Coincidence? I don’t think so.

The day before Pope Francis arrived in Cuba on Saturday, September 19, Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew announced changes in U.S. regulations regarding doing business in Cuba. It’s not quite Swiss cheese but there are more holes in the embargo every day.

The new regulations went into effect Monday, September 21. Coincidence? Absolutely not. Continue reading

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Why Should Anyone Lead You?

Leaders take on great risk in the day-to-day performance of their jobs because their success is so dependent on the efforts of their followers – often people not of their choosing. For the most part, leaders don’t get the luxury of “getting the right people on the bus.” Instead they are provided a destination, handed keys, and pointed to a bus full of people picked by someone else – often with some other destination in mind. In the broadest terms we think it is critical to recognize that a big part of what leaders do every day is invest in their followers – they invest time, energy, and a range of tangible and intangible resources. They advocate for their teams, they fight for resources, and so on. It seems only natural that leaders would expend this effort when they felt it was on behalf of a group that could deliver a good return on their investment. Logically, an estimation of the worthiness of the followers is something a leader might quite rationally calculate in determining what investment should be made. Continue reading

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Resolved for 2015: Invest in Your Portable Capabilities

By Nathan Bennett

How quickly things can change.  What was for years dubbed a “war for talent” fought between employers has now become a “war for jobs” fought by employees.  As the recession has eased, as company prospects have improved, and as job growth has steadied, a pent up pool of employees anxious to change jobs is beginning to appear. These job hoppers join a still sizable number of unemployed or underemployed: the competition for opportunities is fierce.  How does someone today best prepare for this sort of challenge?  My work with job seekers suggests that now more than ever it is critical for people to invest in their portable capabilities.  Doing so represents a great way to invest in your own career during 2015. Continue reading

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Doug Rieder: A Self-Made Man Shows Today’s Students the Way

Ask Doug Rieder about Sterling Risk Advisors, the surety and insurance brokerage firm where he’s worked for more than a decade, and he’ll tell you plenty: about how the company has grown over the years, the unique aspects of their business model, whom they’ve hired and how those people have excelled. Continue reading

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Robinson to Launch Online Graduate Degree in Hospitality Management

 The J. Mack Robinson College of Business at Georgia State University will offer an online graduate degree in hospitality management beginning fall 2015. The one-year master of global hospitality management degree will be the first online program offered by the Robinson College.

Intended for established hospitality professionals as well as for those seeking to enter the discipline, the online program will offer the same rigorous coursework as the traditional degree format. Continue reading

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Robinson Students Pump ‘Lyfe’ into Marketing Firm

On the third floor of a nondescript building next to the Atlanta Medical Center, Robinson College of Business students and alumni are building a marketing firm to cater to people like them – digital natives who grew up with the Internet.

The company, Lyfe Marketing, occupies a small office space. But in a span of a few years, brothers Sherman and Sean Standberry, with longtime friend Keran Smith, have applied that understanding to effectively grow their business. Continue reading

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Hooked on Soda

Sarang Sunder’s eyes light up when he talks about soda, but his excitement has nothing to do with the age-old Coke vs. Pepsi debate. As part of his doctoral dissertation, Sunder has developed a formula to measure the customer lifetime value (CLV) of carbonated beverage consumers. While most companies already evaluate sales and market share, they don’t quantify what Sunder considers the most meaningful data of all: profitability at the individual customer level. Sunder’s findings empower companies not only to identify high-profit customers but also to communicate to them on a much more micro level than a wide-sweeping network television commercial. “Our recommendation is to attract the high-value segment when you can, and to move the lower CLV customers up the ladder,” Sunder explains. “Within my dissertation, that’s what we’re trying to figure out how to do.” Continue reading

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Lisa Rolf: Widening her Lens with an EMBA

Lisa Rolf never envisioned herself as an Executive MBA student. She earned a design-your-own undergraduate degree from a liberal arts college in Minnesota and immediately pursued a career in project management. But after leading teams at digital marketing agencies for 15 years, she noticed a gap in her skill set. Once Rolf attended an information session for Robinson’s EMBA, she realized the program would enable her to support not just her team but the company as a whole. “I wanted to make sure I could contribute to the growth of the company in a substantial way, and the EMBA seemed like a good opportunity to round out my experience,” Rolf recalls. Continue reading

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Reputation is King

This summer, a milestone crept up on me—I realized it’s been twenty-five years since I began my career as a professor.  So naturally, I’ve spent some time reflecting on how my choice of profession has worked out.  I spend most of my classroom time with executives who are there because they are unhappy with where they are – or they at least understand they won’t be satisfied for long.  Their hope is that whatever we do together in class will help them find something they’ll find more fulfilling.  How thankful I am that I’ve never had to wrestle with that. Continue reading

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Robinson Reflections: Luis Planas

Luis Planas MBA '77, Finance

Luis Planas
MBA ’77, Finance

As a boy, Luis Planas wanted to be a doctor. His father was one of a handful of doctors in their town on the eastern end of Cuba and the only one that delivered babies. Luis even remembers wearing a white coat and carrying a small medical bag when he tagged along with his dad on house calls. His childhood memories are of an idyllic and limitless life, of horseback riding on his grandfather’s farm, of delivering food baskets to those in need. And then everything changed in 1961. Continue reading

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