tool that allows corporations to replace lifetime employees with short-term, part-time, and even subcontracted workers, hired under ever more tightly controlled arrangements, who sell particular skills and even specified outputs, and who manage nothing at all.

The management function has not been rendered unnecessary, of course, or disappeared.  Instead, the managerial control stripped from middle managers and production workers has been concentrated in a narrow cadre of executives who monopolize planning and coordination. Mid-century, democratic management empowered ordinary workers and disempowered elite executives, so that a bad CEO could do little to harm a company and a good one little to help it. Today, top executives boast immense powers of command—and, as a result, capture virtually all of management's economic returns. Whereas at mid-century a typical large-company CEO made 20 times a production worker's income, today's CEOs make nearly 300 times as much. In a recent year, the five highest-paid employees of the S&P 1500 (7,500 elite executives overall), obtained income equal to about 10 percent of the total profits of the entire S&P 1500.

CEO-to-worker-compensation ratio chart.

Management consultants insist that meritocracy required the restructuring that they encouraged—that, as Kiechel put it dryly, "we are not all in this together; some pigs are smarter than other pigs and deserve more money." Consultants seek, in this way, to legitimate both the job cuts and the explosion of elite pay. Properly understood, the corporate reorganizations were, then, not merely technocratic but ideological. Rather than simply improving management, to make American corporations lean and fit, they fostered hierarchy, making management, in David Gordon's memorable phrase, "fat and mean."

Running a company on a concentrated model requires a cadre of managers who possess the capacity and taste to work with the intensity demanded of top executives today. At the same time, corporate reorganizations have deprived companies of an internal supply of managerial workers. When restructurings eradicated workplace training and purged the middle rungs of the corporate ladder, they also forced companies to look beyond their walls for managerial talent—to elite colleges, business schools, and (of course) to management-consulting firms. That is to say: The administrative techniques that management consultants invented created a huge demand for precisely the services that the consultants supply.

This is where the recent history of American management intersects with Pete Buttigieg's life story.

Whereas a century ago, fewer than one in five of America's business leaders had completed college, top executives today typically have elite degrees—M.B.A.s as well as bachelor's degrees—and deep ties to management consulting. Many executives have consulting backgrounds themselves. McKinsey alone counts 70 Fortune 500 CEOs among its alumni, including the current CEOs or COOs at Google, Facebook, and Morgan Stanley. Indeed, a greater share of McKinsey employees become CEOs than any other company's in the world. Management consultants who stay with their firms also do very well. The three most elite management consultancies—McKinsey, Bain & Company, and the Boston Consulting Group—regularly boast double-digit revenue growth and today generate nearly $20 billion in revenues and employ nearly 50,000 people.

These facts give management consulting a powerful charisma for students and recent graduates of elite colleges and universities. Today, management consulting sits beside finance as the most popular first job for graduates of Harvard, Princeton, and Yale. (Stanford graduates choose among consulting, finance, and tech.) Harvard Business School, which sent zero graduates to McKinsey prior to 1953, now regularly sends nearly a quarter of its graduating class into consulting, while Wharton graduates are 10 times more likely to work in consulting than in manufacturing.

The incomes that management consultants secure renders these numbers unsurprising.  McKinsey pays B.A.s nearly $100,000 and newly minted M.B.A.s nearly $200,000, and although the firm does not release information about profits, industry insiders believe that partners might command incomes in the millions. McKinsey's charisma, however, is not just economic. The firm continues to perform its own eliteness, with the application process involving famously rigorous analytic interviews—which test formal problem-solving skills but no substantive knowledge (certainly not of any concrete industry or business)—so that getting hired has in itself become a mark of accomplishment at top colleges. McKinsey also continues aggressively to recruit the most elite graduates, treating Rhodes or Marshall Scholarships as equivalent to M.B.A.s for the purpose of rank and pay, and boasting, "We are the largest employers of Rhodes scholars and Marshall scholars on the planet, outside of the United States government."

Meanwhile, the firm expressly emphasizes its internal meritocracy. McKinsey's mission statement promises to "create an unrivaled environment for exceptional people" and the firm boasts of its "university-like capabilities," which give its consultants proprietary analytic powers that no other business advisers can match. A recent survey of business-school graduates found that it demands longer hours than any employer of M.B.A.s other than Goldman Sachs and Barclays. And it embraces an "up or out" promotion regime, under which people who stop advancing through the firm are asked to leave.

