Biggest, fastest, strangest: Life as a World Records judge
The head of the U.S. records management team for Guinness World Records tells us about his favorite feats and suggests how Marketplace can get in on the action.
Should the Federal Government Be Subsidizing Flood Insurance?
As Hurricane Sandy continues to batter the Eastern seaboard of the United States, one thing is for certain: Insurance companies will be ponying up for billions of dollars in property damage caused by high winds. Last summer’s Hurricane Irene cost insurance providers more than $4 billion in damage claims, with flood insurance payments totaling nearly $1.3 billion. But what many Americans may not know is that this $1.3 billion was a bill footed by the federal government, which underwrites the vast majority of flood insurance across the nation. Historically, insurance companies have been wary of offering flood insurance to homeowners because the risks associated with flood insurance are difficult to forecast, so any private insurance that had been offered was prohibitively expensive for average homeowners. But in the 1960s, frequent flooding of the Mississippi River was driving up the costs of federal disaster relief programs. In an effort to reduce these costs, Congress set up the National ...
Facebook Finds Friends on Wall Street as Stock Soars 20% on Mobile Gains
Over the last year, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has repeatedly emphasized his company’s social mission, “to make the world more open and connected.” It turns out that he’s interested in building a lucrative business as well. After Facebook’s surprisingly strong earning report, highlighted by impressive performance generating mobile revenue, the company’s shares skyrocketed by 20% on Wednesday, in the largest one-day gain since the company went public back in May. Facebook’s strong third-quarter showing was rewarded with stock upgrades by several prominent Wall Street analysts. And although Facebook still faces fallout from its controversial IPO, this week’s performance has restored a measure of investor confidence in the company. “Facebook’s wild first five months as a public company are now in the books, and the company has transformed itself over that time,” Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter wrote to clients on Wednesday. “During the IPO road show and ...
Dictators for Obama?
Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - 09:11 Chris Kleponis/AFP/Getty Images Evangelical leader Gary Bauer leads the Campaign for American Values PAC, which produced the ad "Dictator Vote." President Barack Obama has the dictator vote, at least according to a super PAC run by evangelical leader Gary Bauer. Hours before Obama and GOP nominee Mitt Romney began a debate on foreign policy, Bauer’s super PAC released an ad with quotes from Cuba’s Fidel Castro, Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez and Russia’s Vladimir Putin, expressing their admiration for the president. “Obama secured the dictator vote,” the narrator says. “Does he have yours?” Bauer’s Campaign for American Values PAC has spent more than a half-million dollars on ads supporting Romney and opposing Obama. An August ad said Obama is “forcing gay marriage on the country.” Another accused the president of “bowing to Islam.” And a third ad asked, “Why was God booed by Obama’s delegates” at the Democratic ...
Change Your Company’s Story
How many times have you heard someone say, “That’s the way we’ve always done it”? Narratives like these suggest inevitability, and can inhibit change rather than inspire it. They can be deeply ingrained and difficult to challenge. But people remember stories more easily than numbers, and if told in the right way and with the right message, they can motivate action. If you want to transform your organization, start by challenging the stories you tell about the company and how it operates. Do some reinforce the negative? Create and share new, positive narratives that show the path to success and the elements that will get you there. Adapted from “If You Don’t Like Your Future, Rewrite Your Past” by Rosabeth Moss Kanter. Visit Harvard Business Review’s Management Tip homepage Purchase the HBR Management Tips book