International joint venture: its risks and benefits

If two unrelated companies strive to combine their resources and share opportunities, they form a joint venture. The success of the venture depends on how well companies researched the expertise and objectives of each other. Smaller businesses can merge with larger ones if they somehow contribute to each other. Businesses can also merge with suppliers that have better technology or service. Parties have to agree upon the structure of the venture, its management, financial backing, the assets that they contribute, the ownership of intellectual property, sharing profit, resolving disputes. A carefully-planed venture has all chances to be successful though certain risks may happen.

Benefits of forming a joint venture include fast growth, high productivity, and profit. Getting access to other markets, technology, workforce, or finance, companies increase their own capacity. There is a chance to share the risk with the partner. Businesses forming a joint venture do not require loans or outer investors to be successful.

Partnering with another business can be a problem that generates related risks. If the objectives of the venture are not clear, partners may have unrealistic expectations from it. Problems arise when partners contribute different levels of investment or expertise into the venture. These and more issues can cause unnecessary disputes that weaken the parties instead of strengthening their performance.

Effective communication between parties is the only way to assure the success of the venture. Companies that can build trust and deal with the problems before they emerge will find a joint venture an easy and effective solution to their problems.

Most efficient leadership training approach

Timely and effective training is a problem to many in the workplace, especially if they are leaders. Everyone expects the leader to know everything in their field, but expectations can be far from the reality. Just like any employee requires instructions before they start doing something new, managers need training to stay competitive in the rapidly changing market. Many leaders rely on e-learning, which is convenient and affordable. Some of them take a costly course that is supposed to improve their performance. But only one in four senior managers reports that their training has really influenced the outcomes for their business. Even an inspiring course can be difficult to apply in practice because of the diversities between the real working environment and the artificial conditions developed by coaches.

Raising leaders shall not be a subconscious process in which supervisors gradually make their way to the top. Instead, current leaders shall closely work with the managers who are about to overtake their duties. Nurturing leaders within the company is the most effective way to address its specific needs. No coach from other businesses can teach managers how to be a better leader in their environment.

Before a good manager becomes a leader, they have to learn a few qualities of their predecessors. They need not only to perform tasks but to bring value to the company with their performance. Instead of being perfect, leaders shall better be flexible in their approaches. Managers have to spread their values to others and help people understand why a shared system of values is so important. Besides, leaders need to work face-to-face with their teams – delegate tasks, meet each other to discuss current problems. And certainly, leaders have to share their knowledge with others.

The use of such a powerful marketing instrument as “word-of-mouth” is in the digital era

The word-of-mouth has not only survived the digital revolution but also became much more potent due to social media. Empowered by online interaction, it travels faster than ever before. People talk on social media much more frequently than they do in pubs and at home. Such a distribution of their attention favors businesses that can generate word-of-mouth just staying connected to their customers on social networks.

There are many reasons why brands use word-of-mouth. They protect the reputation of their brand, get consumers feedback, advertise their products, and provide customers support. Viral marketing became popular as online communication strengthened, and today companies try to create a striking content to attract as many consumers as possible. And after all, word-of-mouth is more persuasive than commercials and promotions through partner brands. The experience of real people is more valuable to potential consumers.

So how do we create word-of-mouth in the digital age? First, we create stories that compel our readers. It is not a commercial presentation of a product but a story about our everyday life that allows people to see themselves in it. Though a marketing text, such a piece of writing is relevant to the readers, not only to the brand. Next, word-of-mouth is created by customers themselves. They create it in reviews, comments, and feedback they post on social media.

The essence of a popular management technique, such as “management by walking around”

Management by walking around (MBWA) originated from Bill Hewlett and David Packard who ran their computer company using very personalized management style. They used to walk by and listen to whatever their subordinates wanted to tell them. Later Steve Jobs undertook this approach in Apple where he listened to complaints of workers and clients per phone. As the online interaction came to every type of business, management by walking around lost its practicality. Managers do not feel like they have enough time to communicate in person with their people. If any questions arise, they are always accessible per e-mail. As a consequence, people try not to bother managers with their issues.

In seems that MBWA is unnecessary in the digital age when every spare minute is gold. But some middle managers still practice this method trying to solve pressing problems. They usually stop by their team members to ask their opinions or insights about everything they deal with. In such companies, employees get used to discussing contradictory issues and deliver bad news to their managers. Though MBWA takes a great portion of time from the manager, they receive a unique opportunity to discover company flaws that shall be managed right away.

The habit of walking around the office and talking to people is especially valuable today. We critically lack live communication even though an online interaction looks effective and fast. Apparently, we cannot put everything that bothers us into an email because it is rather unnatural. The communication is very different when we speak face-to-face. MBWA is all about removing artificial barriers that do not let us speak out.

The arguments for and against business deregulation

Government regulation creates laws that protect businesses from fraud, prevent markets from growing monopolists, and secure banks from engaging in risky mortgages. Small businesses also get better conditions to work side by side with large companies. Regulation may foster innovation and level prices in times of crisis. The government also tries to enhance local ownership to prevent monopolists from owning over 80% of companies in the industry. These and more things happen because the federal and local government feel it necessary to intervene in the free market relationships. In fact, not all economic subjects take governmental regulation positively. The free market prefers to set prices themselves and businesses would like to have 100% decision power in their enterprise.

Proponents of deregulation welcome the freedom of doing business. Lifting regulatory policies, businesses enter the competition and set lower prices. It helps stimulate investment opportunity and economic growth. Nevertheless, deregulation in banking sphere that took place since the 1930s is now blamed for causing the global crisis. Once the Glass-Steagall Act that prohibited banks funding risky stock market purchases was repealed, banks started risky lending. Eventually, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act passed in 2008 became the first pressing banking regulation since the 1930s.

Airline industry became another example of ineffective deregulation. In the 1970s, the flights were rare and expensive due to the regulations of the Civil Aeronautic Board. The Airline Deregulation Act of 1978 boosted competition between companies and cut prices on flights. Over the years, many of those airlines went bankrupt or merged, and the four companies that remained created close-to-monopoly conditions.

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