Consulting, like law school, is an all-purpose status giver—"low in risk and high in reward," according to the Harvard Crimson. McKinsey also hopes that its meritocratic excellence will legitimate its activities in the eyes of the broader world. Management consulting, Kiechel observed, acquired its power and authority not from "silver-haired industry experience but rather from the brilliance of its ideas and the obvious candlepower of the people explaining them, even if those people were twenty-eight years old."

Pete Buttigieg fit the McKinsey profile perfectly. "I went to work at McKinsey because I wanted to understand how the world worked," he has said, adding that "they were willing to take a chance on me even though I didn't have an M.B.A." He believes that the lessons the firm teaches apply widely, not just across industries but to government as well: In an interview with The Atlantic, he said that McKinsey was "a place where I could learn as much as I could by working on interesting problems and challenges in the private sector, the public sector, in the nonprofit sector." Perhaps he was right. He became—without any prior governmental experience—the youngest mayor in South Bend's history; and now he aspires to become—without ever having held national or even statewide office—the youngest president in American history.

Yet Buttigieg's association with McKinsey also exacerbates the left's skepticism of his candidacy. The firm's clients—which include ICE, opioid manufacturers, and authoritarian regimes—generated the first doubtful headlines, as people wanted to know whether Buttigieg would disclose his McKinsey client list. Buttigieg answered, "I never worked on a project inconsistent with my values, and if asked to do so, I would have left the firm rather than participate." He probably wouldn't have had to leave, because McKinsey allows its employees to refuse to work for particular clients that they regard as unconscionable. It is therefore no surprise that when Buttigieg eventually did disclose his clients, the companies were indeed benign.

A deeper objection to Buttigieg's association with McKinsey concerns not whom the firm represents but the central role the consulting revolution has played in fueling the enormous economic inequalities that now threaten to turn the United States into a caste society.

Meritocrats like Buttigieg changed not just corporate strategies but also corporate values. Particular industries, and still more individual companies, may be committed to distinctive, concrete goals and ideals. GM may aspire to build good cars; IBM, to make typewriters, computers, and other business machines; and AT&T, to improve communications. Executives who rose up through these companies, on the mid-century model, were embedded in their firms and embraced these values, so that they might even have come to view profits as a salutary side effect of running their businesses well. When management consulting untethered executives from particular industries or firms and tied them instead to management in general, it also led them to embrace the one thing common to all corporations: making money for shareholders. Executives raised on the new, untethered model of management aim exclusively and directly at profit: their education, their career arc, and their professional role conspire to isolate them from other workers and train them single-mindedly on the bottom line.

Buttigieg carries this worldview into his politics. Wendell Potter, at The Intercept, observes that "a lot" of Buttigieg's campaign language about health care, including "specific words" is "straight out of the health-insurance industry's playbook." The influence of management consulting, moreover, goes far beyond language to the very rationale for Buttigieg's candidacy. What he offers America is intellect and elite credentials—a combination that McKinsey has taught him and others like him to believe should more than compensate for an obvious deficit of directly relevant experience.

This is a dangerous belief. Technocratic management, no matter how brilliant, cannot unwind the structural inequalities that are dismantling the American middle class. To think that it can is to be insensible of the real harms that technocratic elites, at McKinsey and other management-consulting firms, have done to America. Such obliviousness may not be malevolent; but it is clueless.                       

And emphasizing private virtue or personal ethics—including the ethics that would have led Buttigieg to reject distasteful clients—only protects structural inequalities, by creating scapegoats to absorb moral scruples and redirect outrage away from systemic injustice. American democracy, the left believes, cannot be rejuvenated by persuading elites to deploy their excessive power somehow more benevolently. Instead, it requires breaking the stranglehold that elites have on our economics and politics, and reempowering everyone else.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.

This millennial founder went broke after her first business failed—then she went on to grow a $1.2 billion company - CNBC

Posted: 04 Feb 2020 06:01 AM PST

In the summer of 2019, e-commerce fashion brand Revolve Group had one of the best initial public offerings of the year when its stock price rose 89% on its first day of trading and the company reached a market capitalization of $1.2 billion.

