StrategyDriven Podcast Receives Top Honors in March

The StrategyDriven Team would like to thank you, our listeners, for helping us achieve the third place ranking for the StrategyDriven Podcast from among the over 2800 business podcasts listed on Podcast Alley in March!

In each episode, our co-hosts and their guests present a richer and deeper exploration of the principle, best practice, and warning flag articles found on the StrategyDriven website. Their discussions identify benefits, define implementation methods, and provide examples to help leaders increase alignment and heighten accountability within their organizations.

The strength of our community grows with the additional insights brought by our expanding member base. With your support, our community of listeners and readers has grown tremendously in the past several months. Please help us continue to grow by recommending the StrategyDriven Podcast to family, friends, and colleagues who you believe will benefit from listening.

Additionally, please consider voting for us monthly on Podcast Alley by clicking here. Casting your vote for the StrategyDriven Podcast improves our monthly ranking and helps us attract new listeners which, in turn, grows our community.

Thank you again for listening to and voting for the StrategyDriven Podcast!

StrategyDriven Podcast Series

StrategyDriven Editorial Perspective – You Don’t Get Something for Nothing

Some would argue that with President Obama’s signing of health care legislation into law a great deal of uncertainty was eliminated from the marketplace. While the uncertainty associated with whether or not health care legislation would become law has been resolved, the new healthcare entitlement itself represents an injection of new uncertainty into the market. As is the case with many laws, the various regulatory agencies of the U.S. government must now determine the specifics of how the new law will be enacted. This process itself may take several years to accomplish; allowing the uncertainty to continue to fester within the U.S. marketplace. Additionally, legal challenges as to the constitutionality of the healthcare law also inject an unknown into the business environment. Thus, businesses are left to deal with the healthcare uncertainty at least for the time being.

One thing is for certain, you don’t get something for nothing. Provisions of the new healthcare law provide for the extension of benefits to millions of currently uninsured Americans. Insurance companies will not be able to deny coverage to individuals with pre-existing health conditions and there will no longer be lifetime insurance payout limits. Another requirement extends the age for which children can be carried on their parent’s insurance policy to twenty-six. …and the list goes on. All of these additional healthcare benefits have to be paid for by someone or some company even if the specifics of those payments remain unknown for some time.

Some leaders already estimated the cost of the new healthcare law on their organization as:

  • AT&T: $1,000 million
  • Verizon: $970 million
  • Deere & Co.: $150 million
  • Beoing Co.: $150 million
  • Caterpillar: $100 million
  • Prudential Financial: $100 million
  • Lockheed Martin Corp.: $96 million
  • 3M Co.: $85-$90 million
  • Exelon Corp.: $65 million
  • AK Steel: $31 million
  • Eaton: $25 million
  • Illinois Tool Works: $22 million
  • Xcel Energy: $17 million
  • Valero: $15-$20 million
  • Honeywell: $13 million
  • Goodrich: $10 million
  • Allegheny Technologies: $5 million1

Other companies warning of an increase in benefits costs include: Con-Way Inc., Navistar Inc., Xerox Corp., Public Service Enterprise Group Inc., and Met Life Inc.2

The total cost of this [healthcare legislation] has been significantly underestimated,” said Jim Rogers, Chief Executive Officer of Duke Energy Corp. and a director of U.S. health insurer Cigna Corp. “Corporations are going to pay billions of dollars this year that no one even talked about in the debate and that’s just the beginning.

Rogers said the health-care law makes it more economical for Duke Energy to pay a penalty for not providing health coverage for employees, forcing workers to “go shop” for a plan. The company won’t take this route, he said.

Your health-care program is important; it demonstrates that you care about your employees,” he said. “So as a practical matter we won’t be driven by the most economic thing to do, we will be driven by taking care of our employees.3

StrategyDriven Recommended Practices

So what is known? Unless the new healthcare law is found to be unconstitutional, it is reasonable to infer that existing capital within our economic system, regardless of its source, will be diverted in larger portions to the healthcare industry – and away from other market sectors. It is also reasonable to assume that those receiving health care coverage will make greater use of the medical services now available to them than simply the emergency room visits they were entitled to before. These reasonable yet broad assumptions drive StrategyDriven leaders to consider the following strategic options:

