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Business Myths that You Despise

I have previously shared a  few blogs , Why Certain Employees Are Irreplaceable, and Honesty: The Best Policy or Career Detriment focused on a few  business myth that I personally despise, which are "everyone is replaceable", and that "anyone who is truly honest and expresses strong opinions needs to be terminated".

What business myths are like nails on a chalkboard to you?

 

Answers

Topic Expert
Wayne Spivak
Title: President & CFO
Company: SBAConsulting.com
LinkedIn Profile
(President & CFO, SBAConsulting.com) |

"Best Practice" models. Only if you are in that [company, segment, industry, region, state, locality], etc. There are no real "Best Practices", there are some well considered opinions though...

Topic Expert
Christie Jahn
Title: CFO
Company: Prime Investments & Development
(CFO, Prime Investments & Development) |

I respectfully disagree with your statement. As a company that sells the same exact product across multiple stores we continually share best practices to help others grow. These are not simply someones opinion, it's a tried, tested and proven technique that has worked at one location and proven when shared to work at all locations.

Anonymous User
Title: CFO
Company: Local Government Agency
(CFO, Local Government Agency) |

@Christie:

A bit of fly in the ointment:

What works in Peoria, may not be appropriate in San Diego.

Many successful retailers allow their individual unit managers to tailor their product line to the local market. Have you ever compared the Macy's undergarment ads in the Midwest to those in California? Different models and photos are used for a reason.

Topic Expert
Christie Jahn
Title: CFO
Company: Prime Investments & Development
(CFO, Prime Investments & Development) |

Anon,

Of course that rule of thumb is relevant and Wayne says that. What I was referring to was stating that Best Practices are someones opinions. That was the part I was disagreeing with. We also face that having locations in rural markets vs urban markets. I should have clarified in my response.

Topic Expert
Wayne Spivak
Title: President & CFO
Company: SBAConsulting.com
LinkedIn Profile
(President & CFO, SBAConsulting.com) |

Christie,

You made my point. For you, Best Practice works because it is all within your company. Thus my point of "only if you are in that [company, segment, industry, region, state, locality], etc." is valid.

Regards

EMERSON GALFO
Title: CFO
Company: C-Suite Services
LinkedIn Profile
(CFO, C-Suite Services) |

THE biggest business myth there is.......

The company's main purpose is to MAXIMIZE SHAREHOLDER RETURNS/VALUE......and SHAREHOLDER PRIMACY!

Anonymous User
Title: CFO
Company: Local Government Agency
(CFO, Local Government Agency) |

Yep. As a shareholder who's been victimized by entrenched management I can relate. This just happened to me again recently.

Poison pills? Golden parachutes? Mergers?

Richard Archer
Title: Director - Governance & Risk Advisory
Company: Hill International
(Director - Governance & Risk Advisory, Hill International) |

I have read that corporation laws in several states include profit or shareholder returns/value maximization as a specified obligation of corporate management. I don't think that is so much the problem as that what represents shareholder return/value is assumed to be understood, but isn't actually very well defined for any specific corporation. For public corporations it is generally viewed as the market price of the shares, but the market price at any point in time may not be what the actual shareholders value. The Boards and Execs of publicly traded corporations don't seem to ask what shareholders have as their objectives for maximizing shareholder returns/value. Instead, there is a heavy focus on what the stock market analysts following the company's shares define as value and want to see in terms of share price movement.

Common measurements of shareholder value don't reflect one critical element of value - TIME. A buy-and-hold investor will want long term returns/value. Immediate profit with a high risk of bankruptcy or other eventual loss of value won't represent returns/value for that type of investor. On the other hand, a speculator or short period investor will want maximum profits/returns during his target holding period and won't care whether or not the practices generating short term profits end up laying the foundation for the corporation's long term value being destroyed.

Finally, my question to the Boards, CEOs and other C-Level execs of publicly held corporations, especially the large ones, reflects the comment by Anonymous User (VFO at Local Government Agency). If you claim to be focused on maximizing shareholder returns/value, why is it that you are the first to have your hands out taking from the profits pool by insuring that your comp and benefits continue to go up, even in many cases when the market value of the company goes down, and that you are very, very well protected monetarily from job loss even when your own management actions are the cause of the company's loss of profits and value?

Blair Cook CPA CPA MBA
Title: Corporate Director and Professional Educ..
Company: Clarke Inc. and the Finance Learning Aca..
(Corporate Director and Professional Education Innovator, Clarke Inc. and the Finance Learning Academy) |

EBITDA as the be all, end all multipurpose financial indicator.

Topic Expert
Wayne Spivak
Title: President & CFO
Company: SBAConsulting.com
LinkedIn Profile
(President & CFO, SBAConsulting.com) |

Enigma, is not the problem per se, it's the ubiquitous "adjusted Ebitda", a numer that can mean anything.

