Forget Anbang, Marriott is a better bet for Starwood — Barbara Dyer

MIT Sloan Senior Lecturer and Visiting Scientist Barbara Dyer

MIT Sloan Senior Lecturer and Visiting Scientist Barbara Dyer

From Fortune

Let’s say you have offers for two different jobs that interest you. The first one pays more, but comes from a company you don’t know that much about. The second offer is a bit lower, but that company has a long history that you know well. How do you decide between the two?

By taking the higher offer, you guarantee yourself a bigger salary, but you also open yourself up to more unknowns down the road. The lower offer means you’d work for a firm you admire and while your initial paycheck would be smaller, you might realize other benefits such as professional development and career advancement down the road.

In a sense, this is the same dilemma facing Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, the Connecticut-based owner of such brands as Sheraton, Westin and St. Regis. Since agreeing to an initial $12.2 billion takeover offer from Marriott International MAR -5.45% , Inc. in November, Starwood HOT -4.61% has become the object of a mad-lover’s pursuit between Marriott and a consortium led by China’s Anbang Insurance Group. Following a round of counteroffers, Maryland-based Marriott’s latest proposal values Starwood at $13.6 billion while Anbang Insurance Group came in with an all-cash bid of $14 billion.

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How to tackle America’s physician shortage — Barbara Dyer

MIT Sloan Senior Lecturer and Visiting Scientist Barbara Dyer

MIT Sloan Senior Lecturer and Visiting Scientist Barbara Dyer

From Fortune

Since the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was enacted in 2010, 16.4 million Americans have entered the healthcare system. This record number of insured individuals applies tremendous pressure on an already stretched system, but it also creates opportunities for innovation. The population of newly insured patients includes many who are living close to the poverty line. The rate of low-wealth Americans who are now insured increased by 13% while a Gallup poll found that low-wealth Americans were more likely to struggle with chronic conditions such as diabetes, obesity, depression, and high blood pressure.

In order to effectively meet the increased patient load, health centers must be prepared to manage the influx of new patients efficiently and cost-effectively. Complicating this is the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) finding that the U.S. is headed towards a “doctor shortage.” The AAMC estimates that total physician demand will grow by up to 17%, which translates into a shortage of more than 31,000 primary care doctors and up to 63,700 other physicians by 2025.  Read More »

Behind the hype over Aetna’s minimum wage boost — Barbara Dyer

MIT Sloan Senior Lecturer and Visiting Scientist Barbara Dyer

MIT Sloan Senior Lecturer and Visiting Scientist Barbara Dyer

From Fortune

Last week, Aetna, Inc., one of the largest healthcare insurers in America, made news when it announced it would boost its minimum wage base to $16 an hour for its lowest-earning employees. Aetna  AET 0.35%  also pledged to cover more of its employee’s health costs. In a Wall Street Journal interview, CEO Mark Bertolini said the company hopes to reduce its $120 million annual turnover costs and will monitor how this investment plays out.

While a firm’s decision to increase pay for lower-wage workers should certainly be applauded, it also begs the question: Why is the decision to pay workers $16 per hour breaking news?

My answer: because of the message it sends to investors and shareholders.

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Running business as if the future matters — Barbara Dyer

MIT Sloan Senior Lecturer and Visting Scientist Barbara Dyer

MIT Sloan Senior Lecturer and Visting Scientist Barbara Dyer

From The Case Foundation

The Long Now Foundation’s Interval Café is a place for conversation about long-term thinking. Nestled in a concrete warehouse at San Francisco’s historic Fort Mason, the Interval was a fitting watering hole for the nearly 2,500 participants in the recent Social Capital Markets (SOCAP) gathering. SOCAP’s annual pilgrimage to Fort Mason brought together innovators, investors, foundations and social entrepreneurs to “build a world we want to leave to future generations.”

But drive an hour south from Fort Mason to Silicon Valley and you’ll be reminded that short-termism is deeply embedded in our business culture. This epicenter of tech start-ups is defined by a business development norm of launch, scale and exit. Investors are more likely to ask, “What’s your exit strategy?” than “What’s your long-term vision?”

Today’s young business leaders came of age in the era of “short-termism” where companies enter and exit in five to ten year cycles and compete in a world where workers average 11.3 jobs during their careers. Dramatic disruption in the 1980s due to globalization, recession and technological change gave way to financial markets’ relentless push for short-term gains. Jim Collin’s 1994 book Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies may have been a last bow to long-term business thinking.

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