A large part of the success of the company, which was founded in 2003, has been the work of chief brand officer Raissa Gerona. The 37-year-old executive pioneered the use of influencer marketing, where companies partner with social media users who have a large follower base to grow the business's audience reach — and eventually, their sales.

But just a decade ago, Gerona had to close her first online clothing brand, Brigid Catiis, after she ran out of money at the height of the Great Recession.

"It was quite difficult for me in the beginning when that happened to me to say, 'OK, I failed at this and couldn't make this work,'" Gerona tells CNBC Make It. "That obviously takes a toll on your confidence and how much you believe in yourself."

She says it was important to allow herself to feel grief over the career setback. Self-reflection was the ultimate key in being able to restore her confidence and continue pursuing her ideas.

"It really starts with yourself, to pick yourself back up and know that you can continue to move forward," she says. "But I do think it's a process, and I think it's important to feel those feelings and just be like, 'All right, I'm done with it, and I'm moving on.'"

Another mindset that helped her move forward: "It's so hard to get over feeling like you failed at something, but truly, everything is temporary in that way."

Gerona and her team declined to comment on how much money was lost with the closure of Brigid Catiis.

When Gerona was ready to pick up the pieces of her career, she found a mentor in Revolve co-founder and co-CEO Michael Mente. (The two met when Gerona was selling her clothing line on Revolve's platform.) Gerona and Mente ended up launching a new brand together, which Revolve eventually bought in 2015.

Following the sale, Gerona became Revolve's chief brand officer. As a company executive, she sought to reach consumers directly on social media, which is when she pitched the idea to Mente and co-founder Mike Karanikolas to partner with bloggers-turned-social media influencers to expand Revolve's reach.

It's so hard to get over feeling like you failed at something, but truly, everything is temporary in that way.

Raissa Gerona

chief brand officer, Revolve

The strategy has proven to be a successful one. While the past few years have been an uncertain time for traditional apparel retailers, Revolve's influencer-driven marketing strategy and ability to connect with millennial and Gen Z shoppers had the company on track to hit $600 million in sales in 2019.

But along the way, Gerona once again had to find a way to feel confident in her role.

Earlier in 2019, Gerona joined Mente and Karanikolas to prepare to bring Revolve public, and she found herself in an unfamiliar position: in rooms full of mostly male investors.

"I didn't go to business school, I didn't go to an Ivy league school," Gerona says. "I never expected myself to be in a room where I'm pitching a billion-dollar deal to investors and talking about the power of influencer marketing and experiential marketing.

"I was like, 'Oh my God, am I cut out to do this?'" Gerona continues. "But after a day of meeting with investors, I was like, 'Absolutely. I'm exactly where I have to be.'"

She drew from her decade-plus experience in entrepreneurship, fashion, online retail and her ability to turn Revolve into a social-media power-house to ground herself in her business savvy and make the pitch.

"But that required a lot of hard work and self-talk for me to even get myself out of that mindset," she says. "And immediately when I changed my mindset, I felt even though I look different from everybody else in the room, there was a reason I was there."

This simple shift in thinking is something Gerona has carried with her since that first brush with failure, even if she couldn't fully appreciate it at the time. While she found support through friends and mentors to figure out her next career move, ultimately, she says, "You're your own best cheerleader, and you really have to just pick yourself back up."

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Don't miss: The dealbreaker that kills a candidate's chances of landing the job, according to this fashion executive

It’s Possible To Beat The Index In 2020 - Here’s How - Forbes

Posted: 04 Feb 2020 02:30 AM PST

The value investing space is dying, but value catalyst investing is alive and thriving, and it's in this space that ideas can be found to help beat the index in 2020.

The Edge (which sources under-performing companies for activist involvement, Special Situations and Spinoffs) predicts the market will become volatile this year.

Many funds have thrown in the towel, and that is a good sign. When scores of people get out of the space, smarter people start looking at getting in. The Edge fishes in a niche part of the market for interesting ideas where few people do and to remain positive on the returns.

The Edge believes in relativity and benchmarks its performance using a variety of indices. As of December 31, 2019, the Spinoff portfolio (ESR) finished the year +20% whereas the Special Situations portfolio (ESS) closed the year at +12%.