Randy Moore
Title: CFO
Company: SJB Bagel Makers of Boston
(CFO, SJB Bagel Makers of Boston) |

You must be a CPA to be a great accountant/controller/CFO.

Anonymous
(CFO/Board Advisor) |

"Employees are our most important asset." Really!? I've see too many execs take better care of their cars than the people that work with (for) them. If people are really the most important asset: (1) pay them all a living wage; (2) provide all of them with the best possible benefits (you do this for you car, e.g. regular maintenance, weekly detailing by the car wash guys); (3) help achieve their goals, not just yours or the company's. That or be honest - its about profit, and people are just tools being used to generate it. Some tools are very important, hard to find, cost a lot, etc.; some tools are disposable. But are people really your most important asset? If that were the case, you would treat them better, I don't mean free coffee, snack foods, sodas and energy drinks, and alcohol, I mean you would treat them as human beings.

James Lum
Title: CFO
Company: GuideStar
(CFO, GuideStar) |

"Perfect shouldn't be the enemy of the good". Yes, perfectionism can get in the way of good enough. But it's often just a sign of laziness. My usual response is "Good shouldn't be the enemy of better". There's always room for improvement.

Mark Matheny
Title: VP - FInancial Planning and Analysis
Company: Novolex (formerly Hilex Poly)
(VP - FInancial Planning and Analysis, Novolex (formerly Hilex Poly)) |

Because a cost is shown as variable on the P&L, it must be variable.

Anonymous
(MBA Candidate) |

She/he is the best "fit" for the position. How can you gauge success in a position before the person does the job for a period of time, unless they have always done the job and now just getting the recognition?

Why then post the job as a new position.

Anonymous
(CFO) |

Just got told that post interview. I wasn't the "best fit".

Only, it was for a position I could do in my sleep. I have more than fourteen years experience in that capacity.

The real culprit? Well, we'll see after they name the winning candidate. But age is my best guess for the real reason. The recruiter worked hard to ferret out my age over the telephone before the interview. It pretty much appeared that they were afraid I'd retire in a couple of years and they'd have to go through this all over again. They had been through four incumbents in a bit over ten years. I knew all of them. It's a tight industry.

But, all left for better pay and benefits. If turnover was the real concern of the employer, they should have thought about being more competitive with their salary and benefits offering. They were way low compared to industry standards in this area.

You know, now that I read what I wrote I've had an epiphany. I'm going to add ten years to my college graduation date when recruiters ask. If they find out tell so, claiming I lied, they are going to be in a heap of trouble. After all, what difference does it make...except for helping them figure out how old I am? ;-)

Anonymous
(Controller) |

"We reward employees based on performance."

Anonymous
(Chief Financial Officer) |

1. Increasing compensation is the best way to improve morale and employee engagement
2. Variable compensation is directly linked to increased performance...increase your commission rate and you will increase sales. Decrease commissions/bonuses and sales will be worse, despite any other changes

Len Green
Title: Performance Improvement Consultant and E..
Company: Haygarth Consulting LLC
LinkedIn Profile
(Performance Improvement Consultant and ERP Strategist, Haygarth Consulting LLC) |

Nothing personal, it's just business.

Anonymous
(Vice President) |

Work-Life balance is important!

Maybe to individual employees, but not to senior management

Rino Patrick Unold
Title: Business Controller
Company: Fresenius Kabi
(Business Controller, Fresenius Kabi) |

Seems as everyone is having fun on this topic - glad! Keep it up.
Merry Christmas & Happy New Year (no myth here)

Tarun Joshi
Title: Manager
Company: Deutsche Bank
(Manager, Deutsche Bank) |

"Profits are reward for Risk Taking". Is this true even now? Are the enterprenuers really taking risks or just managing the potential risk? I wonder and feel is the biggest myth?

Lyn Spens
Title: Consulting Manager
Company: Tyler Technologies
LinkedIn Profile
(Consulting Manager, Tyler Technologies) |

Why put the year you graduated on your resume at all? Of course employers can't use age as reason for not hiring people, they do it all the time. You could sue, but I am sure they have found all kinds of reasons why the younger candidate gets the position instead of you and none of them have anything to do with age... wink, wink

Topic Expert
Christie Jahn
Title: CFO
Company: Prime Investments & Development
(CFO, Prime Investments & Development) |

I have a new one: Sales are down across everyone in the industry, there's little we can do about it.

Ernie Humphrey CTP
Title: CEO & COO
Company: Treasury Careers
LinkedIn Profile
(CEO & COO, Treasury Careers) |

I have a few new ones, one is "IOT", Internet of Things, the other is the term "Hack".

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