Category Archives: Corporate responsibility
IBM so dominated the computing industry from the 1950s onwards that by 1980 the US government decided to set up antitrust commission to decide if it had too much power. By the time the commission gave in its report, IBM was heading towards bankruptcy. The man who saved them from that fate was Louis V. Gerstner and this book explains how he brought about a massive cultural transformation.
The 2012 Olympic Games begin today in London and there will be much talk over the coming weeks of the dedication and talent of the winners. Though none of us as yet know the names of the gold medalists of each event, one thing is certain, a lot of extremely gifted and hardworking individuals will return to their countries with nothing more to show than their participation in the games. Does this make them losers? Of course not. Continue reading
BOOK REVIEW: “Onward: How Starbucks Fought for Its Life without Losing Its Soul” by Howard Schultz & Joanne Gordon (2012)
Authors: Howard Schultz & Joanne Gordon
Change management, leadership, rebuilding a brand, supply chain management
Howard Schultz’ very personal and open account of the difficulties that Starbucks ran into and why, in 2008, he decided to come back to the company as CEO. He had stepped down 8 years before. Schultz’s is very passionate about his company (this comes out even more in interviews) and the people that work for it. The book is even divided into five parts entitled Love, Confidence, Pain, Hope and Courage.
The book gives an excellent account of how an “iconic brand” reinvented itself, why Schultz was determined to ban hot breakfasts from the store, the importance of creating an ‘experience’ or an ‘atmosphere’ for the customer and how the company became profitable again. He is also quite honest about why certain products and strategies failed. Continue reading
Cold turkey after Christmas
Cold turkey refers to the withdrawal symptoms heroin addicts feel when they come off the drug. (It is said that they get shivers so strong that their skin looks similar to that of a turkey before it is cooked.) More prosaically, the expression can be used to describe the feeling of readjusting after an exceptional good moment in your life. 72 hours after Christmas though, it is simply a description of what is left on the dinner table! The appearance of this cold, unwanted meat is all too often a sad reflection of peoples’ feelings now that the big party is over. Continue reading