Anatomy of a healthy
How can business leaders embed "healthy"
thinking in the organization?
The challenge of sustaining corporate
performance has long exercised the minds of
executives and management thinkers. Pioneering
leaders such as GM's Alfred Sloan and IBM's Thomas
Watson, who sought to create enduring institutions,
have become the stuff of business legend. And
scholars have spilled oceans of ink trying to explain
what makes strong performance endure.
Yet many senior executives, try as they might, still
find it hard to shift their attention away from today's
stock price and the next set of interim results. The
forbidding presence of hedge fund and private-equity
investors on corporate share registers and the
increasingly short tenure of CEOs have only
intensified the obsession with short-term
A series of articles in The McKinsey Quarterly has
described the way companies can take steps today to
ensure that they perform well not only this year but
also in the years to come (see Related Articles to the
right). Underlying these actions is a mental discipline
founded on the simple metaphor of human health,
which improves when cared for and deteriorates when
neglected. Further research has deepened the
understanding of what a healthy corporation looks like
and, more important, what business leaders can do to
embed healthy attitudes throughout their
Continued from Last Week
Even as companies hedge against external
shocks, they need to get the basics right, make good
decisions, and perform essential tasks. Brilliant
products, clever promotions, or surging markets can
obscure sloppy execution for a while. But sooner or
later, as Atari spectacularly demonstrated when it fell
from grace in the mid-1980s, this kind of fragility will
be exposed; the games company lost the ability to turn
out high-quality products because it focused too much
of its energies on marketing and cost control.
As both our experience and our reading of the
academic research suggest, companies that execute
well share certain attributes: distinctive capabilities,
the ability to make sound and timely decisions, strong
forecasting skills, and employees who understand
their roles and responsibilities. Too many managers
take these things for granted. A healthy company pays
attention to them constantly.
Many companies seem robust in the face of
external surprises and good at conducting day-to-day
business, yet their managers and employees lack
cohesiveness of purpose. In our experience, healthy
companies, however scattered and disaggregated
physically and organizationally, generally work toward
a common cause. They usually achieve this kind of
alignment when they sketch a compelling vision of the
future for everyone connected with them-employees
in particular-by articulating a shared identity that
rises above individuals, functions, and business
units; by reflecting stakeholder concerns in corporate
values; and by reinforcing the sense of common
purpose with formal mechanisms, such as
Healthy companies invest in their future by
expanding into well-chosen markets where existing
assets and competencies provide real leverage,
usually with the help of a winning formula that has
been honed from experience and facilitates smooth
integration across the entire value chain and the
efficient extraction of synergies. Nike's forays into golf,
ice hockey, and soccer in the areas of footwear,
sportswear, and equipment, for example, follow a
pattern that the company first set with basketball.
Renewal also requires attention to softer issues,
such as the ability to generate ideas and adapt to
change, both culturally and strategically. Markets and
industries move quickly; most companies do not.
Smith Corona was a peerless and highly successful
typewriter maker until the electronic age overtook it.
The concept of complementarity, explored in detail
by John Roberts in his book The Modern Firm,2 often
figures in organizational practices, such as hiring
policies, training programs, and consistent and
mutually reinforcing behavioral incentives. Toyota
Motor has long been singled out as a company whose
aspirations for quality, management of suppliers, and
capability-building and management systems all
serve to reinforce the drive for steady improvement.
Effective communication and collaboration are
crucial to ensuring that assets, processes,
relationships, and management practices act in
concert. Typically, in healthy companies information
flows across the organization, as well as from top to
bottom, tapping into social networks beyond the
formal organizational structure.3
The five attributes we've outlined are emergent
characteristics of a company's performance system
rather than narrow outputs of performance. A manager
therefore cannot expect to take an action or a set of
actions that automatically "creates," say, resilience or
renewal, much as the effect of medicine on a fever
depends on what's going on elsewhere in the
For this reason, executives must not think of any
one of the attributes as though it operated
independently. There are invariably tensions among
them-moving to improve one could weaken or
compromise another. To the extent that renewal
involves adaptation or a radical transformation, for
example, a company's usual execution skills can
suddenly look obsolete and ineffective. What's more,
making all the different parts of an organization
complement one another generally yields value, but
changing a single element, without being sensitive to
its impact on the rest, could ultimately jeopardize the
performance of the whole.
