BKBG Blog

What Happens When Family Members Don't Perform?
September 12, 2019
What Happens When Family Members Don't Perform?

Many BKBG Shareholders are family businesses, and the exit strategy for a number of those firms is to pass on their showrooms to their children or other relatives. But what happens if a child or niece can't cut the mustard? What do you do? Thanksgiving won't be much fun if you believe that you have to terminate one of your children. 

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Use Constructive Criticism To Spur Creativity
August 22, 2019
Use Constructive Criticism To Spur Creativity

At the 2019 BKBG Conference, keynoter Avish Parashar suggested that a shift from saying "yes, but" to saying, "yes, and" has the potential to enhance productivity, perpetuate positivity and unleash brilliance.  Authors Roberto Verganti (Overcrowded. Designing Meaningful Products in a World Awash With Ideas) and Don Norman (The Design of Everyday Things and Emotional Design) disagree. They claim that creativity is enhanced not by deferring criticism but through criticism.

The reasoning for not using "yes, and" only is that truly exceptional ideas almost always have flaws because they explore new terrain. Norman and Verganti argue that without critical feedback, you can't understand the potential shortcomings and pitfalls of an original idea or concept, and this results in missed opportunities to delve into the idea more deeply. They state, "It's moving forward without progress."

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Lessons From the Bankruptcies of Barneys and Dean and DeLuca
August 15, 2019
Lessons From the Bankruptcies of Barneys and Dean and DeLuca

Two iconic retail brands declared bankruptcy last week, and the reported plummeting of Barneys and Dean and DeLuca point to the ongoing paradigm shift in luxury retail. In a recent article in The New York Times, Ginia Bellafante notes that, "during the 1970s and 1980s, the sophisticated shopping experience was not branded in efficiency or self-denial or schemes devised in investment banks. Dean & DeLuca was itself a work of art. This was also true of Barneys, another institution born of the ethos that shopping was an act of self-actualization. Now both institutions find themselves in a financial free-fall." 

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The Resurgence of Brick and Mortar Retail
August 1, 2019
The Resurgence of Brick and Mortar Retail

BKBG 2018 Conference workshop leader Bob Phibbs (The Retail Doctor) published an interesting take for the successful future of brick and mortar retailers.  Manufacturers, especially those who sell premium and luxury products, are beginning to find out that selling their wares on Amazon, direct to the public or through another ecommerce channel has not been a savior. Direct to consumer supply chains require manufacturers to incur costs that historically have been relegated to brick and mortar retailers that include marketing, customer service, shipping, handling and returns.  Suddenly, going direct and having new overhead costs have made many manufacturers reconsider the direct to consumer strategy.

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The Productivity Benefits of Connection
July 25, 2019
The Productivity Benefits of Connection

We've never been more digitally connected, yet loneliness is at record levels. It's not just in the home where people are lonely, people are also lonely in the workplace. More than 40% of respondents to a 2018 Global Culture survey conducted by O.C. Turner report they don't have a close friend at work. Most people do not believe that their colleagues know "the real me." The study found that 62% of respondents take the time to get to know colleagues personally, and only 53% believe that their peers take the time to get to know them personally.

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Respectfully Agree to Disagree
July 18, 2019
Respectfully Agree to Disagree

If the GM Board of Directors unanimously approved a decision on the first vote, the company's legendary Chairman, Alfred Sloan, would never accept the decision. Sloan believed that a board comprised of intelligent, monumentally successful captains of industry could never instantly agree on anything. He required opposing views, believing better quality decisions result from honest disagreement

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The Evils of Compromise
July 11, 2019
The Evils of Compromise

How many times have you been in a negotiation when the first offer is patently absurd? You know the offer is unreasonable and so does the party you are negotiating with. The goal is to reach common ground, find a middle that will make both parties happy. But reaching a compromise based on an initial offer that is ridiculous is never really fair, reports Black Swan Group in a recent blog post.

By Negotiation
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Making Better Data-Based Decisions
June 27, 2019
Making Better Data-Based Decisions

Big data seems to be all the rage. And how can you use big data to help your business? By ignoring it, at least initially, writes statistician Cassie Kozyrkov in a recent HBR blog. She advises that a key to more effective decision making is to frame the context of the decision before looking at the data. Doing so helps to avoid confirmation bias and the Ikea effect. Confirmation bias influences decision making by using data to justify what you want to believe or “to selectively confirm the choice you have already made in your heart.” The Ikea effect is overvaluing something because you have put a lot of effort into it. It’s the difference between good work and hard work. If you have invested time, resources and intellectual capital in a new venture, new line new strategy development, etc. you tend to fall in love with the effort and the potential for a successful outcome. Because of your investment, your judgment becomes clouded, and that generally results in bad decision making.

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How to Become More Customer Centric
June 20, 2019
How to Become More Customer Centric

Some walk the walk and others just talk the talk. When someone makes an effort to visit your showroom, what type of experience should they expect? What can you do to build trust and become an invaluable resource to your customers and prospects? Everyone claims that they offer great customer service. Great customer service is no longer a competitive advantage. To most of your clients, great customer service is an expectation.

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Making Meetings More Effective
June 13, 2019
Making Meetings More Effective

How many times have you sat through a meeting and asked, “Why am I here?” In the meetings that you host, is there a possibility that your attendees ask the same question? In a fascinating and highly informative new book, The Art of Gathering: How We Meet and Why It Matters, Priya Parker takes meeting design to an entirely new and more effective level.

Parker advises that most people often misunderstand what makes a group connect and a gathering matter, and she encourages anyone planning a meeting to ask these questions:

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