Guest Blogger – Serendipity

 

 

 

Horace Walpole coined the word serendipity in 1754 after reading the Three Princes of Serendip. The princes “were always making discoveries, by accident and sagacity, of things they were not in quest of.” Today, we have tools at our disposal that allow us to manage serendipity or, at least, place ourselves strategically so that serendipity is possible.

 

What is serendipity? The traditionally accepted definition of serendipity is “the occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way.” Well then, if events are by chance, how is it possible to place ourselves in a position in which serendipity is likely?

 

In their book, The Power of Pull: How Small Moves, Smartly Made, Can Set Big Things in Motion, Hagel, Brown, and Davison relate the value of social networking. They specifically mention Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter as points of connection to friends and friends of friends. Through these connections we discover others’ have and can share tacit knowledge that we may benefit from.

Through the same connection, others can grow from connecting with us gaining our tacit knowledge. It not a contest to see how many friends we have in our network, rather it is about how we manage our network of friends.

 

Imagine a chance reading of friends’ Facebook wall posts that result in an opportunity to connect with another with whom we share an interest. In this situation, we’ve experienced a “chance event in a happy and beneficial way.” What is the likelihood of this event happening had we not had a Facebook profile, not been linked to our friend, and not been able to read that wall post?

 

Serendipity allows chance meetings for planting seeds of learning and growing if we manage opportunities for chance meetings. Wisdom of the East tells the story of a man, “I have nothing to teach and so much to learn.” In reply, “Oh dear! Haven’t we all something to teach and something to learn?”

 

We are not Princes of Serendip making discoveries by accident. We can create opportunities for serendipitous events to evolve. Do not wait for opportunities to come, seek them, manage them, and benefit from them. Grow in learning; grow in teaching.

Please share your comments on this topic.  

ABOUT THE BLOGGER

 

Dr. Paul Hoffman holds a Doctor of Strategic Leadership from Regent University, a Master of Arts in Leadership and Bachelor of Science in Organizational Communication from Bellevue University. Doctor Hoffman is an adjunct professor at Bellevue University and Metropolitan Community College in Communications Arts, English, and Communication and Humanities.

Before his teaching role, Dr. Hoffman was a graduate enrollment counselor at Bellevue University and enrollment representative to the University’s Quality Council. Dr. Hoffman came to the academic arena after ten years in retail management. During this period he managed in speciality mall stores, and multimillion dollar warehouse style stores. Dr. Hoffman owned a small business and was an insurance agent for a fraternal insurance provider.

 

Dr. Hoffman was a U.S. Air Force active duty noncommissioned officer retiring in 1990 as a Master Sergeant. During over 21 years of active duty, Dr. Hoffman was a Security Police sentry assigned to guard aircraft, missiles, and nuclear weapons on alert and in storage. For three years he held the speciality of Military Training Instructor while supervising an installation correctional custody facility. In the concluding seven-plus years, Dr. Hoffman worked as an installation human relations and equal opportunity treatment NCO and finally as Superintendent of Social Actions overseeing both human relations and substance abuse prevention activities for an installation.

 

Military assignments saw Dr. Hoffman stationed at major Air Force Bases of the Strategic Air Command, U.S. Air Force Europe, and Pacific Air Force. During the Vietnam era, Dr. Hoffman had one assignment in support of major air operations over Vietnam. Dr. Hoffman is married to Su Yun and they have two adult children. Son, Leslie Donald, is the oldest formerly a Captain in the U.S. Marine Corps. Les has two combat tours in Iraq. Daughter, Theresa Ann, was a member of the U.S. Peace Corps serving on the island of Carricaou, the Grenades; her Peace Corps specialty was Community Health focusing on AIDS awareness and prevention and presently studying to become a physical therapy assistant.

 

Job Strategies for 21st Century

“Where much is given, much is required” is a theme that I have embraced since I’ve gotten some many opportunities.  Last weekend, I gave a lecture at Payne Avenue Missionary Baptist Church on job strategies for the 2st century.  I felt it was time to better educate the community about the current employment landscape.

Where are the jobs? How can individuals land one? As we left 2011, many individual’s job opportunities faded away. There are over 15 million unemployed in our country.  Our community is no exception. What worked in the past for job prospects will not work during this economic crisis.

As the economic downturn continues to worsen for today’s workers, individuals need to refocus their strategies as they witness the last era of the full-time workforce. Sadly, things will never be the same for most employees. Companies chase emerging markets abroad.

