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jerryking : the_counsel_of_the_dead   4

Andrea Illy: adapting a family business to a multinational world
JULY 20, 2019 | | Financial Times | by Rachel Sanderson.

*The coffee group chairman argues his style of capitalism is good for business, workers and the consumer*

Andrea Illy, third generation heir of the Illycaffè dynasty, last year struck an alliance with investment group JAB Holdings to produce and distribute Illy coffee capsules...he makes it clear that he does not intend to sell the closely held family company..... “It is a very simple principle about preserving our freedom,” he says of his and his family’s decision, one....Freedom is a word that comes up frequently in conversation with Mr Illy.....who espouses a sort of pick-and-mix version of capitalism, resolutely refusing to focus only on sales and profits. Illy argues his style of capitalism is not charity but good business.......Illy has paid its growers on average 30% more over market value for decades in order to maintain its supply of top Arabica beans. “....The company is rooted in the border city of Trieste....which is also ingrained in the nature of the family......globalisation and increasing competition in the coffee sector has forced Illy to adapt. Staying closely held does not work any more. Co-opetition is his new mantra."“It is like the way to adapt in the savannah. If you do not want to be prey to the big lion, you live in a tree.”"

Part of that adaptation has been the deal with JAB, which allowed Illy coffee capsules to be produced and distributed in supermarkets globally, something that Illy could not do alone......The global coffee industry has become increasingly like the beer tie-ups of the 1990s, with big groups such as JAB and Nestlé snapping up smaller companies. Illy has risked being squeezed between these behemoths and the microroasters emerging as the hip caffeine hit for millennials and Gen Z.....Bigger groups have circled Illy for years. Mr Illy says the family chose JAB because it had the technology he wanted and accepted a licensing agreement rather than an equity one.....To build its global presence, Mr Illy is now looking for a retail partner in the US to help launch Illy coffee bars in the world’s largest coffee market. He says he could even sell a slice of equity. But he is very specific who it would be to: a private financial investor, not an industrial group.....there have been other adaptations. Three years ago, Illy hired an outside chief executive — Massimiliano Pogliani, a former executive at Nestlé’s Nespresso — for the first time since the company was founded in 1933 by Mr Illy’s grandfather, Francesco. Mr Illy has also built a board including executives from clothing group Moncler and Italian cosmetics group Kiko...... studies show that family businesses often fail in the third generation. The move to hire outside management and governance comes as studies also show that family-owned, professionally-run companies are among the best performing in the long term. ......Mr Illy sees these alliances as the only way for a family business model to thrive and to not have to cede control to a multinational when “complexity is becoming too big for a single person to manage”.
.....good stewardship is good business......The Illy family is a supporter of arts and culture, including Trieste’s annual sailing regatta, the Barcolana, where hundreds of boats race across the bay. Mr Illy says this creates a virtuous circle: the more attractive Trieste becomes, the more talented people Illy can attract to work for it and the more visitors come to the city and raise its brand profile........A portrait of his father Ernesto hangs opposite his desk. “I put the painting there to ask him to control what I do,” Mr Illy says.

What, then, has he learnt from his family? “Society is made by the private sector, mostly. And if you want to improve society then we need to be able to pursue long-term goals which are beyond profitability, and then you have to be free and accountable only to yourself,” he says.

Three questions for Andrea Illy
Who is your leadership hero? I have three: Muhtar Kent, former chairman of Coca-Cola; my father; Sebastião Salgado [the photojournalist].

If you were not a CEO/leader, what would you be? A neurosurgeon.

What was the first leadership lesson you learnt? My father asked me when I turned 14 years old where I wanted to go to school. Do you want to start a journey to be a leader or do you want to have fun? I chose the first option and as a result chose boarding school in Switzerland over a local school at home. There I learnt about discipline and hard work but also about the power of a charismatic leader from my headmaster.
alliances  boards_&_directors_&_governance  climate_change  coffee  coopetition  dynasties  family  family_business  family-owned_businesses  financial_buyers  heirs  high-quality  Illycaffè  investors  JAB  licensing  Nestlé  premium  private_equity  privately_held_companies  stewardship  sustainability  the_counsel_of_the_dead  virtuous_cycles 
july 2019 by jerryking
I see history as my root and my illumination
5 August /6 August 2017 | Financial Times | by Kwame Nkrumah Cain.

Sir, I am a bit perplexed at how Henry Mance can assert that history is “rarely instructive” (“ ‘Dunkirk’ shows that the past is not an open book”, July 29). At Stanford University, I was particularly attracted to history because Dionysius of Halicarnassus praised it as “philosophy learnt by example” [ Greek historian and teacher of rhetoric, who flourished during the reign of Caesar Augustus.]. Even to this day, such study helps me heed the counsel of the dead and marshal the strength of my own mind.

