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The seven deadly sins of business

BY Dan Mack

 

Pride comes before a fall.  And it is very subtle.

Are you vulnerable to one of the seven deadly sins of business, and have you taken the necessary precautions to prevent them from seeping into your company?

The seven deadly are a list of rebellious vices that historically have afflicted mankind. The center of each vice is the tendency to focus too much on one’s self and not enough on others. Sounds like the criticism many buyers have of a number of today’s top sales and marketing leaders, doesn’t it?  

Too much focus on one’s own agenda, hindering one’s ability to truly recognize the customer’s larger strategies, damages customer relations and value creation while limiting one’s ability to attract and retain great talent. And we are all at risk.

These business vices sneak up on all of us and can infiltrate our teams without us ever recognizing that it grips us. Today’s hyper competitive environment or one’s own aspirations can leave you vulnerable to these seven silent killers. Let’s take a look in the mirror at each of them.

1. Greed — a thirst for more (whether you deserve it or not), including demanding excessive face time with customers, and pummeling everyone with too many “self-indulgent” power points slides is a repulsive trait. Greedy organizations are not reliable; they lack character, and over time lose customer trust.

2. Gluttony — launching undifferentiated, unnecessary new items, contributes to a fat product assortment, limited growth and a boring brand. Gluttony will scare away your best people, and an out-of-control appetite leaves you vulnerable to upstarts and a fall.

3. Lust — an unquenchable need for power, promotes a culture that loses their objectivity and ability to truly serve as an advisor, strategist and counselor to the customer. Lusting companies are frenetic (like on a sugar buzz) and lack critical thinking and objectivity. Their recommendations are not be trusted, because they lack honor.

4. Sloth — lack of discipline, lack of systems, limited training and a reactionary culture are the symptoms of sloth gone wild. This includes not proactively hiring the right people to take you to the next level, not investing in knowledge or not building a healthy culture. Lazy, undisciplined cultures eventually fail, because they minimize the little things.

5. Wrath — organizations that are fueled by indignant, vindictive leaders operate from a bunker mentality. They often are charming in public, but their siege mentality fuels isolation or harsh words to anyone who challenges their views. They are adept at justifying mistakes and fail to collaborate with rivals, creating their own misguided reality. They neglect to understand the deeper needs of the customer because they are isolationists.

6. Envy — organizations with almost a painful or resentful awareness of their competitor’s strengths lose track of their own vision. They are motivated more by their competitors, than their own ideas. Jealous cultures lose themselves, and their customers don’t find them either attractive or valuable. They end up sounding like a cover band and never create their own music.

7. Pride — when you start believing you are bigger than your organization you are on the verge of a growth stall and potentially a personal fall. The key is to enlist people who do not focus on protecting you & the organization, but focus on sharpening your thinking through debate. Eliminating or minimizing contrarian voices that challenge your vision is the ultimate sign of a weak organization and an even weaker leader. Healthy organizations hire dissenting voices, reducing issues with pride and blind spots.

The seven deadly sins are subtle and sinister, and they affect all of us. The key to keeping them at bay is constant introspection, creating a virtual board of directors who are honest with you and encouraging candid open discussions with your customers.

Are any of them creeping into your business?

 

Dan Mack — Founder of Mack Elevation Forum and author of Dark Horse: How Challengers Companies Rise to Prominence. To learn more go to www.mackelevationforum.com or call Dan Mack at (630) 607-2774.

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Upsher-Smith announces generic Qudexy XR

BY Ryan Chavis

MAPLE GROVE, Minn. — Upsher-Smith Labs on Monday announced the launch of topiramate extended-release capsules, an authorized generic version of Qudexy XR (topiramate) extended-release capsules. The drug is a once-a-day, broad-spectrum antiepileptic drug that's engineered to provide a smooth pharmacokinetic profile.

Both Qudexy XR and its generic equivalent may be swallowed whole or administered by opening the capsule and sprinkling the contents on a spoonful of soft food, the company said.

“At Upsher-Smith, we are breaking the traditional mold and making a generic equivalent to Qudexy XR available immediately so that clinicians and their patients have faster and more affordable access to our quality extended-release topiramate, which is manufactured using the same materials and process as the brand,” said Mark Evenstad, president and CEO of Upsher-Smith. “This launch reflects our commitment to simplify access to effective treatments and provide quality, high-value products to patients.”.

The branded and generic drug are available in 25-mg, 50-mg, 100-mg, 150-mg and 200-mg dosage strengths.

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Study: Coupling injected polio vaccine with more commonly used live oral polio vaccine may eradicate disease

BY Michael Johnsen

LONDON — Re-introducing a type of polio vaccine that fell out of favour in the 1960s could hasten eradication of the disease, according to new research.
 
The study — conducted by Imperial College London and the Christian Medical College in Vellore, India — suggests that the injected polio vaccine, or IPV, which is rarely used today in countries affected by polio, could provide better and longer lasting protection against infection if used in combination with the more commonly used live oral polio vaccine, or OPV.
 
The findings were published last week in The Lancet.
 
Vaccination protects an individual against contracting polio, but they can still be infected by the virus, which replicates in the gut and can be passed to others through contact with infected feces. This has led to serious polio outbreaks in Asia, Africa and Europe over the last 10 years, and is hampering efforts to eradicate the disease.
 
Most vaccination campaigns use multiple doses of OPV that provide some gut immunity, although this wanes over time.
 
"Because IPV is injected into the arm, rather than taken orally, it's been assumed it doesn't provide much protection in the gut and so would be less effective at preventing faecal transmission than OPV," explained Jacob John, associate professor at the Christian Medical College, who led the study. "However, we found that where the children already had a level of immunity due to OPV, the injected vaccine actually boosted their gut immunity," he said. "In the 1960s there was extensive rivalry between the scientists who developed the two vaccines, with OPV eventually becoming the most popular. But it looks as if the strongest immunity can been achieved through a combination of the two."
 
The study involved 450 children from a densely populated urban area in Vellore, India, all of whom had received the oral polio vaccine as part of a standard vaccination program. Half of the children were given a dose of the injected vaccine and half given nothing. One month later, the children were given a 'challenge' dose of the live oral vaccine to simulate reinfection.
 
Their stools were tested after seven days to see if the virus was present, specifically the two remaining serotypes of the virus which are resisting eradication — serotype 1 and serotype 3. In the children who had received the IPV, the researchers found that 38% fewer had serotype 1 in their stool, and 70% fewer had serotype 3, compared with those who had not been given the injected vaccine.
 
"Our findings show that an additional dose of the injected vaccine is more effective at boosting immunity against infection than the oral vaccine alone," said Nick Grassly, professor of Vaccine Epidemiology at Imperial College London, senior author of the study. "This implies that the IPV could be used to boost immunity in people travelling from or to polio-infected countries, such as Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nigeria. It could also replace some of the OPV doses in immunization campaigns to boost gut immunity, particularly in areas of poor sanitation."

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