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Michael Geczi is a highly experienced editor/writer, based in Los Angeles, whose journalism career included positions at The Wall Street Journal, BusinessWeek, the Associated Press, The Dallas Morning News, the Memphis Commercial-Appeal and The Financial Times of Canada. His articles also have appeared in The New York Times, the South China Morning Post, the New York Daily News, Inc. magazine and The Sporting News. He has more than 30 years of top-flight experience.
In addition to work as a reporter and editor, Mike has been an internal and external communications specialist, author, university instructor and marketing executive. He is the author of “Futures: The Anti-Inflation Investment,” published by Avon Books.
He also has been an Adjunct Instructor at the University of Southern California Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.
His most-recent corporate experience was Vice President, Marketing and Communications at Cast & Crew Entertainment Services, Burbank.
Mike has worked in more than 30 countries, and lived/worked in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Moscow and Hong Kong.
Find writers and ideas in this industry
Find writers and ideas in this industry
Find writers and ideas in this industry
To achieve your career goals, it’s essential you take on what might feel like new behavior: planning, executing, taking risks, making choices and assertively saying who you are and what you can do. You also need to demonstrate confidence and overcome self-doubt. Your career journey is challenging enough. Giving in to self-doubt will make it that much harder.
Black, LatinX and women founders are regularly systemically marginalized in attempting to raise funds from venture capital (VC) and private equity (PE) investors. In my last column I discussed what prospective investors need to do to improve the situation. That said, entrepreneurs from these underrepresented groups can take actions to improve their odds for raising money as well.
The entertainment industry, dependent on production at the front end and attendance at the back end, is at an obvious Covid-19 crossroads. New movies aren’t being produced – either because they can’t be completed or production has been delayed. Attendance, meanwhile, has been hammered by the combination of forced closings, voluntary shutdowns, the lack of fresh content, and the public’s reluctance to spend a couple of hours on a Saturday or Sunday with a theater filled with strangers.
“Family is one of nature’s masterpieces” — philosopher George Santayana. If so, what are we to make of estranged family relationships? And, extending the question, how do we process the death of an estranged family member?
There’s a thin line between being ambitious and being aggressive. Well, not necessarily for you, but certainly for those people you encounter in your life journey … and who form perceptions about you. And, if you are female and/or a person of color, the line often is non-existent … which causes challenges if it also affects the way you think about yourself.
Special Purpose Acquisition Companies, or SPACs, have been steadily rising in prominence over the last year, earning headlines with a number of eye-popping capital raises and making acquisitions that took high-profile companies public, including Virgin Galactic and electric carmaker Nikola. Previous, a relatively niche investment vehicle, many cannabis and hemp industry operators are still not clear as to how these investment companies operate, and what one should do if approached by a SPAC.
Many people say it's never too late to plan. I say it's never too early. Consider: many people jump headlong into life without a strategy or even a clear set of goals. It really shouldn’t be surprising, then, that so many people find themselves grounded in the same traffic jam as everyone else, wondering what they did to get so stuck. Here’s what they did (actually, what they didn’t do): They didn’t develop – and then implement – a plan that aligned with their goals.
COVID-19? Two pieces of advice: Wash your hands. But don’t sit on them … at least when it comes to your career! Women, of course, have always faced huge work/life integration challenges. (Note my intentional use of “integration” rather than “balance,” which doesn’t accurately characterize the issue.) We’re professionals, moms, wives, siblings, friends, volunteers, mentors, mentees and so on. We don’t put on one hat and take off another. We wear all our hats, all the time.
You deserve the career you want, on your terms. It’s there for the taking … … if you take risks, that is. And if you are intentional. There are no two ways about it: Vulnerability is an unavoidable side effect of ambition. But if you avoid taking risks, you limit your opportunities.
