Tag Archives: Millsaps College

Phil Hardwick’s Strategy Letter Launched

PHIL HARDWICK’S STRATEGY LETTER

Greetings:
In case you haven’t heard, I retired from the Stennis Institute recently. Of course, that does not mean I have retired altogether. I’m still teaching part-time at Millsaps College, facilitating strategic planning retreats, doing leadership training, writing and generally staying busier than ever. You can read more about that in this Mississippi Business Journal article.
I’ll also be publishing my new monthly newsletter, which will be about strategy and goal setting. Each issue will feature an organization (profit or nonprofit), a government entity and an individual.
IMPORTANT – To receive my FREE newsletter, simply send an email to phil@philhardwick.com. Enter SUBSCRIBE STRATEGY in the subject.  Oh, one more thing: Your email address will never be shared with anyone else.
Now that we have that out of the way let’s get to it.
*****
In the business world, the search for new strategies is everywhere. Newspapers and retailers especially have to figure out new strategies. Strategy is about HOW to achieve goals. Sometimes the right strategy is tied to the wrong goal, and vice versa.

In 2011, Ron Johnson left Apple to become CEO of J.C. Penney. His strategy for the struggling department store chain was to eliminate cashiers and checkout counters and have small, more upscale specialty shops within the department store. No more clearance sales and heavy couponing. An interesting strategy, for sure. How did it work out? Only 17 months after Johnson came to Penney, sales had plunged, losses had grown and Johnson was out the door. Read about it in this Business Insider slide show:
http://tinyurl.com/lx7xugs
or this Forbes magazine article:
http://tinyurl.com/coe352r

*****
Ever heard of CircleUp? It’s strategy is to connect investors with innovative consumer and retail companies using a crowdfunding platform, i.e. using the Internet to connect a large number of investors to an investment. For companies, it’s a new strategy to raise capital. Check it out at https://circleup.com.
*****
Cities are always looking for strategies to create more revenue because citizens loathe the idea of having taxes raised. Earlier this month Atlanta decided to ask businesses to place ads on public buildings and other public places. It appears that the strategy is backfiring as citizen uproar is rather loud. Just because this strategy worked for naming public sports complexes doesn’t mean it will work for other city properties. Read about it at:
http://tinyurl.com/o3w9thk
*****
It’s that time of year for New Year’s resolutions and goal setting of all types. What’s your goal for 2015? And what is your strategy for achieving it? Research has shown that there are three keys (strategies) to achieving goals: (1) write it down, (2) share it with someone else and (3) be accountable to someone. I’ll be putting those strategies into practice in my hometown by forming a goal setters luncheon club that will meet on a regular basis during the year to hold each other accountable for achieving our goals. If you’re in the Jackson, Mississippi area and would like more information about joining the group just send me an email at phil@philhardwick.com.
*****
SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT
We judge ourselves by our intentions. We judge others by their actions.
*****
Wishing you a healthy, happy and strategic 2015.
Phil

www.philhardwick.com
phil@philhardwick.com
Strategic Planning
Group Facilitation
Leadership Training
Keynotes/Breakouts

The Crazy World of Book Buying

December 29, 2014

Today I read an article about John Hailman’s latest book, “The Search for Good Wine.” Hailman is a fascinating individual. He’s a former federal prosecutor, syndicated food, wine and travel columnist, law school professor and a graduate of my alma mater, Millsaps College. I’ve read one of his previous books, “From Midnight to Guntown.” Having a slightly above average interest in wine and having just returned from a week in Burgundy, France I just had to get Hailman’s book on wine. Another influence was that he was a Mississippian. Hmm… a Mississippian and wine. That just doesn’t seem to go together, does it? Alas, another reason to order the book. Off I went online in search of places to order the book. Being that today is the week after Christmas the thought of a good deal entered my mind.

My first online stop was the website of University Press, the book’s publisher. It listed the price as $29.95 (cloth), plus $2.62 tax and $7.50 for shipping, for a  total of $40.07.

Next was Amazon.com, which offered a variety of prices. They were as follows:
Hardcover (?) version for $22.19, plus $4.98 shipping = $27.17;
“New” – 34 from $16.86, plus $3.99 shipping = $20.85;
“Used” – 10 from $15.11, plus $3.99 shipping = $19.10; and
Kindle edition for $16.49.

