The Game IS Rigged

Posted by & filed under CGR Staff, Rochester Business Journal.

Kent GardnerGot a connecting flight? As long as you’re continuing with the same airline, the gate can’t be THAT far away, right?

airportNot anymore. If you’ve flown through Detroit lately, you’re familiar with Delta’s McNamara Terminal. With 121 gates, the terminal boasts of 1.5 miles of moving walkway. That’s the good news. The bad news is that your connecting gate may be 1.5 miles away. Since merging with Northwest, Delta dominates flights through Detroit. Or how about Atlanta? Delta flies out of every one of Atlanta’s seven terminals, spread over nearly seven million square feet—60% larger than the Mall of America

Delta, now the oldest American airline (1924), was built from parts of Chicago and Southern, Northeast, Northwest, Republic, Hughes Airwest, Bonanza, Pacific, West Coast, North Central, American Overseas, National, Western and Standard airlines plus Southern, Pan American World, and Atlantic, Gulf, and Caribbean airways. Ranked by total passengers, Delta was the largest airline in the world in 2014. Read more »

Great Leaders Don’t Rely on Data Alone

Posted by & filed under CGR Staff.

Scott SittigEvidence-based decision making is best when data are properly used, when good judgment hasn’t been trumped by bad numbers, or good numbers twisted to support an inappropriate conclusion. Just collecting data, tying it to outcomes and using it to make comparisons isn’t enough.  Numbers must be accurate and they need context. Data are essential to great leaders, but numbers don’t tell the whole story.

Let’s say I wanted to invest in a technology company.  Being a devoted iPhone user, I am predisposed to liking Apple products.  With a few clicks of my mouse I find Apple has earnings per share (EPS) of $13.87.  Is this good?  I quickly search for Google and learn its EPS is at $8.75.  Should I be convinced that Apple’s numbers make it a better investment?

As a good consumer I should ask: Are the metrics accurate?  EPS is a well-known measure of corporate profitability and my source was reputable.  Are the metrics comparable?  In this case, yes, but only after I checked that the EPS numbers covered the same time period.   What do the metrics tell me?  They give me insight into Apple’s and Google’s profitability. Read more »