According to government estimates, an additional 1.2 million manufacturing jobs will disappear in America by 2018.  According to a USA Today analysis, part-time work is at a record high while overtime is at an all-time low.

An average of just 33 hours was recorded for the average worker in May 2009; it was fewer hours than any time since the Bureau of Labor Statistics begun to track it in 1964. In fact, over 9 million people want to work full-time but can only find part-time employment. 

Most job seekers do not understand that the employment rules have changed. In a survey of 1,729 human resource professionals conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management in partnership with AON Consulting, 60 percent of the survey participants said that the skill levels of today’s job applicants do not meet job demands. Forty-three percent said that current employees do not have skills levels to meet job requirements.

At the church, I attempted to share some of the emerging job strategies to apply during this financial crisis. These strategies were identified in my book, Job Strategies for the 21st Century. With an academic mindset and community concern, I feel we can assist the community with the current unemployment problems in our area.  Knowledge is key! Below are some of these recommendations to consider:  

 

  • Personal Branding.  Individuals should set themselves apart with a personal brand.  Your personal brand should define, promote, and protect your image online and off-line. Develop a unique skill or talent that is very valuable in your discipline.
  • Core Competencies. Those individuals with the right skills and abilities will never lose out on potential opportunities. Employers are looking for workers with the right skill set. 
  • Good Communications.  Individuals need to be able to articulate their thoughts (oral and written). In the future, mastering a foreign language will be a trademark for progressive and successful Americans.
  • Critical Thinking. A person can increase his longevity in the workforce by looking critically at problems. Today’s employers are looking for innovators and creators, not just employees.
  • Strategic Alliances & Networking.  Individuals should move beyond networking to strategic alliances. A strategic alliance is agreement for cooperation among two or more people to work together toward common objectives.  Therefore, strategic alliance is not a self-serving function.
  • Flexibility.  Being a person who is mobile and adaptable will be an asset during these uncertainty times.

 

Although many people feel very pessimistic about future career opportunities, hope is not lost if people are prepared for the future. Bestselling Scifi author H.G. Wells explained, “’We were making the future,’ he said, and hardly any of us troubled to think what future we were making. And here it is’.”

By taking control of one’s career strategy, individuals are taking a positive step in navigating these difficult economic times and landing their future jobs.

 

State your experience with this topic.  What additional job strategies would you suggest for unemployed individuals?

 

© 2012 by Daryl D. Green                                    

 

 

 

The Power of Creating Sustainable Content

The buzz rang across the world. The word was finally out, “Whitney Houston was dead.”  On February 12, 2012, Whitney died at the age of 48 years old. It was hard to believe she was gone.

Through the public eyes, the six-time Grammy winner was a beacon of God given talent. Whitney sold more than 170 million albums and singles over her career and received millions from her movies.

Sadly, many experts argue that Whitney will be worth more dead than alive. Forbes writer Zack O’Malley Greenburg said Houston could be looking at as much as $10 million this year in digital sales.  Many people attempt to company Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston due to their stardom and international acclaim. Yet, their financial firepower was not the same. 

Michael was a musical genius who created lasting content.  He sold over 8 million albums in the United States within six months of his death and over 20 million worldwide. On the contrary, Whitney received a much smaller share with artist royalties from her albums.

For example, Whitney’s music has sold over 1 million albums and singles since her death. Additionally, her catalog sales surged with nearly 900,000 individual tracks sold. One of Whitney’s most celebrated songs, “I Will Always Love You,” has also heated up the record charts since her death. 

Yet, Dolly Parton, who wrote this song, will receive the greatest benefit from the publishing revenues from the radio play and licensing to commercials and films.

 

In both situations, the major difference is that Michael wrote many of his songs and obtained publishing royalties as a writer. Therefore, Whitney’s estate won’t be able to soar like other entertainment moguls like Michael Jackson and Elvis Presley. 

Consequently, good content has lasting value. This content is called intellectual property.  It refers to creations of the mind: inventions, literary and artistic works, and symbols, names, images, and designs used in commerce. This content is managed with legal documents such as patents, trademarks, and copyrights.  

 

 

Henrik Vejlgaard, author of Anatomy of a Trend, argues the power of creators to set trends.  He explains, “The prime movers in any trend process will often go by different names, for instance, inventors, innovators, pioneers, or entrepreneurs. They create new products or invent new styles or begin doing something in a completely new way.” Therefore, intellectual fire power can pay more over time.