A mentor can be a lot of things. Advisor. Sounding board. North star. Catalyst. Naysayer. Cheerleader. Connector. Closer. Facts: · Mentoring is one of the very best ways to improve a younger employee’s career progress and opportunities. · Most companies and people go about it all wrong. I am a big believer in “choices.” But I also believe firmly in the concept of planning and creating your own success on your own terms.
Increasingly, diversity is seen by an organization’s key stakeholders – investors, customers and employees – as critical to the “social license” to operate. And that’s good. However, far too many organizations fail to achieve their diversity objectives and discover their social license isn’t the only thing impacted: they also don’t achieve the boost in business performance that a diverse workforce brings.
Over the past few years, a growing number of private and publicly owned organizations have announced diversity and inclusion initiatives aimed at their Boards of Directors and C-suites. Here at Culture Shift Labs, we’ve found that the ultimate success of these activities is dependent upon a number of factors, including whether organizations are, in fact, focused on meaningful and tangible outcomes or are simply “checking the diversity and inclusion box.”
Today, as we shelter in place, dealing with the public health and economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, we clearly see yet another example of how our future quality of life is largely in the hands of the amazing entrepreneurs who innovate. We watch from our homes as scientists across the world work tirelessly to discover new treatments and vaccines, giving us the solution that will allow us to get back to our lives. Entrepreneurship has always been and continues to be the core of who we are.
I have no credentials to write about race relations, equal justice or the Black experience. I have lifelong credentials to write about white privilege and communications. So, we start there. This week, as my social-media and email accounts filled up with corporate and institutional statements — and skillfully designed graphics — in support of the Black Lives Matter/George Floyd protests, I couldn’t stop focusing on two things.
The appeal of the internet of things (IoT) remains strong for businesses. And while a great business idea is an essential initial component of your IoT strategy, an equally creative pricing and monetization strategy that customers understand is critical for success. Frequently, we see a cool business model “die” when it comes to pricing and monetizing the service. Why? Because the pricing strategy can’t work the way the business model was designed to work.
As the COVID-19 pandemic moves into 2020’s second quarter, the commercial real estate (CRE) industry is experiencing severe pressure across multiple consumer-related fronts, ranging from hospitality to shopping centers. And, while these direct impacts are having significant effect on the CRE and affiliated industries, the more profound – and enduring – changes likely are still to come.
Financial-technology advancements are being created in response to -- and, in some cases, the anticipation of – the disruptive technologies significantly changing how value gets created today. They also are driving the creation of new finance leadership opportunities, responsibilities, key performance indicators (KPIs) and a new specialist: the tech-savvy Chief Financial Officer.
The novel coronavirus/COVID-19 is having a growing and dramatic impact on us personally and on the global economy. Throughout this article we will provide business leaders with a perspective on the evolving situation and implications for their technology companies. On one end of the spectrum, we are faced with new and difficult economic challenges – how we pivot and overcome fear in the face of adversity will define who the future leaders in the technology industry will be.
Amid the uncertainty and concerns surrounding the COVID-19 outbreak, health-care providers, public-health specialists, government officials and investors (and the general public) are looking to the biotech industry to create a “game-saving” vaccine against the novel coronavirus. This optimism, and pressure, is particularly visible in the stock market.
As the United State’s first commercial teledentistry practice, Virtudent is committed to increasing access to care, lowering costs, and improving outcomes. We’re driven by several factors, including our long-held concern that various social aspects of society are hurt by poor oral health. This way of thinking is underscored by a study published in the Journal of Public Health Dentistry.
Looking for a challenging DIY (or, at least, partial-DIY) home project? Not falling through the attic into the living room or onto the dining room table challenging enough for you? Well, installing blown-in insulation in the attic may be just the thing.
ASC 606 was introduced a little more than five years ago when regulators issued new accounting standards designed to change the way organizations approach revenue recognition. The goal of the regulation: improve the financial reporting of revenue and, at the same time, the comparability of the top line in financial statements globally.
