Stories and Strategies from Real Life: 9/25/15

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ome of the best learning happens when you read stories about real people and real companies. Read them for ideas, for lessons, and inspiration. This week’s stories and strategies from real life are about Aetna, Touch by Alyssa Milano, McDonald’s,, and Netflix.

From Navi Radjou and Jaideep Prabhu: Aetna’s Frugal Healthcare Strategy

“Mark Bertolini, the no-nonsense CEO of Aetna — one of the world’s leading health insurers — is not impressed with the U.S. healthcare system. In an interview with us, Bertolini called the sector ‘too bloated and accountable to no one.’ The system — which will cost US$4.6 trillion, or 20 percent of U.S. GDP, by 2020 — ‘charges patients and rewards care providers on services delivered, not patient outcomes,’ he said.”

From Mary Johnson: Alyssa Milano, on how she disrupted the business of fan apparel

“When you think of Alyssa Milano, your first thought might be ‘Who’s the Boss?’ (she played the role of Samantha in the 1980s — and maybe again very soon?) or ‘Charmed’ ( as the sister/witch Phoebe). You might even recall that UNICEF commercial that periodically dominates cable channels.”

From Bryan Gruley and Leslie Patton: The Frustrating Life of a McDonald’s Franchisee

“Jarvis looked forward to celebrating 50 years with McDonald’s this past May. And then, six months short of that milestone, he sold his restaurants.”

Thanks to Smartbrief on Leadership for pointing me to this story

From Jacquelyn Smith: A company started its own internal ‘Shark Tank,’ and it’s been a ‘stunning success’

“ has implemented an ‘internal Shark Tank’ competition in the office — and the company’s marketing manager Ryan O’Connell says it has not only boosted company morale, but it’s also brought ‘more impressive, out-of-the-box ideas to the table than any traditional marketing strategy we’ve had.'”

From Annlee Ellingson: Netflix IDs when TV episodes hook viewers

“Netflix crunched some big data to figure out at what point in a series’ first season viewers are in it for the long haul. For example, subscribers were ‘hooked’ after two episodes of ‘Breaking Bad’ and ‘Scandal,’ but it took eight of ‘Arrow’ and ‘How I Met Your Mother’ to reel them in.”

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