The discipline of managing tensions among the
different characteristics of health requires a
willingness to transcend daily routines and
conventional mind-sets and to view the performance
system in its full complexity. Vital corporate and
individual processes are highlighted by our suite of
recommendations: breaking down a company's
resources into separate performance and health
components, ensuring a balanced portfolio of
strategic and other initiatives, integrating that
approach into planning and budgeting, identifying
metrics for assessing health, and building health into
formal performance mechanisms. Individually, and
even collectively, these recommendations do not
create health or, still less, its attributes. They do help
an organization to focus routinely and instinctively on
the health imperative and to avoid falling into the traps
Monitor the way you allocate
The quickest way to get everyone in an
organization thinking deeply about its health is to
break down resources into two categories-those
devoted to driving performance and health,
respectively. One ready reckoner is labor costs:
executives, for example, should routinely know how
many of their employees work on delivering the
current operating plan as opposed to looking after the
underlying health issues described earlier. That way,
they can have well-informed conversations about
whether or not they are investing resources in a
Balance the strategic portfolio
Companies can keep an eye on their health by
regularly assessing all their business ideas and new
initiatives-projects or programs to change or improve
something in the business. They should evaluate
these projects both by mapping the point when each
would be likely to create the greatest value and by
looking at whether a project involves familiar, routine
work that plays to their strengths and experiences or
is a novel departure, which could be riskier and
consume additional resources. Healthy companies
seek to keep a balance between the two and know
that it is not a trade-off between the short and long
terms: investing for the long term means action today.
One North American chemical manufacturer we
know reviews its project list quarterly, updates the
expected value of initiatives once a year, and seeks to
ensure that they always represent a mix of efforts to
deliver immediate performance and those likely to
bear fruit in subsequent years. Companies can use
this approach to manage the different attributes of
health: one European retail bank designed the
initiatives to strengthen its renewal and execution
Integrate into core processes
Extending health-oriented strategic thinking into
detailed planning and budgeting processes is the
next step; for instance, an analysis of the underlying
health of cash flows should inform traditional budget
reviews. One idea that we find works well is to initiate,
as a formal part of the performance-management
process, a health dialogue that might touch on the
relevance of investment priorities or the product
pipeline to a company's future performance. Reviews
can also examine human-resource allocations and
the way executives spend their time-an exercise that
can yield surprising results about their practical
commitment to the company's health. A Middle East
oil joint venture, for example, recently identified six
priority processes as the object of its new focus on
health: managing the portfolio of assets so that it
contains a full range of projects, at all stages of the
hydrocarbon maturation life cycle; managing wells
and reservoirs; capital execution; contracting and
procurement; talent management; and operational
Have the metrics to match
Many businesses make a religion out of counting
their new customers and the growth of their revenues.
Banks look at their cost-income ratio, insurers at the
combined ratio. But these metrics don't necessarily
measure corporate health, so executives should
develop a number of health variables for each of the
attributes vital to the health of the business. A retail
bank, for instance, might test its resilience by tracking
its credit fraud volumes and recurring revenues or its
execution skills by determining the turnaround time on
loan applications. A company can monitor its
alignment by calculating the proportion of its senior
managers who disagree about strategies and
corporate priorities. To concentrate the minds of its
executives, it can test its capacity for renewal by
tracking the share of its revenues from new markets
and new products and its complementarity by
calculating how much of its revenues come from
products and services that span business units and
Companies typically use key performance
indicators (KPIs) to track how they are doing, but
health measures are different in nature.The approach
we recommend can be helpful in identifying where a
company most urgently needs to act.
Reinforce through performance
Once a company has redesigned its regular
strategic, budgeting, and planning processes to inject
a strong dose of "healthy" thinking-and appropriate
metrics are in place-executives must embed health
in formal people-management mechanisms,
including performance contracts, incentives, career
path planning, and staffing decisions. Managers at all
levels should know the expectations set for them.
Companies should use the metrics discussed earlier
to structure evaluations ensuring that employees reap
rewards as much for doing health-building work as for
Whatever gratification executives may get from a
juicy set of financial results, the shareholders will
ultimately judge them on their ability to repeat these
achievements year after year. Becoming well
acquainted with the attributes of health-and the
tensions among them-is the first step in confronting
that challenge. Unless companies embed a health
consciousness in their key management processes,
the goal of sustained performance will likely remain
Source: McKinsey & Co. 2007
The Business Cycle
The road to success on two
In January 2005, Rahul Sood, the founder of
VoodooPC, was trying to attract the attention of
potential acquirers when a friend gave him a hot tip:
buy a bike.
