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COVID-19 has injected substantial economic uncertainty into countless businesses of every size.  The uncertainty has forced parties to review deals with essential business partners  and seek revised terms if possible.  Similar discussions are likely to continue for quite some time  as the economic fallout continues. Such efforts reflect three of the Five Keys to Dealing Effectively with Disruption discussed  at the beginning of the crisis:  avoid denial, accelerate communication and appreciate cash position.   Some businesses…
As discussed in “Five Keys to Dealing Effectively with Disruption” posted last month, denial is a hallmark of disruption.  Successfully navigating disruption requires not only avoiding denial yourself – but also ensuring your business partners do not live in that state. The importance of dealing with the “brutal facts” is not a novel concept in business or elsewhere.  Jim Collins made the point in Good to Great as summarized here: Productive change…
The  United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit’s  recent decision in Tristan Squeri et al. v. Mount Ida College et al.  upholds the dismissal of  claims brought by former students of Mount Ida College against both the College and certain officers and directors of the College.   The students instituted the action as a result of the sudden closure of the institution in the Spring of 2018.   The students sought relief on the…
In  The New Boardroom Imperative: From Agility To Resilience Julian Birkinshaw, (Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship, London Business School) discusses the critical issue of strategic resilience –  the ability  “to make smart choices about the scope of business activities in the face of uncertainty.” Recent posts here have outlined key strategies for tackling business challenges and provided a sampling of resources helpful in developing an effective plan.   See Five Keys to Dealing Effectively with
Many people were looking forward this March to NCAA basketball tournaments – not a march into an economic and human calamity. Yet, with the pandemic upon us, the need to navigate serious challenges is at hand.  Last week, I posted Five Keys to Dealing Effectively with Disruption noting the importance to businesses of: Avoiding Denial Attacking the Problem not the People Assistance – Obtaining it Accelerating Communication Appreciating Cash Position A flood of information has…
On March 10, 2020 the MIT Sloan Management Review published “How Leaders Delude Themselves About Disruption” as part of a series on Disruption 2020 published in memory of Clayton Christensen. The article, authored by Scott D. Anthony and Michael Putz, is focused on the challenges faced by companies experiencing the effects of disruptive innovation.  As articulated by Christensen (and others) in a 2015 Harvard Business Review piece, “disruption”  in this sense describes the…
The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court recently issued an important decision (Lynch v. Crawford) involving a  volunteer board member’s invocation of immunity from  liability for claims made under the Massachusetts Wage Act. The basic facts of the case are not complex. In 2013 a nonprofit health center encountered distress and closed without paying wages immediately.  Employees brought a class action lawsuit against the volunteer board chair (who was also serving as acting CEO). The…
In February 2019, the  United States Supreme Court heard oral arguments in an appeal from the  January 2018 decision of the First Circuit Court of Appeals in  Mission Product Holdings, Inc. v. Tempnology, LLC (In re Tempnology, LLC).    The case involved the chapter 11 proceedings of  a manufacturer of clothing and accessories designed to stay cool when used in exercise sold under the brand name “Coolcore.” In Tempnology,  the First Circuit ruled that…
In the fall of 2018, the  United States Supreme Court agreed to review the January 2018 decision of the First Circuit Court of Appeals in  Mission Product Holdings, Inc. v. Tempnology, LLC (In re Tempnology, LLC).  In Tempnology,  the First Circuit ruled that a trademark owner that files for bankruptcy can deprive a  nondebtor licensee from any rights to use trademarks of the owner licensed to the licensee. Although the First Circuit’s opinion…
I was pleased to join Adrienne Walker from Mintz and Lindsay Zahradka Milne from Bernstein Shur on a business panel  yesterday hosted by Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education.   Our focus was on strategies for trade creditors to obtain  (and keep) payment in light of  issues arising in recent financial meltdowns including Sports Authority, Toys R Us, Sears,  Papa Gino’s and many other distressed companies. We covered a lot of territory in a short amount of time…