The sharing economy is projected to grow to $335 billion in revenue by 2025. This level of growth requires new business operating strategies, if these companies want to remain competitive. Pricing is particularly critical for success in the sharing economy.
You’ve spent much of your adult life hearing and reading that personal bankruptcy is a scarring consequence of financial mismanagement and needs to be avoided at all costs. For many of you, this advice couldn’t be more wrong. The fact is, personal bankruptcy often can be a solution, one that provides an opportunity to wipe out huge debt – frequently associated these days with runaway medical costs – and get a fresh start. And bankruptcy should be looked at that way.
Over the past few years, countless organizations – ranging from large corporations to small non-profits – have become more sensitized to diversity and inclusion (D&I) issues, challenges and opportunities. In many of these organizations, moreover, D&I has risen to the top of its key strategic goals and key performance indicators (KPIs). And that’s great. Culture Shift Labs is proud to note that we've been focused on D&I for more than a decade.
The 2019 Academy Awards were universally panned for the decision to go forward without a host (following Kevin Hart losing the gig). To many, that was the second-worst hosting decision in Oscar memory, topped only by the James Franco-Anne Hathaway fiasco combination of 2011. No decision has been made by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences as to who (or if anyone) will host the 2020 Awards show, which is scheduled for February 9, 2020. There are plenty of rumors and suggestions .
PG&E’s role in the recent spate of wildfires is an issue being vigorously debated across the state. What the utility has done wrong and what it plans to do about it – or, more appropriately, what actions it may be forced to take – is being discussed with even a greater fervor.
In releasing its review of how the City of Los Angeles contracts outside legal counsel, the City Attorney’s Office announced that legal ethicist Ellen Pansky found no conflict-of-interest issues in the often-bizarre Department of Water and Power overbilling case that has been in the headlines for most of 2019. But there clearly was an overabundance of decision-making issues.
The challenge of Los Angeles-area homelessness – and how best to deal with it – is vividly illustrated by two recent, and seemingly contrasting, developments: (1) The approval in Sherman Oaks of a proposal to build housing for homeless seniors. (2) A troubling city audit on progress in association with Proposition HHH, the $1.2 billion aid package.
The escalating trade war with China and concern that the fiscal stimulus efforts that drove economic growth will fizzle out by the end of 2019 are producing speculation among economists and investors that another recession could be around the corner. Meanwhile, the steady march toward legalization has fueled remarkable growth in the cannabis sector over the last several years. While the outlook on cannabis is bullish, many wonder how this emerging sector will respond to an economic downturn.
For more than half a century, the concept of social responsibility has wound its way through all varieties of companies—private and public, established and startup, local and global. Along the way, new concepts surfaced (divestment in South Africa; sustainability; diversity and inclusion) and new groups (NGOs) were formed. Corporate social responsibility has not only became an acronym (CSR) but an integral part of corporate strategy as well.
At first glance, it isn’t particularly noteworthy that a new café debuted in early October in West Hollywood. The popular Los Angeles neighborhood is filled with restaurants, cafés and bars of all descriptions. Chic to dive. And everything in between. When the Lowell Café opened its doors, however, history was made as it was the first fully licensed cannabis cafe in the U.S.
To scale and grow, a company needs to reach a broader audience, review the areas it does well in and areas that it can provide value in. The similarities end there, however. Fundable, which specializes in crowdfunding for small businesses, notes there is a clear difference between these two go-forward approaches: Growth: adding resources at the same rate you’re adding revenue Scale: adding exponential revenue while only adding incremental resources
Far too many companies of varying sizes today are hampered by the fact that employees’ cultural reality does not meet their expectations. As a result, managers, Human Resources teams, parents, spouses, significant others and friends all are hearing this: This isn’t anything like I thought it would be!