In July, a gaggle of Silicon Valley tech executives
would be making a pilgrimage to Europe to follow the
Tour de France on their bicycles.
"He mentioned that some people from Hewlett-
Packard would be there," says Mr. Sood, whose
Calgary-based company makes souped-up
computers for game enthusiasts and other power
"We were at the point where we needed a partner
and HP was our number one choice."
Sensing a life-changing opportunity, Mr. Sood
wangled a spot on the trip, and began to make
preparations. "I had never been on a road bike," he
says. "I spent day and night training on a stationary
bike at the gym. I went to France looking like a total
poser with a shiny new helmet. I didn't know what I
But the trip paid off. In September last year, Mr.
Sood sold VoodooPC to HP for an undisclosed
amount. He is now head of HP's new gaming division.
Mr. Sood's story is emblematic of the increasingly
important role cycling plays in Silicon Valley's social
On any given weekend morning, scores of
spandex-clad rainmakers converge on coffee shop
parking lots across Silicon Valley to prepare for a
morning climb up the roads that wind their way
through the nearby hills that separate San Francisco
Bay from the Pacific Ocean.
"Being in Cupertino, we are surrounded by some
of the best cycling in the world. It's a beautiful thing to
ride 20-30 miles around here," says John Roberts,
chief executive of SugarCRM, an open-source
software company (the company is named after Mr.
Robert's mountain bike). "You can ride all year round."
For many Silicon Valley executives, cycling is more
than a way to keep fit or to take in the countryside. It is
also an opportunity to network, think up ideas, even to
"For us, at a high level, you look [for] the attributes
of cycling: you've got endurance, strength, power and
intensity," says Mr. Roberts. "It's also a very social
sport. Instead of doing 18 holes of golf, you go ride
with 30 people. As you're going through the peloton [a
pack of cyclists] you can meet a lot of people."
Mr. Roberts says cycling has been good for
business. When SugarCRM began sponsoring
competitive rides in San Jose, he was surprised by
the response. "We used the rides as a recruiting event
and we got some great resumes," he says. "We've
ended up hiring a lot of cyclists."
Mr. Sood, an avid cyclist since his auspicious trip
to France, says cycling offers a rare chance to get
away from his Blackberry and other office
distractions. "It clears my mind completely," he says.
In a land of engineers, cycling's technical aspects -
gears, brakes and composite frames - also lend
geek appeal. "There are a lot of gear-heads out there,"
says Deepak Kamra, a partner at Canaan Partners, a
venture capital firm.
Mr. Kamra rides three times a week, for the
exercise: "It's just like running, except it's a lot easier
on the body. You can socialize a lot better."
Many local cycling clubs organize trips
abroad. "I've been to Europe five times now to follow
the major races with my club," says Mr. Kamra.
Closer to home, a common route runs up Old La
Honda Road, a narrow ribbon of asphalt that climbs
into the hills separating Palo Alto from the Pacific.
From the top, riders can choose from a series of
Here, a typical ride can last between an hour and
a half to four hours; plenty of time to talk with fellow
cyclists about the Valley's Next Big Thing.
"We'd never admit that we're doing it for the
networking," says Mr. Kamra. But he volunteers: "The
people I ride with are basically tech execs. People talk
business, but that's not the main objective."
Source: The Financial Times Limited 2007
The new golf?
- The road to success on two wheels - The
- Will the end of baby-boomers slow growth?
- Anatomy of a healthy corporation continued
- Economic notes
- Automotive leads
- Global business confidence
- Global business confidence remains lackluster.
Sentiment has improved since its low point very late
last year, but it continues to suggest that global growth
remains stuck at the low end of its potential. Weighing
on optimism are soft sales, while the end of a sharp
manufacturing inventory drawdown is buoying
confidence. There has been a recent spurt in pricing
pressures, as higher energy and other commodity
prices have had an impact. Financial and business
service firms and South American businesses are the
most optimistic. Vehicle manufacturers, real estate
firms, and European businesses are the least upbeat.
- There was a larger than expected downward
revision to economic growth in the first quarter.
