The recent sequence of massive vehicle recalls by General Motors, started by the decade-old ignition switch flaw that was buried for more than a decade within the thick GM bureaucracy even though it is linked to a reported 13 death, highlights a key challenge for leaders. Specifically, how do you create a culture that causes bad news to quickly get reported and acted upon.
Gutsy Leadership Blog
Back in 2002, Frank Nuovo was a talented technologist working in the R&D organization of Nokia. At the time, Nokia was the global leader of the cellphone industry. Nokia was also starting to sell smartphones, but they were very crude by today’s standards.
Leaders need to realize that while it is easier to simply hold on to old assumptions, eventually that course of action can prove disastrous.
The problem with “groupidity” is that few people will have the nerve/courage to speak their mind in the face of group pressure. People who present concerning information or are critical are often characterized as having bad social skills or being loaners.
By Rebecca O. Bagley If you don’t do it, your competitor will. That was the message former Microsoft COO Bob Herbold delivered to professors, students and business leaders in Cleveland recently. Herbold spoke at the Case School of Engineering’s annual banquet, where he shared his insights on leadership, innovation and entrepreneurship. Herbold shared two well-known stories [...]
During the 2003 to 2007 period, Abercrombie & Fitch was highly successful, featuring clothing for the “elite, cool, young adult,” with advertising that was very brash and sexy. The stock price rose from $30 to the low $80 range. In a recent issue of the New York Magazine, the story is told of that successful period, and the difficult times since then, with the stock bouncing around in the low $30’s recently.
In a recent Businessweek article, the writer pointed out that IBM’s CEO promised that Watson, their supercomputer that had success answering tough trivia questions on the TV show Jeopardy, will generate $10 billion in annual revenue within 10 years. This is surprising, given that the CEO also noted that Watson is currently generating business at [...]
A recent Harvard Business Review article reported on research dealing with the role of “sense of purpose” in enabling companies to attract top talent and achieve strong results. They single out BlackRock as a prime example. Founded 25 years ago, BlackRock has quickly become the largest asset management firm in the world. Currently it is generating its best ever revenue and profits, and its stock price is up 50% versus year ago and is five times higher than it was in 2004.
A leader needs to create a culture that is tightly focused on finding new ideas and approaches and trying them out. Too often we see success causing people to believe they have finally figured things out and that the challenge now is to not mess it up; that is, they become very protective of the status quo.
A couple of months ago, a Tesla owner in California plugged his Model S into an outlet in his garage to recharge it, only to realize shortly thereafter that his garage was on fire! The local Orange County Fire Authority isolated the problem to overheating of the Tesla adapter and the wall outlet that the adaptor [...]