 

State your experience with content creation or intellectual firepower. What do you think about the future of content creation in the future?

 

 © 2012 by Daryl D. Green                                    

 

Beating the Global Competition with Value Creation

I do struggle a little with my conscious.  Yes, I’ve been called a pretty hard nose professor who pushes his students.  I tell my students I have a low rating on empathy and mercy when it relates to missing my deadlines. 

However, even the meanest Scrooge would have to have compassion for over 15 million unemployed in America.  But—it becomes personal as you hear about your neighbors, co-workers, and family members who have been laid off. 

Financial institutions and other businesses hold on to their record profits for the ultimate use of their money.  Politicians call them job creators which is ironic since businesses primary motives are to make a profit, not give someone a job.

Companies chase emerging markets abroad. According to government estimates, an additional 1.2 million manufacturing jobs will disappear from America by 2018. If in the process a job is made, those are secondary considerations.

Only when business subscript to a business strategy that involves value creation can they hope to sustain profitability. In this paradigm workers are viewed as assets not liabilities.

Yet, many companies build their profitability on this simple equation. Companies seek to reduce their inputs (outsourcing labor, better technologies) to obtain ‘more profits.’ Yet, it’s pretty self-serving with little regard to  customers and employees.

The definition of value depends on the individual. For this discussion, value is defined as the net bundle of benefits the customer derives from a product of service.  Value is defined as the net bundle of benefits the customer derives from a product of service.  Most companies compete on low cost or differentiation strategy to create this value.

In emerging countries where wages are low, it is very difficult for America businesses to compete.  That is why many companies have opted to outsource some of their core functions abroad.  Yet, America’s strength has always been its innovation and creativity.  These attributes are key ingredients for an effective differentiation strategy.

John Gamble and Arthur Thompson, authors of Essentials of Strategic Management, further examined the concept of value as a strategic advantage: “The most appealing approaches to differentiation are those that are hard or expensive for rivals to duplicate.” Therefore, an effective value creation strategy can beat almost any competitor, globally and domestically. 

This reality is due to the fact that the organization is keenly attuned to the needs of their customers. If individuals keep the concepts of value creation in their mindset, they will be able to overcome many of the disruptive changes to come.

How does value creation relate to sustainability for today’s leaders? Discuss your professional experience with value creation. 

© 2012 by Daryl D. Green                                    


 

Launching Ahead toward an Unknown Future

 

 

When I was a Regent University doctorate student, I often wrote my assignments toward publication.  As I took my courses, I always tried to write on similar themes to reduce my research time and make me more efficient.  I would look at the environment thinking what topics would be growing issues. Yet, many of my peers were only looking at the near term (getting a passing grade to move on). 

 

 One article, “The Evolution of Leadership,” produced unintended consequences.  While in graduate school, I had this article published and forgot about it.  One day a tutor in the university’s writing center mentioned she recognized my name. The tutor stated that students were quoting me in their academic papers. Once we graduated, many of my classmates did not want to revisit past assignments for publication. 

 

I soon learned the consequences of looking ahead.  With over 6,000 views and picked up by more than 30 websites and publishers, my article, ‘The Evolution of Leadership, is now being used as a reference globally. That is the power of looking beyond the current situation.

 

With the economic crisis, many people have lost their courage and do not want to seek opportunities in emerging markets or new ventures.  Countries near and abroad are having financial problems.  Europe needs to double the size of its bailout to $1.3 trillion to shore up its banking system and stop the spread of its debt.  Americans watch their earnings decline as the cost of food and gas spirals upward. 

 

 Some people look to the government for help while other individuals leverage the goodwill of businesses to provide trickle down offerings from capitalism.  According to the Economic Policy Institute, 1.8 million of the United States 73 million hourly workers earned the financial wage in 2010; many workers are in the retail, restaurant, and hospital sectors.

 

Taking with a visionary stance to look beyond today’s pressing issues is a utilized by highly successful people.  Noted trend watcher Henrik Vejlgaard argues that it is possible for individuals to spot emerging trends and take advantage of them.

Vejlgaard explains, “Although the world is changing all the time and this flux may eventually affect the patterns behind the trend process, these patterns are deeply rooted in human behavior….By investigating the people who have started trends in the past, where trends frequently start, how trends emerge and grown, and why trends happen, we can define some rules for spotting trends.

