Nothing is as valuable as reputation. And yet we see corporate reputations squandered daily. In truth, most companies and people spend every day trying to do the right thing and protect their reputation. Very few set out to do anything less. So how does it happen?

The Complexity of Cognitive Dissidence

Reputation can become damaged in a variety of ways, but mostly, a little bit at a time. I call it the “Paper Clip Slip.” Anyone who hasn’t walked off with a company-owned paper clip hasn’t ever worked with paper clips. The problem comes when the theft grows to a box of paper clips, or pencils or something else.

Topic: Strategies
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American firms are entranced by China’s potential market size. In fact, its size is generally one of two main criteria considered when American firms make the decision to sell there. The other is the burgeoning disposable income of the middle class. Unfortunately, only focusing on the size and disposable income of the Chinese middle class—while ignoring cultural aspects—can lead to a suboptimal outcome.

Topic: Strategies
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A container isn’t just a container anymore. Today, "smart containers" curtail cargo theft and can deter terrorism. But problems remain.

Progress Continues

By utilizing various technologies, including ultrasound, radio frequency identification (RFID) and satellite technology, containers can be equipped with devices that detect door openings, changes in light, temperature, vibration and more. For example, e-seals, RFID-enabled seals that fasten to a container door, provide wireless alerts if tampering occurs.

Topic: Strategies
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Each year, more than 75 million Americans get sick from eating spoiled or contaminated food. The result: approximately 325,000 are hospitalized and 5,000 die, according to the Progressive Policy Institute, a Washington, D.C. think tank. The vast majority of contaminated food is produced in the United States. But since a growing share of food products — estimated at 13 percent — is sourced abroad, importers need to be vigilant and vet their suppliers.

Topic: Strategies
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Whether you are explaining your corporate response to globalization or defending it, your ability to effectively communicate your position is paramount. Why? Your ability to do so can help achieve greater understanding, acceptance and support. Your failure to do so, however, can result in bad press, policymakers running for cover, low employee morale and decreased investor confidence.

Topic: Strategies
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