news and research
New book sheds light on why some leaders thrive in chaos
Management guru Jim Collins addressed the reasons companies succeed and fail in such bestselling books as Good to Great and Built to Last. In a new book, Great by Choice: Uncertainty, Chaos and Luck -- Why Some Thrive Despite Them All, Collins and co-author Morten T. Hansen studied leadership in turbulent times, examining why some companies thrive while others languish. Part of the answer lies in the distinctive behaviors of their leaders. And it has to do with the 20-mile March. Fortune magazine provides a compelling excerpt of their book.
Organizational health: The ultimate competitive advantage
To sustain high performance, organizations must build the capacity to learn and keep changing over time. That is a key finding of McKinsey authors of the new book, Beyond Performance: How Great Organizations Build Ultimate Competitive Advantage. The authors' research showed that more than 70 percent of change programs failed as the result of poor organizational health, manifested in symptoms such as negative employee attitudes and unproductive management behavior. A survey of executives at companies undergoing transformations revealed that organizations focusing on both performance and health rated themselves as nearly twice as successful as those focusing on health alone and nearly three times as successful as those focusing on performance alone.
Culture Crash: Lehman Brothers insider reveals why culture felled the financial giant
An article written by former chief talent officer and managing director at Lehman Brothers in 2009 points to the financial institution's culture as a big part of its ultimate demise. "For any organization undergoing far-reaching change — and in today's climate, that probably includes your company — the lesson is the same: Clinging to cultural habits that become outmoded as a company grows and as markets change is a recipe for disaster. It can lead to misuse of talent, reward leadership styles that have become dysfunctional, and undermine the company itself," writes Hope Greenfield, former chief talent officer and managing director at Lehman Brothers.
Urban Outfitters CEO Glen Senk: Look for the right culture, diverse opinions and bad news
According to Urban Outfitters CEO Glen T. Senk, the key to success is hiring and cultivating
the right people. At a Wharton Leadership Lecture, he emphasized the importance
of recruiting and developing a team that is a good fit for corporate
culture, and then listening to what those employees have to say, even
when the feedback isn't always positive.
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