Annualized real growth was revised down to 0.6% for
the quarter, from 1.3% in the advance estimate; the
consensus expectation was for a downward revision
to 0.8% growth. Smaller inventory accumulation and
greater imports led to the downward revision; there
was an upward revision to personal consumption
expenditures that partially offset this. Growth remains
below potential, with the housing market still a
substantial weight. After falling in the fourth quarter,
profits from current production increased an
annualized $20 billion in the first quarter, hitting a new
- Investor Optimism Index
- After falling for four-consecutive months, investor
optimism reversed course this month. In May, the UBS
Index of Investor Optimism chimed in at 95, up from
74 the month prior. Although large month-to-month
fluctuations are common, the index now stands at its
highest level since January. The latest improvement in
optimism is being driven by a sustained rally in equity
- Consumer Confidence
- Consumer confidence is buckling under the
pressure of elevated energy prices. The ABC
News/Washington Post consumer comfort index fell
four points to -13 in the week ending May 27. The
index now stands at its lowest level since October
2006. The details were weak with an eight-point
decline in the personal finances component leading
the overall charge lower.
- The Conference Board index of consumer
confidence rose in May to 108 from an upwardly
revised 106.3 in April (previously 104). The increase
was led by the present situation component, although
expectations also rose.
- Construction Spending (C30)
- Construction spending increased 0.1% in April.
Private construction decreased 0.1% driven by a 1.0%
decline in residential construction. Public construction
buoyed the topline, increasing by 0.7%. Overall, this is
a stronger report than expectations.
- OFHEO Home Price Index
- House-price appreciation is weakening, according
to OFHEO's repeat-purchase house price indices.
Price appreciation is down to 4.3% on a year-ago
basis in the first quarter of 2007, the slowest pace
since the late 1990s. Some regions, particularly in the
West, are still maintaining strong price growth. The
Midwest, Northeast and Nevada are at the bottom of
the pack. The purchase only index is registering a
slightly slower appreciation of 3% y/y.
- MBA Mortgage Applications Survey
- Mortgage demand decreased 7.3% in the week
ending May 25. Purchase applications decreased
2.5% and refinance applications decreased 13.0%.
The broad decline in the weekly index is not a good
sign, considering that recent cross-product
promotions tend to increase the number of mortgage
applications, and the combination of tighter
regulations and fewer market participants tends to
increase the number of applications with MBA
- Agricultural Prices
- The preliminary All Farm Products Index of Prices
Received by Farmers shot up 3% in May from the
previous month and is up 24% over the past year.
Crop prices increased 2.1% and livestock prices are
up 3.9% as higher feed costs are working through
animal production. Farmers received higher prices for
milk, hogs, hay and broilers. Lower prices were
received for vegetables such as lettuce, broccoli and
cauliflower, and for cattle. Prices paid by farmers rose
less sharply, adding 0.6% for the month and 6% over
the past year. Farmers paid more for hay & forages,
gasoline, and fertilizers. Feed supplements, complete
feeds, diesel fuel and feeder cattle cost less in
- Chain Store Sales Snapshot
- Chain store sales were essentially unchanged in
the week ending May 26, recovering none of the
previous week's large decline, as gasoline prices
remained a significant weight. However, year-over-
year growth gained a percentage point to 2.9% as
- Monster Employment Index
- The Monster Employment Index increased three
points in May, with a reading of 189 compared to 186
in April. The details of the report were also moderate,
but most industries registered an increase during the
month. This is a continuation of last month's trend of
relatively soft, but positive movements in online job
- The Conference Board Help Wanted
- The index of newspaper help wanted advertising
was unchanged in April from a downwardly revised
reading of 29 in March. The U.S. economy is clearly
not generating as many jobs as it was last fall. This
month's help wanted reading is consistent with a
sluggish labor market.
- Oil and Gas Inventories
- Crude oil inventories fell by two million barrels for
the week ending May 25, according to the Energy
Information Administration, against expectations of a
0.6 million barrel build. Gasoline stocks rose by 1.3
million barrels, in line with expectations. Refinery
activity held steady at 91.1%. Lower imports and
steady refinery activity are to blame for the drop in
crude inventories. Distillate inventories rose 0.1
million barrels, less than expected. This release will
likely help put some bearish pressure on gasoline
prices, but maintain some bullish momentum on oil
- Weekly Natural Gas Storage Report
- Underground storage of natural gas increased by
107 billion cubic feet during the week ending May 25.