 

Failure is always a possibility of leaping while others stay on the shore.  However, the biggest risk is doing nothing.  Charles Schwab, author of New Guide to Financial Independence, understands how to take risk in unchartered waters.  He started investing in 1957, and he became a pioneer in the discount brokerage business in 1974. 

 

He notes, “I’ve heard it said that people are motivated by hope of reward or fear of punishment….Truth be told, we’re all investors.  Each day we invest time and energy and intelligence in our children and our work. Investing for our future is just another aspect of it, but a critical one.” Therefore, any success should be couched with some common sense and calculated risks.

 

Discuss an emerging trend and how you or your organization can capitalize on this trend. 

 

© 2012 by Daryl D. Green                                    

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

Making a Special Connection with Followers

 

Immediately after the first 2012 Republican Presidential Debate in Florida, Former Governor Mitt Rommey released his 2010 tax statement. However, Rommey’s wealth did surprise most people.  Some individuals probably harbored class envy of him. Yet, I was also amazed at the other presidential candidates’ great fortunes in comparison to most Americans. Let’s go deeper. 

 How can leaders build a connection with their followers who are well below them economically?  For example, GOP presidential contender Mitt Romney isn’t just in the top 1% of America’s highest income earners; he is at least at the top .0006% based on his 2010 tax returns.  According to AP reporter Connie Cass, adding up the wealth of the last eight presidents from Richard Nixon to Barack Obama wouldn’t  equal Rommey’s wealth.  It’s also about perspective.  Among the ultra-wealthy in the world, Rommey is not among the rich elite.  Yet, this discussion is very interesting since the U.S. President is seen as a representative of all citizens.

Here’s a look at some of the 2012 Republican Presidential Candidates’ worth: Mitt Rommey’s worth $85-264 million, Jon Huntsman’s $16-72 million; Newt Gingrich’s $7-31 million; Ron Paul’s $2.4 – 5.4 million, Rick Santorum’s $1-3 million, and Rick Perry’s $1-2.5 million.  Even President Barack Obama, a member of the Democratic Party, is not far behind with a net worth of $2.8-11.8 million.  One of the greatest assets of effective leaders is making a connection with followers. 

Great wealth may be problematic to many people who want to show they understand the common man.  However, this isn’t always the case.  For example, some former U.S. Presidents with great wealth made a connection with followers such as Theodore Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy.  Leaders want to have good followers championing their cause.  Presidential candidates are no exceptions.  Rommey, like most wealth people, may have some connection problems.   Many people undermine the importance of followership. They shouldn’t.

Followership is underrated. Yet, effective leaders can’t afford to not have stellar followership.  Followership can be defined as ‘the ability to effectively follow the directives and support the efforts of a leader to maximize a structured organization.’  Kent Bjugstad, Comcast Spotlight, Elizabeth Thach, Karen Thompson, and Alan Morris, followership experts, outlined the problems associated with followership: “The assumption that good followership is simply doing what one is told, and that effective task accomplishment is the result of good leadership, doesn’t amplify the merits of the follower role.”  Therefore, leaders cannot afford to underestimate this concept.

Connecting with followers is vital.  Rommey, like other leaders, must bridge this gap.  According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the typical household worth is approximately $120,300.  That means Rommey is 1,000 times richer than most American citizens. Fred Fiedler, a leadership researcher, noted that a leader’s personality can determine how he or she will be an effective leader.

Gareth Jones and Jennifer George, authors of Contemporary Management, further noted the critical needs for effective leader-follower relationships: “Situations are more favorable for leading when leader-member relations are good.”   Therefore, connecting with followers is an important goal for most leaders.

Discuss how leaders effectively connect with their followers.

© 2012 by Daryl D. Green                                    

 

2012 and the Brink of Destruction: Answering the Sustainability Question for America

 While on vacation on the Gulf of Mexico, I decided to take an early morning swim alone. I marveled at the white sand and the tranquility of my surroundings. However, I did not see the danger.  Several days earlier I had walked out to a sand bar several yards away from the shore.  That day I found myself being adventurous by going further out.  I swam to the side of the sand bar and found myself in danger.  Luckily, an experienced swimmer saved me that day. Likewise, America is in danger…but some don’t know it.

