BOOK REVIEW: “Up in the Air” by Greg J. Bamber, Jody Hoffer Gittell, Thomas A. Kochan & Andrew Von Nordenflycht

Airline travel used to be so glamorous, those days are gone. If you think you are having a hard time getting home on another delayed flight, the four authors of this book have a stark warning. The employees are even more fed up than the passengers. Far from the glamorous days of the 60s and 70s, epitomised by Leonardo Di Caprio in “Catch me if you can”. The industry has become known for a series of bankruptcies, low wages and increasingly harder working conditions. Continue reading

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BOOK REVIEW: “The Southwest Airlines Way” by Jody Hoffer Gittell

coverThe low cost model has become so ubiquitous today that it’s quite easy to f0rget that, when Southwest airlines set up in 1971, its business model was quite revolutionary.  This was just two years after Concorde had come into existence, and talk of the time was of quick flights for important business people prepared to pay a high price.  The two oil shocks of the 1970s, and changes in consumer tastes had a huge impact on this and, no doubt had a great, positive impact on the business model set up by Southwest Airlines. 

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BOOK REVIEW: “Leadership” by Rudolph W. Giuliani (2003)

leadership textBe not afraid of greatness,” says Malvolio in Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, “some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them.” 

To some extent, Rudolph “Rudy” Giuliani did have greatness thrust upon him.  Though he was a prominent politician, and already having been mayor of New York since 1994, it was on those terrible moments, on the morning of September 11th, 2001, that Giuliani gained international attention for his leadership.  For those who witnessed the events that day or saw them recounted on the TV, the memories of Giuliani walking up Manhattan with his team as devastation all around, giving orders, remains one of the most profound images of the day.  It was for this that he was named Time Person of the Year in 2001 and received an honorary knighthood from Queen Elizabeth II in 2002.

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Building a better organization through strong leadership.

Business people in a meeting

A guest blog by Patrick Mazzariol and Tricia Underwood. 

The most important asset to an organization is the people making employee retention a critical element of the organization.  An employee’s reason for leaving their company may not be what you suspect: more money, a better title or a new career opportunity.  In fact, when one million people were polled by Gallop in 2008, 82 percent responded, stating that, “I left my manager not the company.” The same poll found that there is a high correlation between employee satisfaction and performance, and an even higher correlation between leadership practices and employee satisfaction. A manager’s leadership skills have greater influence on employee fulfillment at work that most companies are willing to recognize. Companies must take an active role to build key leadership qualities and environments, less face the revolving door of employee turnover and a weaker organization. Continue reading

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Filed under Careers, Education, human resources, Leadership, Psychology, USA

GEM @ Boeing facilities, Seattle: An insight to the workings of Boeing

1111Today we had the honour of going on a VIP tour to Boeing’s Everett facilities. You may not have realised it, but chances are that you’ve flown on a Boeing aircraft before. With revenue of over 86 Billion dollars in 2013 making Boeing is one of the most successful airplane manufacturers in the world. Our first stop was actually Boeing’s last stop in their value chain, Everret’s delivery centre. This is where Boeing’s transactions are completed and customers can pick up their much awaited airplanes. Continue reading

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Filed under Airlines, Corporate culture, Exchange study programs, Innovation, USA

“Be what’s next”: An afternoon at the Microsoft Headquarters in Seattle

Redmond, February the 13th 2014: we arrived at the Microsoft Headquarters and are welcomed by Steve Seow – a Technical Evangelist at Microsoft. The visit starts with a little tour to get to Pike Place, where we are going to spend most of the day. Pike Place is a big cafeteria for Microsoft’s employees. We are all amazed by how beautiful, huge and modern the campus is and we can really feel the innovative vibe surrounding us. Continue reading

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GEM @ Amazon.com: Students on Innovation Business Week in Seattle get to see the workings of the world’s largest retailer

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Work hard, have fun and make history at Amazon

Amazon is the world biggest retailer with $61 billion of sales in 2012. On February 13th 2014, a group of 30 students from Grenoble EM and SFU had the opportunity to meet one of the management teams at their Head Quarters in Seattle. Sarah Borowski, founder of Amazon Art, and some of her other colleagues,  gave a very interesting pitch on Amazon’s corporate culture and its business innovation processes.

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Filed under Business Schools, Ecommerce, Entrepreneurship, Higher Education, Innovation, Management, Strategy