This was in line with expectations. Inventories are now
20.9% above the five-year average. This report is likely
to have a neutral effect on prices.
|This Weeks Leads:
- Trak Auto, Grundy's, Twin B and Forest
- Restoration Auto Parts LLC trades as Trak Auto,
Grundy's, Twin B and Forest City at 281 locations in
D.C., IL, IN, MD, MI, NY, OH, PA, VA and WI.
stores occupy spaces of 6,000 sq.ft. to 8,000 sq.ft. in
freestanding locations, strip and power centers.
Plans call for as many as 30 openings during the
coming 18 months.
- Expansion opportunities are
sought in D.C., IL, IN, MD, MI, NY, OH, PA, VA and WI.
- Preferred demographics include a population of
50,000 residing within a three-mile radius earning an
average income of $35,000. Leases running five years
- For more information, contact
- Restoration Auto Parts LLC,
1494 South Arlington Road,
- Akron, OH 44306;
- Fax 330-785-7126.
- Free Service Tire and Free Service Truck
- Free Service Tire Co, Inc. trades as Free Service
Tire and Free Service Truck Tire Center at 16 locations
in TN and VA.
- The tire and auto service centers
occupy spaces of 6,000 sq.ft. in freestanding
- Plans call for expansion in TN and VA
during the coming 18 months.
- Leases running
five years with options are typical.
- For more
- Lewis Wexler, Sr.,
Free Service Tire Co., Inc.,
- 126 Buffalo Street,
Johnson City, TN 37604-5702;
- ABC Discount Auto Parts
- ABC Discount Auto Parts operates 17 locations in
NJ and PA.
- The stores, specializing in automotive
supplies and accessories, occupy spaces of 6,000
sq.ft. in freestanding locations.
- Plans call for
expansion in NJ and PA during the coming 18
- For more information, contact
- ABC Discount Auto parts,
- Cherry Hill, NJ 08003;
- Fax 856-797-2978.
- Auto Parts Center
- Auto Wares, Inc. trades as Auto Parts Center at 37
locations in northern IN, MI and northern OH.
stores occupy spaces of 3,500 sq.ft. in freestanding
- Plans call for expansion in MI during the
coming 18 months.
- Expansion is acquisition
driven, and tenant improvements are negotiable.
Preferred demographics include a population of
50,000 residing within a 20-mile radius earning an
average income of $22,000. Leases running five years
- For more information, contact
- Auto Wares, Inc.,
Kirkland Street Southwest,
- Grand Rapids, MI
- Fax 616-243-
- Tires Centers LLC
- Michelin trades as Tires Centers LLC at 180
locations in 34 states nationwide.
- The stores,
offering automotive supplies, occupy spaces of
10,000 sq.ft. to 35,000 sq.ft. in freestanding locations.
- Plans call for expansion nationwide during the
coming 18 months.
- Expansion is acquisition-
- The company will consider leasing,
purchasing or build-to-suits.
- A land area of two to
three acres is required.
- For more information,
- Dave Resusser,
300 North Cleveland Mass Road,
- Akron, OH
- Fax 330-668-
- Mister Car Wash
- Mister Car Wash operates 30 locations in MN, IA,
UT, TX and WA.
- The car washes occupy
6,000 sq.ft. in freestanding locations.
- Plans call
for 30+ openings during the coming 18 months.
Expansion opportunities are sought in UT and
The company seeks land areas of 25,000 sq.ft. to
35,000 sq.ft., and prefers purchasing sites or build-to-
- End caps are also preferred.
- Matthew May,
- May Realty
- 8362 And A Half West 3rd Street,
- CA 90048;
- Carquest Auto Parts
- Straus Frank Company trades as Carquest Auto
Parts at 188 locations in LA, OK and TX.
stores occupy spaces of 5,000 sq.ft. in freestanding
- Plans call for expansion in LA, OK and
TX during the coming 18 months.
- The company is
expanding mostly through acquisitions, and seeks
land areas of 30,000 sq.ft. Leases running five years
with options are typical.
- For more information,
- Roger Pritt,
- Straus Frank
- PO Box 600,
- San Antonio, TX
- Fax 210-225-
- Alta Mere, Atlas, Dr. Nicks, Milex, Mr.
