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Bob's Gutsy Leadership Blog
Bob regularly writes blog posts and articles with his areas of focus being leadership, organizational effectiveness. Below you will find the titles and hot-links of his most recent efforts:
BlackBerry recently announced that it will stop developing and marketing its own smartphones. This is no surprise, given they have stated they had to sell about 5 million/year to break even, but they are currently only selling them at a rate of 1.8 million/year, and declining. Publically they claim this decision is to focus on software and enhance their return on invested capital. In reality, they should have exited years ago.
IBM is struggling, having seen its revenue decline for 17 straight quarters. It is staking its future on several new technologies; particularly cloud services and Watson artificial intelligence applications (as symbolized by its win on the game show Jeopardy in 2011).
Recently Intel agreed to sell a majority stake in its McAfee computer security business to a private equity firm. A few months earlier it announced it would slash 12,000 jobs, 11% of its workforce.
According to the U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, people are switching jobs during their career at a higher rate than ever before recorded. This fact caused two academic researchers to recently launch a massive study covering 400 executives from more than 50 industries in 40 countries.
About a year ago Warren Buffett paid $37 billion for Precision CastParts (PCP) Corporation, a highly successful company that makes complex parts primarily for the aircraft engine industry. Buffett praised and celebrated the CEO of this company at his recent annual meeting in Omaha. This generated a lot of press articles about the controversial nature of that CEO who has generated a culture at PCP that’s best described by one of the employees as “in your face, full body contact.”
The financial results which Twitter just released for its most recent quarter were characterized by weak user growth, weak revenue and a disappointing outlook. This caused an immediate -10% decline in the company’s stock price as investors continued to lose faith in the company’s ability to turn it around. For perspective, while Twitter’s stock price ranged between $35 and $55 during the period of January 2014 to July of 2015, in the most recent six months it has been in the $15-$20 range.
IBM’s revenue declined by 2.8% in the most recent quarter. The gains it made in its new businesses of cloud computing and data analytics were more than offset by the continued declines in its established businesses. IBM has posted revenue declines in seventeen straight quarters.
“Empowerment”, especially when discussed by HR professionals, is a topic that can get out of hand with respect to just how independently employees can operate while maintaining some semblance of productivity for the organization. What we will discuss here is that real empowerment can only occur when there is strong leadership at the top setting the overall direction and providing some ground rules.
While leaders can never be certain that their company’s ability to bring new ideas to the marketplace is totally wired into the culture and would be effective even without them, it is important that each leader have total commitment to honing each employee’s skills to continually challenge the status quo.