I recently posted on financial industry thought leader Michael Kitces’ Twitter page that we worked with a large financial institution to help our client purchase a $2.0 million home with a $1.6 million, 30-year fixed-rate mortgage of 2.875%. As this rate was far lower than anything most people could secure, his Twitter users – largely Financial Advisors – were extremely skeptical. Most, in fact, said it was impossible for me to do this. Well, it wasn’t -- you just need to know how.
In today’s digital economy, companies increasingly are making the strategic decision to move to a more flexible enterprise billing solution. The reason: They’ve been introducing new product offerings to the market based on usage and recurring revenue, but they are finding themselves bogged down in manual efforts to report on appropriate metrics.
What constitutes effective brand messaging? Why do some brands stand out more than others in their market? Advertising legend David Ogilvy long ago offered this piece of advice regarding messaging: “Clearly define your positioning: What and for Who?” Even Mad Men’s fictional Don Draper offered recommendations, including these two: "Make it simple, but significant." "Success comes from standing out. Not fitting in."
Executive MBA students quickly learn that corporate mergers need to be positioned as “one plus one equals three,” a clear message to shareholders, customers and employees that the combination is greater than the sum of its two parts. Schools with the best records for work-life balance deliver another benefit: they ensure incoming students realize that one-half (work) plus one-half (personal life) plus one-half (school) can actually summarize one holistic experience. And that’s a good thing!
I’ve worked in Online Advertising for my whole career, and after leaving the gentle embrace of a tech giant, I’m reassessing the industry as an outsider. Especially when it comes to data privacy & humane tech. That’s why I started this blog. As I do that soul searching, I thought it might be useful if I did a download of what I know about online advertising data and privacy in a (relatively) concise format. That’s what I’ve done below.
You have a secret. Despite the professional success you’ve achieved, you’re concerned you might not reach the next level. You’re an introvert—and, in your mind at least, that could prevent you from being effective at networking and building professional contacts.
Companies often spend years and exorbitant amounts of money trying to develop an iconic brand. There are good reasons. While business success is obviously a great motivator, there are affiliated objectives as well: Effective branding helps with employee engagement, drives and supports messages, underlines your USP and highlights your differentiation. According to Forbes, “Brands are psychology and science brought together as a promise mark as opposed to a trademark."
Brand. Brand purpose. Corporate DNA. Reputation. Mission, vision, values. Some of the most interesting conversations marketing teams engage in are focused on these topics. And some of the greatest confusion about these topics often dominates these conversations.
It was really interesting recently to hear a group of seasoned communicators/ marketers call out some of their biggest frustrations these days. Any of these sound familiar? Experience vs. “Let’s run a test”
New technologies can enable stunning changes in the way support functions are carried out. To consumers, the entertainment industry – film, television, commercials, events and games – has achieved remarkable technological achievements over the past decade. Behind the scenes, however—or more accurately, in many of the support functions carried out by external specialists—the story is very different.
It’s going to take some more time before we know for sure if Elon Musk is the second coming of Steve Jobs. But one thing we know for sure now is that – for the media, at least – the new has replaced the old.
In communications, sound advice is invaluable. Four decades of working as a journalist, internal communications executive, external consultant, university instructor and marketer have provided me with countless nuggets of advice from my various mentors. Emerging PR and marketing pros should always tune in to a mentor’s advice. Here’s a roundup of tips from communicators who have graciously shared their insights with...
So, what have we learned a few weeks into the JetBlue affair? We've learned that crisis responses that are little more than boilerplate execution of tactics that have been used before - and which aren't built upon a strong foundation of common sense and an accurate understanding of audiences - simply do not work. Indeed, in reaching into the Crisis Management 101 playbook simply for tactics, it can be argued that JetBlue may have created a set of new problems that could be far worse.
If you’re an American who doesn’t follow international soccer or, even worse, dismisses it out of hand, you are missing what arguably could be the best sports story of your lifetime. Think the movies — Hoosiers or Rudy … the 1969 Mets … Joe Namath’s 1970 Jets … North Carolina State over Houston … Villanova over Georgetown … the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team … Giants-Patriots — both of them … Texas Western over Kentucky...
