Work-Life Strategies & Solutions

On the Evolution of Work Systems in the Digital Economy

Private Equity Succession Planning Do’s and Don’ts

Submitted by Michelle Young at Toptal

Authored by Melissa Lin, Finance Editor at Toptal

Edited by Lynn Patra

Executive Summary

Private Equity Succession Planning: Portfolio Companies
Don’ts in Private Equity Succession Planning for Portfolio Companies
Do’s in Private Equity Succession Planning for Portfolio Companies
Succession Planning for Private Equity Firms Themselves

Introduction

While growing investor enthusiasm has contributed to a flood of capital (a historic $3 trillion over the last five years), the private equity industry faces increasing competition among PE firms, record-high multiples, and other factors making it difficult for them to generate attractive returns. One aspect for consideration is succession planning, especially since CEO turnover at portfolio companies occurs at a rate of 73% and has been shown to increase hold time and decrease returns. While succession planning is undoubtedly important for the continuity and sustainability of any company, it may be even more true for those in the private equity industry.

This article defines succession planning and examines the best practices and mistakes to avoid in succession planning for PE portfolio companies (beyond just the CEO level). It also explores succession planning within private equity firms themselves, something PE firms have been uncharacteristically proactive about confronting recently.

What Is Succession Planning for Private Equity Portfolio Companies?

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Special Feature – Managing a Remote Team: How to Do It Well

Here is another upbeat, optimist article on working remotely by Michelle Kiss at Clicktime.com. In this article, she provides valuable some tips for surmounting common problems regarding remote team performance (communication, accountability, etc.) and social cohesion. In Managing a Remote Team: How to Do It Well, she writes:

Remote teams are the future. Heck, remote teams are the present! Thanks to a host of factors — improved technology, the high cost of rent, a more globalized workforce — more and more companies are choosing a remote model.

Going remotely can pay plenty of dividends. It lets you hire the best employees, without being bound by geography, it significantly cuts down overhead, it helps employees maintain a healthier work-life balance (no commuting time!). When done well, it can respect employees’ time and boost their effort.

But it also poses some potential problems. Here are some crucial steps you can take to avoid them.

Read more at Managing a Remote Team: How to Do It Well

Family Office Investment Guide: An Alternative to Venture Capital

This post was written by Vidur G. Gupta, Finance Expert for Toptal.

Submitted by Michelle Young at Toptal

Edited by Lynn Patra

Executive Summary

What Is a Family Office?
How Does Family Office Investing Differ from Venture Capital?
A Family Office Investment Could Be Right for You If…
How Can an Expert Prepare Your Company to Receive an Investment?

15th Century Florence…

Family offices began investing in early-stage ventures centuries ago. In 15th century Florence, the Medici family actively supported young artists by investing in their works (venture capital of its day), patronage which provided the start for some of the greatest masters of all time from Leonardo Da Vinci and Michelangelo to Galileo and Botticelli. Amazingly, this was 500 years before the first formal venture capital firm (ARDC) was founded.

…to Present Day

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Special Feature: 6 Strategies To Make You The Best Mentor

Mentor-mentee relationships can come with interpersonal problems that result from individuals involved not knowing what they’re doing. I’ve found that it isn’t all that uncommon for people to approach mentoring for the wrong reasons and in the wrong manner (e.g., power, control, and manipulation issues). Given what can and does go wrong, this informative article by Michelle Kiss and submitted by Arabella Ignacio from Clicktime.com sets the tone for what mentors should strive for. In 6 Strategies To Make You The Best Mentor, Michelle Kiss writes:

You’re overseeing three huge projects. You’ve got five calls today, then two meetings. Your boss wants that budget by the end of the week, and it’s in bad shape (shh!). Your kid gets out of school early, you haven’t planned dinner, and, oh yeah, you’re still trying to fit in some kind of exercise. So … you’re telling me that I’m also supposed to fit in some kind of mentoring?!

Um … yeah?

We know you’re busy. But if you think about it for a minute, mentoring turns out to be a great way to help your company, give back to your employees, and — in case those reasons aren’t enough — boost your own career.

What other activity can give you valuable leadership experience, new perspectives on your company and workplace, and the motivation to be aware of what’s happening in different departments — all at once? Not only that, but being a great leader to someone helps you identify the next generation of leaders more easily.

Read more at 6 Strategies To Make You The Best Mentor

Update on Content Submission Policy

Ever since I’d invited content submission on my blog, I’ve appreciated all the wonderful submissions covering topics related to my blog that I lack the expertise to write. I read through all submitted articles and am selective about what appears here.

