Keg Stands And All-Nighters

September 5, 2018

 “Inventory turnover is calculated by dividing the cost of goods sold by the inventory cost. The average inventory for the year should be calculated or approximated if there has been a significant change in inventory cost from the beginning to the end of the period. Usually it is sufficient simply to add the beginning and ending inventory amounts and to use one-half of that total as the average inventory for the year. Once the inventory turnover is determined, it can be converted to days’ inventory by dividing inventory turnover into 365 days.”

Welcome, my fellow liberal arts majors, to the wonderful world of financial ratios and financial statement analysis.

What the hell have I gotten myself into?

For the past six weeks or so, I’ve been knee deep in assigned pre-reading for an executive education program that begins this Sunday, and will take two years to complete. It’s all in the name of relevance and transformation.

I’ve been working in this industry for 30 years and am keenly aware that creative fields like this one don’t put a premium on gray hair. Look around your agency. How many 50 or 60 somethings are sitting in on your brainstorms?  Sadly, I’m betting not many. I own the joint so my job here is pretty secure. But that doesn’t mean my colleagues and clients don’t need me to remain relevant and effective. Quite the contrary. In the face of great organizational and industry change, they need me to be a better leader and counselor.

So, at 52, I’m off to live in the dorms at Harvard Business School (HBS), where I’ve enrolled in a program that promises “a unique and intensive learning format, (that) enables you to assess your strengths and weaknesses, identify and exploit emerging opportunities, and transform your company and your career.”

The HBS Owner/President/Management program was created for business owners worldwide to sharpen skills in finance, marketing, operations, negotiation and leadership — the stuff I do every day. The program will include two more three-week sessions on campus over the next 24 months, with opportunities in between to apply what I learn to my business under the guidance of some of the sharpest business professors in the world.

Study and class time occupy up to 12 hours a day during the on-campus portions, so participants are encouraged to step completely away from their companies during their time at HBS. With great pride and no shortage of gratitude, I am delighted to say that will be no problem for me. My talented and experienced colleagues are more than ready and able to step in to ensure that Fast Horse continues to run smoothly while I’m off doing keg stands in the dorms.

Anyone got a Trapper Keeper I can borrow?