Further searching revealed that Target.com offered the book for $9.19, plus $2.79 shipping and $.84 tax, for a total of $12.82.

Finally, I checked my local independent bookstore, Lemuria Books, and discovered that it had the book in stock at a price of $29.95, plus tax of $3.97, for a total of $32.34. However, there was something special about this copy of the book. It was a signed, first edition. Because I live about a mile from this bookstore I did not consider shipping costs.

So there it is. My choices are to buy the physical book online, where the price range is from $12.82 to $40.07, delivered to my doorstep or drive a mile and pay$32.34 for a signed first edition. And of course there is the Kindle edition, which is a click away for $16.49.

The crazy, fascinating world of book buying.

 

Notes from Economic Outlook Forum

September 16, 2014

The Millsaps College Else School of Management and Mississippi Public Universities held their annual Economic Outlook Forum this morning to a packed house audience. The event was sponsored by the CFA Society of Mississippi. Here are my bullet point notes from the two presenters.

Douglas P. Handler, Chief U.S. Economist and Head of North America Macroeconomics, IHS Global Insights –

Outlook is tremendously positive.
The common theme throughout is demographics.
It is a time of transition. Firms that get it will do well.
There will be continued economic growth through 2015.
Housing will continue to improve. If you’re a homebuilder you’re going to be thinking apartments.
Fed tightening to take place 3rd quarter, 2015.

Darrin Webb, State Economist for Mississippi and Director of University Research Center’s –

Mississippi economy is growing, but not as much as we would like. Will probably grow less in 2014 than in 2013.
Sources of growth appear more sustainable than last year.
Growth will strengthen with that of nation.
Mississippi GDP forecast growth:
2014 – 1.4%
2015 – 2.2%
2016 – 2.4%
2017 – 2.5%

###

Day 2 in D.C., Post 2

The first stop on a busy day of briefings was the headquarters of the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) where Political Director Mike Shields spent over an hour discussing how Republicans won the most recent Congressional election and how he personally got involved in politics.  He outlined the role and purpose of NRCC, explaining that it was the political organization of House republicans, and that its mission was to keep Republicans in the majority.  He told his personal story of how he first got interested in political activism as a youth growing up in the U.K. where his father was assigned as a NATO employee.  The issue was American nuclear weapons are U.S. bases.  He said that, “Political issues were our dinner table issues.”  Shields attended college in the D.C. and related his personal  story of climbing the ladder in politics.  He pointed out that at age 41 he is the oldest staffer at the NRCC.  There was plenty of Q & A with the SMA students.  Notes from the meeting were tweeted by yours truly during the meeting, and can be found by going to the Stennis Institute Web site and clicking on the Twitter “T” on the top right of the page.  Also of interest is a Politico article written by Shields entitled, “How the NRCC Won in 2010.”

Next was a chilly walk to the steps of the Capitol for as group photo.  Next to us was Iowa Senator Check Grassley visiting with a group from his state.

From there it was on to 101 Constitution Avenue for a media panel discussion led by Rex Buffington of the Stennis Center for Public Service, and featuring Senator Thad Cochran’s Press Secretary Chris Gallegos and Matt Letourneau, Director of Communications and Media at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.  Each discussed their backgrounds and the challenges facing those who are the public relations personnel of their organizations, especially in the burgeoning age of social media.

The next presenter was Jessica Knight, Executive Director of the Congressional Black Caucus PAC.  She is a native of Hattiesburg, and attended Millsaps College where she was the first African-American Homecoming Queen.  She provided insight related to fundraising for a political caucus, as well as sharing her background and how she got interested and involved in politics.

By now it was mid-afternoon and time for a ride on the Metro to Foggy Bottom and a visit to The Watergate, where Mississippi State alums Tim and Grace Terpstra hosted the group in their apartment to snacks and a history lesson about the Watergate complex.  Dr. Martin Wiseman of MSU, Dr. Tim Terpstra of George Washington University and Dr. Stephen Gordon of Old Dominion University discussed the political implications of the Watergate break-in, and how the surrounding events have influenced the country’s history.

One of the threads running through the day was that each of the presenters told about their journeys from college student to where they are today.  The Stennis Montgomery Association members thus gained valuable insight and motivation for their own futures.  Looking back on the day, one wonders what it must have taken to put all of this together.  Credit for that task goes to SMA President Grace Craig, who coordinated the entire schedule of presenters and other aspects of the trip.

