Jeff Immelt, CEO of General Electric, has said that anyone could have run the corporation in the 1990s. Conditions were so favorable that “a dog could have run GE” he claims. Not very flattering for his predecessor, Jack Welch!
Still, leadership is certainly easier when the economic outlook is good. The real test is during an economic downturn and given the difficult past 5 years books of this sort are more than welcome.
Peter Lorange has had one of the most illustrious careers in academia. Having begun his career teaching at MIT Sloan School of Management and Wharton, he then went on to become President of BI, Oslo and then IMD, Lausanne. He retired from this last position in 2009 but instead of dedicating his time to golf he bought the GSBA, Zurich and renamed it the Lorange Institute of Business. You might conclude that he has quite a bit to say on leadership and you would be right. This is an excellent book.
Filed under Book Review, Business, Business Schools, Careers, Education, Entrepreneurship, Higher Education, Innovation, Leadership, Management, MBA, Strategy
Key concepts: disruptive innovation, leapfrogging, processes, corporate culture, project management
Companies and industries studied: Apple, Nucor, Dell, Toyota, GM, GE, Ford, Compaq, HP, IBM, disk drive industry
It is said that this was Steve Job’s favourite book
and had a lot of influence on the way he ran Apple. It focuses on disruptive technology
and shows why a lot of companies miss out on innovation in markets and why leaders are often ‘leapfrogged
’ by challengers. Among some of the surprising theories Christensen states that companies should NOT always listen to their customers
(Steve Jobs declared this many times over; so did Henry Ford
). Also, it may be better for a company to invest in lower margin products rather than high margin