With that said, I have noticed that some of these submissions contain political messaging and that they only come from one side of the political spectrum – the side I’m further away from as some of you might’ve guessed. So, I’ve updated my content submission policy page to reflect my stance on this and inform those wishing to submit content with the following clause: Read more of this post

How to Sell on Amazon [Infographic]

Submitted by Jake Rheude, Director of Marketing at Red Stag Fulfillment

Making extra money online and escaping the nine to five grind often becomes possible when you set up a stream of passive income to supplement your regular income. A great way to do this is to sell products on Amazon.

While it can seem daunting at first, it’s best to remember that the people who sell you products on Amazon are largely normal folks. Anyone can sell on Amazon. All they have to do is choose the right product, set up a profile, and find a fulfillment provider.

Red Stag Fulfillment put together a complete guide to selling on Amazon, but for those who are looking for an overview of the process, this is a good place to start.

Getting Set Up on Amazon – First Steps

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Waking Up a Sleeping Industry: Mattress Industry Disruption

Submitted by Michelle Young at Toptal

Authored by Melissa Lin, Finance Editor at Toptal

Edited by Lynn Patra

Executive Summary

The Traditional Mattress Model
Upstarts Grabbing Market Share
Common Mattress Upstart Success Factors:
The Story Isn’t Black and White
Key Takeaways from Mattress Industry Disruption

Introduction

Mattresses are having a cultural moment. Once crammed into stuffy showrooms with eager salespeople and a dizzying plethora of models touting ergonomic springs or gel foams, mattress purchases have long been a notoriously complicated in-store purchase. However, they have recently become—dare I say it?—sexy. A growing number of upstarts have recently revitalized the industry with innovations in marketing, delivery, a direct-to-consumer model, and new mattress technology. According to Jason Bennett, former Senior Director of Marketing for Gap, Inc., “Mattresses are now a cool thing to talk about. You would never have thought that in years past.” You might be scratching your head wondering how regular mattresses—not even “smart” mattresses—have gained renewed popularity in the public eye, but wonder no more.

While the concept of “disruption” has become somewhat trite in today’s evolving tech world, it may just be that these mattress upstarts are shaking up the business and forcing incumbents to adapt. Rather than the typical narrative of shiny, nimble operations displacing older ones, perhaps there’s room for collaboration and innovation. There are lessons for investors, entrepreneurs, and corporate moguls alike. This article discusses the traditional mattress business model, what these upstarts are doing differently (and better), and some takeaways from these developments. Read more of this post

Design News – Innovation from Around the Globe

Submitted by Michelle Young at Toptal

Authored by Daniel Schwarz, Design Blog Editor at Toptal

Edited by Lynn Patra

 

March 2018

Fascinating Design News – Arriving Every Month

In this Toptal Design World News edition, we highlight four cutting-edge tools that promise to improve design productivity and collaboration. Plus, we bring reports of an improbable comeback in the making—the resurgence of skeuomorphic design.

We’ll also showcase a detailed UI design tutorial that Toptal designer Ruaridh Currie was hired to create for Digital Arts Magazine. Read more of this post

My answer to a Quora question: How do I prepare my long term plan if I want to become a psychologist, philosopher, writer, motivational speaker, music composer, and audio engineer?

Recently, I received a request to answer the question, “How do I prepare my long term plan if I want to become a psychologist, philosopher, writer, motivational speaker, music composer, and audio engineer?” on Quora. Since I haven’t blogged on the topic of aspiring to professionally “wear many hats,”I thought I’d share my consideration of the issues this brings up as it is generally easier to rise through the ranks by specializing in one area. Here’s my answer: Read more of this post

Special Feature: Top 10 Advantages and Disadvantages of Working from Home by Michelle Kiss

Early this year I mentioned that I won’t be authoring any more posts about working remotely myself. I still welcome content submissions on this topic however. That said, the following content on advantages and disadvantages of working from home was submitted by Arabella Ignacio from Clicktime.com. I believe the author made wonderful points and agree with the takeaway message to know yourself. In Top 10 Advantages and Disadvantages of Working from Home, Michelle Kiss writes:

Let’s be real, no matter where you’re working from, you’re still doing just that: working.

So, should you work from home or work from the office? It honestly comes down to what environment you’ll be most effective in. (And how nice your home office is.)

One person’s productivity booster can be another’s distracting disaster.

With that said, let’s take a look at some of the classic benefits that working from home!

Read more at Top 10 Advantages and Disadvantages of Working from Home

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