Global trends make sustainability a difficult objective for most organizations. The year 2011 was a vintage time for massive protesters, from the awakening of the Arab world to the defeat of evil tyrants. Europe struggled to maintain financial stability while country after country faltered.  Japan suffered its biggest nuclear catastrophe. 

Even a Super Power like America has not been exempted from this financial crisis. The United States economy struggles along with its 15 trillion dollar national debt and a 9% unemployment rate choking the country.  With political gridlock happening on a regular basis, members of Congress, President Obama, media outlets, and frustrated constituents worry about the plight about the country.  Standard & Poor’s downgrading of America’s AAA rating for the first time in history was a quick wake up call to everyone. 

 Last year, big financial institutions such as Bank of America and JP Morgan Chase & Company announced that approximately 75,000 employees would be laid off.  Political groups, like the Tea Party Movement, attempted to challenge the political establishment with a return to fiscal responsibility of America’s debt.  Occupy Wall Street protesters attacked corporate greed and corruption as the catalysis for income inequity and employment opportunities.

Sustainability is important but often difficult to define. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency defines the term as “everything that we need for our survival and well-being depends, either directly or indirectly, on our natural environment.”  One simple definition is the ability to use resources continuously without any long-term depletion.  There aren’t many things that are possible to be sustained without proper planning.

Discuss the ramifications of any negative consequences. 

© 2012 by Daryl D. Green

 

 

 

Practicing Philanthropy

In most cases, individuals are not hurt by giving to others.  My co-author, Noriko Chapman, emailed me last week about royalties on our book, Second Chance, and how the funds would go to charity.  While I looked at this book as an opportunity to provide assistance for nonprofit organizations, it was her idea to leverage our written work over the long-term. 

Noriko, who is a DENSO production manager, selected the Tennessee Rehabilitation Center (Maryville) as part of her MBA project.  We pledged 30 percent of the book proceeds to this organization.  Noriko’s giving attitude helped the Center’s financial needs.

However, it provided unintended consequences by bringing more media attention to this cause and the public in general. In fact, it landed the Center’s director an expense paid visit to DENSO in Japan.  Therefore, philanthropy can start from small beginnings.

Individuals can build a philanthropist mindset when giving to organizations or people. Social responsibility is a buzzword in a society demanding more accountability from its corporate citizens.  Social responsibility speaks to a company’s stance on the way its managers and employees view their duty or obligation to make decisions that protect, enhance, and promote the well-being of stakeholders and society as a whole.

Gareth Jones and Jennifer George, authors of Contemporary Management, argue about the importance of social responsibility: “The way a company announces business problems or admits its mistakes provides strong clues about its stance on social responsibility.”

With the economic crisis, there are many institutions in trouble.  According to Merriman-Webster.com, philanthropy is defined as an act or gift done or made for humanitarian purposes. Most people associate philanthropy with the wealthy. 

However, philanthropy must start with a mindset and attitude for giving, regardless of where a person stands on the economic ladder.  Marc Benioff, Chairman & CEO of salesforce.com, built his organization with a philanthropy-focus.  Salesforce.com is a cloud computing company with a mission of ‘The End of Software.” 

Benioff has had a history of successful business ventures, including Oracle Corporation and Macintosh Division.  However, he noted for the achievement of designing a new philanthropy model.  The Salesforce.com Foundation aims to inspire companies across the globe to give 1% of their resources to support charities and social causes. Other companies like Google have embraced this model. 

This 1%; 1%; 1% philanthropy model includes one percent of company’s time, one percent of its equity, and one percent of its products donated to charity.  For Salesforce.com, this model means giving employees 6 paid days of volunteer time to use over the course of the year.  To date, Salesforce.com employees have donated over 178,000 hours.

The Salesforce.com Foundation has supported giving of products to 8,000 nonprofits in 70 countries.  On the equity front, one percent of founding stock is used to offer grants focused on technology innovation in nonprofits and youth development programs.  The company has given over $20 million in grants to qualified nonprofit organizations. 

Therefore, a philanthropist mindset can carry great rewards in sustaining meaningful programs in society.  It is not exclusive to the most wealthy people.  

Discuss your personal experiences on this topic.

© 2011 by Daryl D. Green

Sustaining Employability

When my job as human resource manager was eliminated in September of 2010, I felt a sense of gloom and doom for exactly two days. It happened on a Tuesday, one day after my six-year anniversary.

