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Blythe McGarvie
Blythe J. McGarvie is one of the world’s leading authorities on global financial ethics, women in business, and corporate leadership. Directorship cites Blythe McGarvie as one of the “Most Influential People on Corporate Governance and in the Boardroom.” Her latest book, Shaking the Globe: Courageous Decision-Making in a Changing World (published by John Wiley & Sons) was available in bookstores January 2009. The book draws on McGarvie’s expertise in understanding what is required to succeed in the global marketplace and how to respond to worldwide economic trends.

Ms McGarvie is founder and C.E.O. of LIF Group, a firm offering a global perspective for clients seeking profitable growth & providing customized seminars for corporate and academic groups. She has a pulse on responding effectively to changing global markets as a result of her extensive experience and service on several boards including Accenture, Pepsi Bottling Group, The Travelers Companies, and Viacom.

McGarvie was appointed Senior Fellow for Northwestern’ University’s Kellogg Innovation Network. She was a pioneering CFO, and in 1995, was one of only ten female CFOs in the Fortune 500. Prior to LIF Group, from 1999 to 2002, Ms. McGarvie was Executive Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer of BIC Group, a publicly-traded French consumer goods company. Prior to joining BIC and moving to Paris, Ms. McGarvie was CFO of Hannaford Bros. Co., a $4 billion supermarket retailer, acquired by the DelHaize Group in 1999.

She launched her international career at Sara Lee Corporation, serving as the Chief Administrative Officer-Pacific Rim, where she was responsible for the finance, strategy, information technology and human resources functions for the personal product business in Asia Australia and South America, growing the division from $124 million to $600 million in sales over a three-year period ending in 1994. Ms. McGarvie is a Certified Public Accountant. She was featured in the video for the Kellogg Graduate School of Management Centennial kick-off event in October 2008. Visit to learn more about Shaking the Globe.

Entries by Blythe McGarvie

Wealth, Prosperity and Longevity (Part III)

(1) Comments | Posted May 4, 2012 | 12:35 PM

It's never easy prospering in a new city or a new environment. Understanding the value system of foreign culture will increase your effectiveness and put you at ease. In the prior newsletters, I discussed a framework for values and explained three of the five cultural dimensions in more detail: individual...

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Wealth, Prosperity and Longevity (Part II)

(0) Comments | Posted April 5, 2012 | 11:57 AM

In last month's newsletter, I provided a Values Framework and stated that in subsequent letters I would dig deeper into the implications of the five dimensions of cultural values. Today, I will explain the first three dimensions. In Part 2 of this two-part series, I will discuss risk-taking and how...

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Wealth, Prosperity and Longevity (Part I)

(0) Comments | Posted March 21, 2012 | 4:40 PM

A 34-year-old American keeps investing in real estate, mainly houses to renovate and rent. He gets excited when a Wall Street Journal reporter chooses to interview him about his financial strategy for success. He states that his long-term goal is to retire at 55, travel and play golf. To hedge...

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Improving Your Reputation

(0) Comments | Posted February 22, 2012 | 5:48 PM

Recently a magazine editor asked me to respond to questions from his readers who were mainly Chief Financial Officers and future C-Suite executives. As I reflected on the theme of some of the best questions, it struck me that readers in any executive management position make decisions each day that...

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Takeovers and the Economy

(1) Comments | Posted January 23, 2012 | 4:05 PM

Almost half of major U.S. corporations received takeover offers in the 1980s. This fact is astonishing, but also one that indicates the fluidity of our economy and the constant re-evaluation of investment strategies by shareholders. It also indicates the extent to which uncertainty shapes every employee's work life....

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Income and Wealth

(0) Comments | Posted December 7, 2011 | 10:09 AM

Years ago, while comparing various economic systems, I learned that one indication of the economic values in a culture is the reaction of a person seeing someone else driving a Mercedes sedan. An American wonders how he can afford one someday. The Soviet wonders how he can take it away....

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Investing in ETFs in Volatile Times

(0) Comments | Posted November 9, 2011 | 10:55 AM

My nephew, a new college graduate and not familiar with many investment possibilities, discussed with me how he could invest savings. The investment community continues to offer innovative ways to diversify and to create value. Most people are familiar with mutual funds, a basket of different equities in which you...