Transmission and Multistate Transmission
- Moran Industries trades as Alta Mere, Atlas, Dr.
Nicks, Milex, Mr. Transmission and Multistate
Transmission at 191 locations nationwide.
stores, offering transmission repair and service,
occupy spaces of 3,400 sq.ft. to 4,000 sq.ft. in
freestanding locations and strip centers.
call for expansion in Atlanta, GA; Chicago, IL; Kansas
City, MO and TX during the coming 18 months.
vanilla shell and specific improvements are required.
- Preferred demographics include a population of
100,000 residing within a three-mile radius earning
an average income of $45,000.
- Land areas of
18,000 sq.ft. to 22,000 sq.ft. are sought, with the
exception of the Alta Mere concept which locates in
- The company is franchising, and
leases running five years with three five-year options
- For more information, contact
- Moran Industries,
- 6066 New
- Murfreesboro, TN 37129;
- Fax 615-895-9198,
- Web site:
- Petro Stopping Centers
- Petro Stopping Centers operates 58 locations
- The truck stop centers, also offering
automotive, restaurant and retail services, occupy land
areas of 14-30 acres in freestanding locations.
Plans call for expansion nationwide during the coming
- The company prefers to purchase
- For more information, contact
- Petro Stopping Centers,
- El Paso, TX 79926;
- Fax 915-774-7353.
|End of baby-boomers likely to slow growth
Retirement of the baby-boom generation will slow
the potential growth of the US economy in the coming
decade, highlighting the importance of labor market
reforms to boost employment and tax reforms to
improve efficiency, the Organization for Economic Co-
operation and Development advised on Tuesday.
In its survey of the US, undertaken roughly every
18 months, the OECD praised policymakers for the
country's productivity performance over the past
decade but warned that if this record continued, falling
numbers of employees would slow US economic
Inappropriate subsidies to rich homeowners and
failures in public education had exacerbated
inequalities in US society, the report added,
threatening the political support for market-based
reforms that underpinned economic prosperity.
The Paris-based global organization urged the US
government to pursue policies aimed at slowing the
pace of retirement, cutting the growth in people
qualifying for disability benefits, reducing tax
subsidies for home ownership and improving
education to stem rising inequality.
"The economy will increasingly depend on
productivity gains to achieve GDP [gross domestic
product] growth that can maintain the rise in
standards of living for both the working age and the
dependent population," the report said.
The OECD estimates that the US economy can
grow at an average rate of a little over 2.5 per cent
without inflationary pressures increasing, compared
with a potential growth rate of 3.25 per cent in the
previous three decades.
Falling employment rates account for the decline
as the baby-boom generation has moved through the
labor market and now approaches retirement age.
Noting that a large proportion of US men choose
to retire aged 62 or 65, when they become entitled to
partial or full pension benefits under the Social
Security system, the report concluded: "The age at
which Social Security benefits are paid provides a very
powerful level for influencing retirement decisions."
The OECD recommended delaying the age at
which workers receive full benefits to 67 and raising
that age in future. It also suggested reducing disability
benefits as they were being used as a substitute for
To raise efficiency and reduce inequalities, the
OECD suggested reducing tax relief for mortgage
payments, saying the main beneficiaries had
been "high-income households with easy access to
"Tax preferences have encouraged investment in
residential property at the expense of other household
assets, possibly affecting capital formation elsewhere
in the economy and, thereby, productivity growth."
It is also concerned that growing inequality is
undermining the support for successful free-market
Source: The Financial Times Limited 2007
Men turn to luxury spending to dispose of their
Sales of male "bling" such as expensive Swiss
watches are on the rise as the growing financial
independence of women encourages men to spend
more money on themselves and less on their
families, new research claims.
UBS, the investment bank, predicts that men are
on the way to becoming "major luxury goods
consumers" as they look for ways of spending their
In Japan, the world's biggest luxury goods market,
imports of champagne, jewellery and men's clothing
increased sharply last year, with watches being
themost popular luxury purchase for men.
Yasuhiro Yamaguchi, luxury goods analyst at UBS,
said the rise in sales of men's luxury goods reflected
significant social changes in Japan. "In the past, the
majority of men got married in their late twenties,
dedicating their incremental income to their family.
These days, men remain single for a much longer
period, fully enjoying the rise in disposable income."
Source: The Financial Times 2007
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