I’m Tired of Being In Charge

Many times we, as business students, have thought about the related stress and demands that we could face if we ever had to lead our own organization. Managing the various divisions across the organization to make sure we are reaching the expected results, that the company culture is positive and that employees are actually performing what we want from them.  Let’s face it, the very thought of it may be exhilarating, but it can also be exhausting and may give us an unexpected set of grey hairs.

The article entitled, “When the CEO Burns Out” from the Wall Street Journal discusses the particular case of James Green, CEO of Giant Realm, an online advertising network.  While the article not only makes mention of the high amounts of stress and mounted expectations that this CEO faces, it goes further by stating how this trend is on the rise in the US corporate environment in general.

The article mentions a study carried out by the Harvard Medical School, which clearly illustrates the new trend among CEOs, the study showed that 96% of senior leaders reported feeling burnt out. This new trend is something that needs to be addressed and solved as soon as possible. It will not only damage the long-term goals of the company but will also decrease the CEO’s management quality, as they strive to reach the numerous objectives set for them.

This article does a good job of describing this recent trend, as well as the medical reasons and preventions that executives can take, yet it fails to mention non-health related actions that companies should inspire their CEOs to do. These actions include an effective and fair delegation system, which many times is a hard decision for executives to make, since they feel they will not be needed in the future, or because they are decreasing their workload. Executives should also be compensated and treated fairly even if they sometimes do not achieve the desired results. As long as these CEOs have the input of the shareholders and receive positive criticism, their performance can still improve in the future and without taking a toll on their mental and physical health.

Companies need to realize of this new and more recurring trend and take preemptive measures to help CEOs not only perform their job successfully but also keep them motivated and enthusiastic about their job and the company itself. Often, when CEOs experience burnout they are later instructed to take a leave of absence to recover from stress. During these absences companies have seen not only their operations lag and/or become less effective, but also a decrease in stock value. This last issue may sometimes make the pressures that were put on the CEO previously inconsequential since the company’s value took a step back during the CEO’s absence. In conclusion, companies should look for results but they should do so responsibly while also making sure that their leader is healthy and motivated to improve on previous performances and improve their managing quality.

What do you think companies should do to avoid these burnouts?

Source: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323687604578469124008524696.html

Is Vegan the New Black?

Within modern society, new fads come and go like clock-work. The latest one seems to be a health craze running rampant and comprising, in large part, of vegan and vegetarian choices. A survey in 2011 discovered “5% of Americans never eat meat” and “33% of Americans were eating vegetarian or vegan meals more often”. Although data suggests this is not a simple trend that will disappear anytime soon, the question lies in whether or not it will stick around enough to be taken advantage of.

Currently, one company in particular has taken notice and is now looking to fulfill the new demand by expanding its business. Organic Avenue, a vendor of high-end juices, salads, and other specialty foods, is attempting to become a national chain. The company has hired a new chief executive, Martin Bates, to take the reins and lead the Organic Avenue charge to the “promised land”. Bates has had proven success by being one of the leading forces behind the resurgence of “Pret a Manger”, a food franchise, in 2008. Pret a Manger’s turnabout was achieved by tweaking the products and services it provided to the tastes of the consumers’.

Project management will always be essential if companies hope to achieve the success they dream of. In order for Organic Avenue to have success, Bates’ strategy is to form partnerships with gyms, fitness clubs, high-end retailers, and open its own chain of stores as well, to supply the company’s products. One can quickly establish attention is focused on the availability and marketing of the product. Organic and healthy products could be considered to be in their introduction stage, and a tremendous of work must be exerted in order to reach the maturity stage.

Organic Avenue understands its customer base and target market; “people who want food that’s better for them”. It would be a mistake for the company to undermine consumers who simply want healthier products and focus attention on “hardcore” vegetarians or vegans. Currently, Organic Avenue is more known for juices and juice cleanses, but its other products must also be brought to light. The company also provides food (salads, soups, entrees, and snacks) and packages (Booster Packs, Immunity Essentials, and “2-Day Transition” to name a few).

Most people demonstrate xenophobia (fear of the unknown), and the switch to organic/healthy foods seems to be no exception to the rule. Society has an idea of why organic foods are better, but the media constantly manipulates our ideas and leaves people unable to distinguish fact from fiction.

Are organic and fresh foods worth the extra money or do they not provide the bang for our buck?

Will Organic Avenue need to create a new line of products or will alterations to current ones draw news consumers?

More importantly, will people be accepting of the change from fast/junk food to healthier options will people be accepting of the change from fast/junk food to healthier options?

Article: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/24/business/organic-avenue-says-juice-and-vegan-trends-are-moving-mainstream.html?smid=pl-share

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/OrganicAvenueTV

Website: http://www.organicavenue.com/

Virtuix Uses Virtual Reality to Promote Fitness

Virtual reality gaming has always a questionable form of video gaming due to its futuristic nature.  Recently the company Virtuix has been working with the XBOX Kinect to create a treadmill like interface to give video game users a more natural experience while playing games.

This new product is being called the Omni and it has a treadmill bottom and a fixed head piece that would allow video game users to feel like they are actually in the game.  Instead of just sitting on a couch with a controller this product would provide gamers with a chance to get up and move.  The revolution of gaming has advanced, but it does not seem like many of these are as concerned with fitness.  One of the only major ones is the Wii Fit, which is a fitness program for the Nintendo Wii.  Would this give Virtuix the competitive advantage that would be needed in this market?

Virtuix has said that they will be starting a Kickstarter campaign in order to get the funding that will be needed to produce these machines.  They used Youtube as there medium in order to introduce the world to this new concept of a machine. Virtuix also held a demonstration at this year’s SXSW in Austin, Texas.

Virtuix is calling the Omni “the first omni treadmill that is affordable for household consumers.” The news is saying that this gaming device will end up costing anywhere between $400 and $600.

The largest marks that Virtuix is trying to make are that they can provide gamers with a low price product that can be small enough to fit conveniently in any household.  But with every piece of technology there is always a chance that this product may not be as cost friendly as originally planned.

I think that this is a great piece of technology that will maybe push other competitors to make even more fitness friendly machines.  Video gaming has long been blamed for causing obesity, especially in America.  However, if Virtuix is able to sell their product to families globally maybe children and adults will be more interested in being active.  Exercising can get boring for adults, but if you are able to play video games while working out and feeling like you are physically there; maybe it will encourage more people to exercise regularly.  I’m curious to see if this product will successfully work and be able to sell these devices affordably for all households.


Do you think Virtuix has the competitive advantage against competitors and will Virtuix be able to successfully sell these products to all consumers?


Do you think XBOX would consider purchasing the rights and working together with Virtuix to continue to make strides in new virtual reality ventures?


Would you personally purchase this product?