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Increasing Your Courage

(0) Comments | Posted September 27, 2011 | 7:53 AM

Have you ever wondered what your Intelligent Quotient (IQ) is? We all know bright people who just don't know how to handle certain situations. We say they have low Emotional Intelligence. Some people are quite smart, emotionally savvy, but refuse to take an educated risk to make a difference and turn...

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The Roaring Twenties

(0) Comments | Posted August 29, 2011 | 10:00 AM

One of my favorite eras is the 1920s. It was a time of jazz and the creation of America's music. It was when one of the most important archaeological discoveries of modern times was made as digging in Luxor, Egypt, revealed King Tut's tomb showing physical history that laid hidden...

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The Reluctant Superpower

(2) Comments | Posted July 22, 2011 | 11:14 AM

American business leaders should care about foreign perceptions of the United States -- especially its military, political, diplomatic and economic strength -- because those perceptions influence the purchasing and negotiation strength of American businesses. Until the 1960s, many Americans believed that they had not sought greatness but had it thrust...

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Urban Living

(2) Comments | Posted June 21, 2011 | 8:48 PM

The world is becoming more urban as more and more people are living in cities. In fact, the population of New York City -- 8.4 million -- is roughly the same number of Chinese who move each year from the countryside to a city. Researchers identified May 23, 2007, as...

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What Happens Next?

(0) Comments | Posted May 12, 2011 | 10:56 AM

I was privileged recently to attend an evening of New Orleans jazz featuring Wynton Marsalis and Eric Clapton playing together in Manhattan's Jazz at Lincoln Center. Each of the principals noted that in spite of all of their years of experiences, they rehearsed several days together to create an innovative...

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Innovative Spirit to Results

(0) Comments | Posted February 28, 2011 | 8:10 AM

President Obama held a 90-minute dinner in Silicon Valley at the home of the famous venture capitalist John Doerr last week to learn about innovation from some invited guests, including Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook and Steve Jobs of Apple, among others. Little is publicly known about the conversation, but the...

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President Hu and Negotiations

(5) Comments | Posted January 19, 2011 | 3:40 PM

American and European political rights are intrinsically linked with economic rights. Capitalism arose amid democratic revolution in the late 1700s. Americans, committed to a rule of law rooted in a recognition of individual rights, are inclined to doubt China's commitment to capitalism and to see China's economic growth as relying...

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Humor and Rapprochement

(0) Comments | Posted December 3, 2010 | 12:02 PM

"Humor is the great thing, the saving thing. The minute it crops up, all our irritations and resentments slip away and a sunny spirit takes their place," Mark Twain once wrote. My contribution to you is to encourage you to add humor -- and sensitivity to cultural values -- when...

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Where the Action Is: Consumer Spending

(0) Comments | Posted November 8, 2010 | 1:23 PM

I research and write about economic realities in the interconnected world and their implications for you and your business. I first discovered, in 1983, when I joined the Kellogg Alumni Council, that business school professors provide inspiration, analysis and thoughtful insight into the nature of business. You may be...

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Money, Entrepreneurs and You

(0) Comments | Posted November 5, 2010 | 1:47 PM

The positive response I received about the paradox of China led me to think about the underlying focus of money in both the United States' and Chinese economies. Investing on the basis of daily stock market reactions to news of China's actions makes little sense. Short-term day traders are gamblers...

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The Paradox of China

(1) Comments | Posted September 6, 2010 | 4:26 PM

The more I learn about China, the more I see it as a paradox in that it is both a country that is changing faster than most but still very traditional. The paradox is seen in economic terms as well, as China's GDP per capita is $6600, ranking it...

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Jobs and Today's Youth

(1) Comments | Posted August 27, 2010 | 11:06 AM

In my last book and in subsequent speeches and essays, I have addressed some of the challenges of incorporating today's young people into established businesses. With unemployment rates among America's youth currently around 20%, and many recent college graduates working at low-end jobs, it seems appropriate to revisit the issue....

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What Matters to You About the GDP and Debt

(13) Comments | Posted June 8, 2010 | 11:01 AM

Last Thursday, the government released the updated first quarter 2010 GDP figures (Gross Domestic Product reports the total market value of goods and services produced within a country). GDP results showed a 3% increase over a year ago. Is this good news or bad news? In order to put...

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