  • Eliminating, streamlining, and outsourcing all labor intensive work activities. The goal is to reduce hiring and/or eliminate headcount in order to avoid the potential costs associated with the new healthcare legislation. In the case of outsourcing, serious consideration should be given to transferring those functions not absolutely required to be performed within the United States to overseas providers.
  • Relocating operations to another country not as heavily burdened with taxes and other mandates. The goal is to reduce non-value adding payments required by the government. Consideration must be given to other added costs such as transportation and importation taxes when evaluating whether or not to relocate.
  • Examining the potential competitive advantage the organization’s health care program provides when seeking to attract and/or maintain talent. The goal is to use the organization’s healthcare benefits as a differentiator when acquiring and maintaining top performing individuals.
  • For those organizations providing products and/or services to the healthcare industry, reevaluating the company’s production capacity with respect to the potential change in the demand resulting from the influx of millions of newly insured patients. The goal is to be appropriately prepared and positioned to seize as much of the newly created market as possible.
  • For those organizations not currently providing products and/or services to the healthcare industry, considering the impact of the diversion of discretionary personal funds and/or corporate capital away from their market segment. This evaluation should take into account the extent to which the product and/or service is provided are a human or business necessity. The goal is to estimate the amount of business loss that may be incurred because of the diversion of personal and corporate funds to the healthcare industry.
  • For those organizations not currently providing products and/or services to the healthcare industry, evaluating the company’s capability and opportunity to provide products and/or services to the healthcare industry. The goal is to be appropriately prepared and positioned to seize some of the newly created market if it is reasonable for the organization to do so.

Final Request…

StrategyDriven Editorial Perspective PodcastThe strength in our community grows with the additional insights brought by our expanding member base. Please consider rating us and sharing your perspectives regarding the StrategyDriven Editorial Perspective podcast on iTunes by clicking here. Sharing your thoughts improves our ranking and helps us attract new listeners which, in turn, helps us grow our community.

Thank you again for listening to the StrategyDriven Editorial Perspective podcast!


  1. “Companies Take Billions In Health Care Charges,” Reid Wilson, National Journal, April 2, 2010
  2. “Deere & Co. says new health care reform law will increase fiscal 2010 expenses by about $150M,” Josh Funk, Associated Press, March 25, 2010
  3. “Duke Energy Says Health Law to Result in ‘Large’ Cost (Update1),” Kim Chipman and Jordan Burke, Bloomberg, April 01, 2010

Leadership Inspirations – Team Commitment

“Individual commitment to a group effort – that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.”

Vince Lombardi (1913 – 1970)
Green Bay Packers Head Coach from 1959 to 1967,
winning five league championships during these nine years

Following his death in September 1970, the NFL’s ‘World Championship Game Trophy’ was renamed the Vince Lombardi Trophy. Each year, the trophy is presented to the winner of the Super Bowl.

StrategyDriven Podcast Episode 30 – The Cost of Not Engaging Employees

StrategyDriven Podcasts focus on the tools and techniques executives and managers can use to improve their organization’s alignment and accountability to ultimately achieve superior results. These podcasts elaborate on the best practice and warning flag articles on the StrategyDriven website.

Episode 30 – The Cost of Not Engaging Employees explores the cost of not engaging employees; revealing why this business imperative can have as significant a return on investment as most other strategic initiatives. During our discussion, Michael Lee Stallard, author of Fired Up or Burned Out: How to Reignite Your Team’s Passion, Creativity, and Productivity and co-Founder and President of E Pluribus Partners, shares with us his insights and illustrative examples regarding:

  • the definition of employee engagement and what truly engaged employees ‘look like’
  • quantitative level of employee engagement at the average organization
  • why so many employees are not engaged or not aligned with their organization’s strategy
  • activities and costs to develop and maintain an engaged workforce
  • other qualitative improvements higher employee engagement yields and the typical impact these improvements have on organizational performance

Additional Information

In addition to the incredible insights Michael shares in Fired Up or Burned Out and this edition of the StrategyDriven Podcast are the resources accessible from his website,   Michael’s Connection Culture Manifesto can be downloaded for free by clicking here. His book, Fired Up or Burned Out, can be purchased by clicking here.

A special gift for StrategyDriven readers…

We are pleased to announce that Michael has made the electronic version of his book, Fired Up or Burned Out: How to Reignite Your Team’s Passion, Creativity, and Productivity, available for download at no cost to our readers. Simply click on the link above to download your copy of this remarkable book on how to better engage employees; igniting their creativity, imagination, and spirits to the success of the organization.

Final Request…

The strength of our community grows with the additional insights brought by our expanding member base. Please consider rating us on iTunes by clicking here. Rating the StrategyDriven Podcast and providing your comments online improves our ranking and helps us attract new listeners which, in turn, helps us grow our community.

Thank you again for listening to the StrategyDriven Podcast!

About the Author

Michael Lee Stallard, author of Fired Up or Burned Out, is co-Founder and President of E Pluribus Partners, a consulting firm specializing in helping leaders create ‘Connection Cultures’ to form strong bonds among the management, employees, and customers of an organization. Michael’s work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Leader to Leader, Human Resource Executive, and Fox Business Now. He has spoken at conferences organized by The Conference Board, GE, Google, NASA, Johnson & Johnson and Yale-New Haven Hospital. To read Michael’s full biography, click here.

StrategyDriven Decision-Making Warning Flag Article

Decision-Making Warning Flag 1c – ad hominem: Personal, Not Issue Attacks

“An ad hominem argument, also known as argumentum ad hominem (Latin: "argument to the man", "argument against the man") consists of replying to an argument or factual claim by attacking or appealing to a characteristic or belief of the person making the argument or claim, rather than by addressing the substance of the argument or producing evidence against the claim.

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