(At least they allowed me the mandatory six-year vesting period for my 401k.) By Thursday I was reminded of six years of morning prayers to be free of the job that caused me heart palpitations and migraines.

The entire management team was eliminated between July and the end of the year.  When I look back at what transpired, I realize the basic principles I was taught in business school were overlooked. Human capital was not an asset, thus, how could the business sustain?

The general manager used to say if we didn’t have to work or deal with customers, our jobs would be easy. The same rings true with human capital.  Looking back, a common thread my company seemed to have was they disposed of their assets too quickly.

If an employee needed help in a certain area, the answer was to terminate their employee. I always challenged the managers to invest in the employees.

After all, the employees were to provide a service for the company, right? Likewise, the company should provide a service to the employee by investing time into making them a more valuable asset.

Sharing is essential in business—big business. It is hard to assume not sharing what’s going on with business will foster a sense of well-being among employees. It is true you can’t share everything, however, keeping employees involved and in the loop on things, aid in the overall pulse of the organization.

Employees who know what’s going on are empowered, tend to work smarter, more efficiently and want to do a good job over all. In my case, morale was always low, thus making my job difficult.

As a result, before us managers met our ultimate demise, sales were dropping due to the failing US economy. Customer satisfaction ratings continually dropped during the last three years due to inconsistencies in product quality which I know were in part due to the incredibly high turnover rates we had.

# # #

What’s an HR Manager to do when she’s the one laid off? Thankfully, my husband has a job, and unlike many Americans who find themselves in the same situation, we are able to make it on one income.

I reinvented myself. My first love is writing and that’s what I aspired to do while working. I moonlighted as a novelist—touring, speaking and writing inspirational novels while holding down my full time job. Once I cooled off after my position was “eliminated,” there’s a new HR Manager now, I dug deep and found some freelance writing gigs that helped to build my almost nonexistent writer’s resume.

I’m a novelist, not a journalist—although I have a college degree that would say otherwise. The last year has been interesting: I’m encouraged one day and discouraged the next.

How am I sustaining? I’m pushing through on the days when I’m discouraged. I search for writing jobs and have had a few that paid me a little. I reach back into my skill bag and offer resume writing services. I write articles on effective management policy, write company manuals, or whatever is trending.

During a time that seems tumultuous, the only thing to do is to stay encouraged. For me, it’s the right thing to do. If my position hadn’t been “eliminated,” I’d still be trying to help someone else achieve their dream—not my own.

Please share your comments with this blogger.

                                            About the Blogger                                               

Daphine Glenn Robinson

Daphine Glenn Robinson acquired a Bachelor’s Degree in Mass Communications with a minor is Sociology from Winthrop University in Rock Hill, SC. She worked in administrative positions at the Rock Hill Herald and the Charleston Post & Courier newspapers before going to graduate school to pursue a Master of Business Administration Degree.

Robinson worked as human resource manager for more than ten years where she was responsible for employee relations, safety, benefits, and worker’s compensation.

Whole Foods Market in 2008 – Group B

During this week, Lincoln Memorial University’s MBA students in MBA 595 will analyze top corporate organizations.

In this blog topic, Group B consisting of Paul Holloway, Lindsey Howard, Champ Knight, Frank Metcalf will evaluate ‘Whole Foods.’

Executive Summary                     

Within two decades of the initial store opening, Whole Foods Market has evolved into the world’s largest retail chain of natural and organic foods supermarkets with over 299 stores in North America and the United Kingdom.

The success and rapid growth of Whole Foods Market is due to their core belief in differentiating their products from the competition by being highly selective about what they sell, a dedication to high quality standards, and a commitment to sustainability for people and our planet.

They have completed many acquisitions that have fueled this rapid growth, most notably Wild Oats Market, that somewhat reduced competition initially.  However, competition has increased significantly in recent years, and Whole Foods is now using their market dominance to attempt to maintain control.

Whole Foods Market has also weather controversy involving their aggressive monopolization of the organic foods niche, their anti-Union stance, and statements made by the CEO that have been regarded as unethical. 

Also, Whole Foods has continued to build and acquire stores, resulting in earnings slowing that has led to an accumulation of long-term and short-term debt.  It is presumed for this reason that Whole Foods placed a moratorium on new store openings.

 See: http://animoto.com/play/PFvVzrrDUQ58r6GkSgb07g?utm_content=main_link

 Please share your insight on this topic.