Grace Craig is a senior English major from Jackson, Mississippi.  Actively involved as a student, she has served as Mississippi State University Student Association Director of City of Starkville Relations.  She interned in Washington, D.C. last summer.  She is interested in a career in economic development, preferably in Mississippi.

Catch Frank Abagnale if you can.

Mark you calendar for February 17, 2010.  That’s when Frank William Abagnale, Jr. will be the featured speaker at the Millsaps College Else School of Management Spring Forum, which will be on the subject of ethics.

According to the Wikipedia entryFrank William Abagnale, Jr. (born April 27, 1948) is an American security consultant best known for his history as a former confidence trickster, check forger, skilled impostor and escape artist. He became notorious in the 1960s for successfully passing US$2.5 million worth of meticulously forged checks across 26 countries over the course of five years, starting when he was only 16 years old. In the process, he claimed to have assumed no less than eight separate identities, successfully impersonated an airline pilot, a doctor, a prison inspector, and a lawyer, and escaped from police custody twice (once from a taxiing airliner and once from a US Federal penitentiary), all before he was 21 years old.Abagnale’s life story provided the inspiration for the feature film Catch Me If You Can, based on his ghostwritten autobiography of the same name. He is currently a consultant and lecturer at the academy and field offices for the Federal Bureau of Investigation. He also runs Abagnale & Associates, a financial fraud consultancy company.

Notes and Reflections from Millsaps Economic Forum

On Tuesday, October 7, the Millsaps College Else School of Management held its Fall Forum.  Presenters were Thomas Cunningham, VP and Associate Director of Research at the Atlanta Federal Reserve, John Turner, Director of Economic Development for Entergy Mississippi and Ben Allen, President of Downtown Jackson Partners.  Each offered their perspective on “What does our economic future hold?”

Cunningham said that this recession is different.  One of the main reasons is that subprime debt has been widely distributed among a variety of investors.  Trading ultimately broke down because many investors did not understand the instruments.  What brought on the recession was “pervasive financial distrust.”  He pointed out that steep recessions will be usually followed by steep recoveries.  That is not going to happen this time.  The Fed does not think that consumers will go back to running up debt because banks are not going to let them do that.  Consumers are going to “deleverage,” i.e. pay down debt.  The consequesnce is that consumption will not snap back.  He said that this recovery, like all recoveries, is a “jobless recovery.”  Companies don’t hire first when the economy turns around; they wait.  In short, we will see a slow rate of growth coming out of this recession.  He also said that we will not see an inflation problem in the near term.  We will see falling prices.

John Turner said that energy will be a critical factor going forward.  Reliability is replacing affordability as the primary concern for major users.  Capacity is a big factor.  He said that if cap and trade goes through that it will raise electricity prices in the Southeast.  Entergy Mississippi is seeing a lot of interest by prospects in north Mississippi, especially near Memphis.

Ben Allen, effervescent promoter of downtown, said that people are finally “getting it.”  It being the urban lifestyle.  He pointed out Jackson is a little late with downtown redevelopment, especially when compared to Little Rock and Birmingham.  He pointed out that right now every downtown apartment has a waiting list, and that there are 4,000 downtown apartments planned.

Millsaps College QB Juan Joseph wins Conerly Trophy

Major Surprise: Joseph Wins 2008 Cellular South Conerly Trophy
Senior QB becomes first player from Division III to be awarded state’s top honor

December 2, 2008

CLARKSDALE – Millsaps College senior quarterback and All-American hopeful Juan Joseph capped a stellar four-year career with an unforgettable honor on Tuesday night, as he was named the recipient of the 2008 Cellular South Conerly Trophy as the best college football player in the state of Mississippi.  More…

Millsaps College listed in The Chronicle of Higher Education’s 2008 Great Colleges to Work For

The private, United Methodist-affiliated school ranked in three of 27 categories:

supervisor makes expectations clear and solicits ideas,
requirements for tenure are clear, and
adequate time is given for research.  Read the article...

Full disclosure notice:  I am proud to be an adjunct faculty member at the Else School of Management at Millsaps College, where I teach Management.  I am equally proud to be an employee of the John C. Stennis Institute of Government at Mississippi State University.  Now you know why so many of my blog entries refer to those schools.