I see history as a laboratory rich in a hundred thousand experiments in economics, religion, literature, science and government. I see history as my root and my illumination, as the road from whence I came and the only light that can clarify the present and guide me into the future.

As Johann Wolfgang von Goethe stated: “He who cannot draw on 3,000 years is living from hand to mouth.” (i.e. my take is that being able to draw on 3,000 yrs. of living is the definition of wisdom).
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Comment:
Gene 4 days ago
History is the great uncontrolled experiment on human behavior. Lessons should be drawn from it with caution (as history shows).
letters_to_the_editor  history  quotes  tools  hand-to-mouth  Greek  lessons_learned  skepticism  experimentation  wisdom  human_behavior  the_counsel_of_the_dead  foresight  Kwame_Nkrumah 
august 2017 by jerryking
John Henrik Clarke - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"The events which transpired 5,000 yrs ago; 5 yrs. ago or 5
min. ago, have determined what will happen 5 min. from now; 5 yrs. from
now or 5,000 yrs from now. All history is a current event."

"...education has but one honorable purpose, one alone, everything else
is a waste of time...that is to train the student to be a proper handler
of power."

"Every form of true education trains the student in self-reliance"
"African people need to stop shouting 'nationtime' until they are clear
about the responsibilities of running a nation."
"History is a clock people use to tell their historical culture and
political time of the day. It's a compass that people use to find
themselves on the map of human geography. The history tells them where
they have been, where they are and what they are. But most importantly
history tells a people where they still must go and what they still must
be"
**********************************************************************
I see history as my root and my illumination ☑
5 August /6 August 2017 | Financial Times | by Kwame Nkrumah Cain.
African-Americans  historians  quotes  history  political_power  education  self-reliance  North_Star  the_counsel_of_the_dead  wisdom  Kwame_Nkrumah 
may 2010 by jerryking
"The Hidden River of Knowledge"
May 21, 2007 | New York Times | Commencement address by David Brooks.

In short, things are about to change big time. And one of my messages today is that you know that uncertainty you feel today? It never goes away. The question is, do you know how to make uncertainty your friend?....here's one other thing I've noticed that separates the really great people from the merely famous ones. They talk to dead people.

Merely famous people have pictures of themselves on the wall. Really great people have pictures of dead people on the wall, and on their desks. It's one of the first things I look for when I go into somebody's office...And they talk about these dead people....
The dead were alive to them, and looking over their shoulder....The Greeks used to say we suffer our way to wisdom...Success is not something that we do or that happens to us. Success is something that happens through us....We inherit, starting even before we are born, a great river of knowledge, a great flow from many ages and many sources. The information that comes from millions of years ago, we call brain chemistry. The information that comes from hundreds of thousands of years ago from our hunter and gatherer ancestors we call genes. The information that was handed down thousands of years ago we call religion. The information passed along hundreds of years ago we call culture. The information passed along from decades ago we call family. The information you absorbed over the past few years at Wake Forest we call education....We exist as creatures within this hidden river of knowledge the way a trout exists in a stream or a river. We are formed by the river. It is the medium in which we live and the guide about how to live.

The great people I've seen talking to the dead do so because they want to connect with the highest and most inspiring parts of the river. When people make mistakes, often it is not because they are evil. It's because they don't have an ideal to live up to.

These great people also talk to the dead because they want a voice from outside their selves....the best people I've met don't feel that smart or that special. They have powerful jobs, but they don't feel powerful. They don't feel like architects building these great projects from scratch. They feel instead like river boat captains negotiating the currents around them.

They want to step outside their egotism and understand the river of events. They want to feel how people in the past have negotiated its channels. They want other voices in their heads so they can possess the ultimate power, which is the power of facing unpleasant truths.

Finally, I think they talk to the dead because they want to widen their time horizons....Think hard about who you marry. It's the most important decision you will ever make. Devote yourself to your kids. Nothing else is guaranteed to make you happy. The only thing I'd add is, create a posse of dead people. Create an entourage of heroes. Put their pictures on your wall, and keep them in your mind.

They will remind you of your place in the hidden river of wisdom. They'll serve as models. They'll give you an honest perspective on how you're doing. They'll remind you that your blessings don't come from you but from those who came before you.
advice  affirmations  ancestry  blog  brain_chemistry  career  cognitive_skills  commencement  culture  cultural_transmission  David_Brooks  education  family  genes  Greek  hidden  happiness  heroes  humility  hunter-gatherers  ideas  inspiration  Managing_Your_Career  marriage  perspectives  role_models  sense_of_proportion  speeches  success  suffering  the_counsel_of_the_dead  time_horizons  transcendental  uncertainty  Wake_Forest  wide-framing  wisdom 
november 2009 by jerryking

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