Many observers have wondered, in recent years, whether Chinese companies are willing or able to meet the disclosure and transparency requirements of doing business in the West. This question came up when Western investors contemplated financing Chinese firms, as Chinese companies sought overseas capital and listings on the New York Stock Exchange or Nasdaq in order to take advantage of swelling investor interest.
Our ONWARD series continues. We’ve come to the letter R, which is appropriate, as “reimagining” ourselves characterizes the path we’ve taken over the past few years. This reminded me of the educational program taught by Harvard Business School professors Cynthia A. Montgomery and Srikant M. Datar titled Reimagining Strategy. It advocates emphasizing creativity in strategic thinking so challenges can be reframed and the latest insights, techniques and concepts can be explored.
“Thought leadership” is a communications and marketing approach that organizations—and individuals—have used to varying degrees of success for decades. It’s a concept that most people in an organization typically believe they understand completely and can easily “bang out” without much planning or thought. That belief sits atop the list of most-common mistakes made when putting together a slew of influential messages. Here are 10 keys to ensuring your next strategy is both interesting and
Without question, technology has significantly changed the practice of public relations. Stakeholder targeting has become more specific, new channels have emerged, and conversations have replaced simple news delivery. It has been transformative—though maybe not entirely. The keys to being an effective communicator remain the same. Analytical writing and counseling success have remained the same irrespective of whether a writer is pecking away at a typewriter and pulling copy paper and carbons...
Over the past several years, the benefits and risks of a bimodal technology organization have been extensively debated and written about across several industries. The idea of bifurcating new from old and slow from fast has won fans and critics alike. The brainchild of the folks at Gartner, Inc., bimodal technology organization is the practice of managing two separate, coherent technology delivery models. Mode 1 is traditional and sequential, emphasizing stability, safety and accuracy.
Seeing the photos today of a freed Mikhail Khodorkovsky stirred some glaring memories from 1999-2000 when I spent a significant amount of time with him in Moscow. At the time, Khodorkovksy was riding high, sitting at the top of his Yukos Oil operation after having spent several years carefully building an international profile – first at Bank Menatep and subsequently at Yukos. Khodorkovsky was not yet 40 years old, and had the confidence/arrogance both of a young man who had not experienced
So, remember that whole kerfuffle two campaigns ago about the presidential candidate whose middle name was Hussein? Those who were worked up about Barack Obama’s middle name – and what they said it told us about the real nature of his character – certainly were loud. Time after time, they transparently included his middle name is any and every discussion about him. It did, they told us, prove a good many of the assertions they were making about him.
You work 30, 40 or even 50 years and finally retire. Something you’ve thought about for … well, longer than you can even remember. And then reality bears very little resemblance to what you had imagined for all those years.
Freelance writing; editorial consulting
I worked there from 7/2019 until now
Company: Cast & Crew Entertainment Services
I worked there from 4/2014 until 6/2019
Company: University of Southern California
I worked there from 8/2013 until 6/2014
Company: FTI Consulting
I worked there from 1/2007 until 6/2013
Company: APCO Worldwide
I worked there from 7/2003 until 7/2005
I worked there from 1/2001 until 5/2003
Company: Sitrick And Company
I worked there from 10/1998 until 12/2000
Company: Gavin Anderson & Company
I worked there from 7/1996 until 8/1998
Company: Ogilvy Adams & Rinehart
I worked there from 10/1989 until 6/1996
Company: Merrill Lynch
I worked there from 10/1986 until 10/1989
Company: The Dallas Morning News
I worked there from 9/1981 until 9/1986
I worked there from 6/1978 until 8/1981
Company: The Associated Press
I worked there from 5/1977 until 5/1978
Company: The Wall Street Journal
I worked there from 4/1970 until 5/1977