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Mergers may generate synergies, but don’t forget about the costs

The world’s top two beer makers agreed to join forces to create a company that would control nearly a third of the global market. AB InBev’s brands include Budweiser, Stella Artois and Corona, while SABMiller produces Peroni and Grolsch.

Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP

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Mergers cost too, don't forget

Anheuser-Busch InBev's acquisition of SABMiller is based on synergies from consolidation in the beer market. But Bryant University's Michael Roberto reminds us that anti-synergies – costs associated with putting two firms together – are usually ignored. As well, cost synergies – saving money – are easier to grab than revenue synergies from combination. Professor Michael Roberto's Blog

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To maintain focus, just say no

"How many times did you say no today?" That was the question Apple wizard Steve Jobs asked his design guru Jony Ive every day, making sure he had the discipline to turn his back on good ideas that arose throughout the day in order to stay focused on was at hand. Business Insider

'Sleeping on it' only goes so far

Should you sleep on a decision? New research by academics Uma Karmarkar, Baba Shiv, and Rebecca Spencer suggests that people may feel more positive about the options they face after a 12-hour interval containing sleep but not more confident about the choice they are inclined to make. Harvard Business School

Plan your day the night before

An important productivity myth to ignore, says expert Julie Morgenstern, is the insistence that you begin your day by creating a to-do list. It's too late by then, as the day's events have already started hammering you. Instead, end each day by looking at the next day's to-do list and schedule.

Sleep on the job with a desk bed

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NL Studio, a team of Greek designers, have created the first work desk that converts into a full-size bed, complete with a thin mattress, allowing users to take refreshing power naps.

Harvey Schachter is a Battersea, Ont.-based writer specializing in management issues. He writes Monday Morning Manager and management book reviews for the print edition of Report on Business and an online work-life column Balance. E-mail Harvey Schachter

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