On a combined basis since its inception, The Edge's Model Portfolios have outperformed the HFRX Special Situations Index by +89%. That performance can be seen in the chart below.

Model Portfolio Names Entered & Exited in 2019 

High Conviction names triumphed with Naspers Ltd. (NPN SJ), Perspecta, Inc. (PRSP), Ferrari NV (RACE), and IAA, Inc. (IAA) all realizing returns quickly.

Current Model Portfolio Names Entered in 2019 

The Edge tries to keep the Model Portfolio turning over with the best ideas and don't try to run things beyond their valuation. These names are regularly replaced with newer top ideas. Madison Square Garden (MSG) and the Spinoff of their entertainment business is one to watch, according to The Edge.

Attendees of The Edge's November conference had a real treat and first look at a new idea presented by activist investor Macellum Capital: Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY).

Arconic (ARNC) was another real winner, as the insider incentives were key for The Edge, and the fact the world hated the company because of the Grenfell Tower fire appealed to Osman's contrarian side.

Current Model Portfolio Names Entered Pre-2019 

The Edge's longer-term holdings like software company LogMeIn, Inc. (LOGM) has just been approached for takeover, while holding company Avaya Holdings, Inc. (AVYA) seems to be headed for an exit. The Edge called AVYA correctly out of bankruptcy but were wrong on the equity for now.

Lastly, The Edge anticipated airport and roadway concessions company Autogrill SpA (AGL IM) would look to expand its international exposure and acquire Elior's concessions business that had been on the block when they transitioned from a Spin to a sale, but that catalyst has yet to play through. 

Non-Actioned Idea Flow & Original Recommendations in 2019 

In the table below are the remaining names published on during 2019 with their respective original recommendations from The Edge, as well as their relative returns. 

CAG (Dec 27, 2019): Since The Edge highlighted an insider buying shares on the open market in July 2019, ConAgra Brands, Inc. (CAG) demonstrated the successful integration of the Pinnacle Foods assets and returned +28% in a strong earnings beat [on December 19]. On the back of this rally, The Edge recommended investors to book profits, considering the management had drafted a strategic shift moving forward that may limit the pace for future growth. 

DHR (Dec 30, 2019): With its exchange offer of Envista Holdings Corp. (NVST) complete and limited catalysts ahead, The Edge recommended investors to book profits in Danaher Corp. (DHR) at the end of the year. The stock originally entered the Model Portfolio in July 2018 on the announcement of a Spinoff, which then transitioned into the IPO (and later exchange offer) of NVST, and the stock provided returns of +47% since entry.

For more on The Edge's idea flow, including the 40 upcoming Spinoffs in 2020 and the other value catalyst situations under analysis, reach out to set up a call with the Deals Analysts.

&#039;BUY&#039; or &#039;SELL&#039; ideas from experts for Tuesday, 04 February, 2020 - Economic Times

Posted: 03 Feb 2020 07:06 PM PST

NEW DELHI: Domestic equity market is likely to open higher on Tuesday tracking Nifty futures on the Singapore Stock Exchange (SGX Nifty)and mixed Asian cues.

At 8:30 am the SGX Nifty was 29 points or 0.25 per cent higher at 11,736.50.

ET Now spoke to various experts and here's what they have to recommend for today's trade:

Kunal Bothra independent market expert
Tata Global is a 'Buy' call with a target price of Rs 400 and a stop loss of Rs 370.

Adani Enterprises is a 'Buy' call with a target price of Rs 226 and a stop loss of Rs 218.

Arun Kumar of Reliance Securities
Asian Paints is a 'Buy' call with a target price of Rs 2020 and a stop loss of Rs 1798.

Hero MotoCorp is a 'Sell' call with a target price of Rs 2225 and a stop loss of Rs 2420.

Chandan Taparia of Motilal Oswal
Pidilite is a 'Buy' call with a target price of Rs 1630 and a stop loss of Rs 1520.

Jubilant Food is a 'Buy' call with a target price of Rs 2050 and a stop loss of Rs 1900.

(Views and recommendations given in this section are the analysts' own and do not represent those of ETMarkets.com. Please consult your financial adviser before taking any position in the stock/s mentioned.)

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