AQA A2 BUSS4 Culture & Leadership
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The Zappos Family - How They Work

Wistia recently came to visit the Zappos Family and they found out first-hand what makes Zappos tick...it's culture!
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The IKEA Group; a great place to work

Find out more about working at the IKEA Group at: http://www.ikea.com We have a strong belief in people. At the IKEA Group, we believe it is the people that ...
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Harriet Green: Thomas Cook’s high flyer packs her bags

Harriet Green: Thomas Cook’s high flyer packs her bags | AQA A2 BUSS4 Culture & Leadership | Scoop.it
Profile: Her tenacity and straight-talking style helped save the world’s oldest travel company. So why did the most alpha of female CEOs depart last week after just two years in the job?
Mr Billinghurst-Bright's insight:

Harriet Green was credited with a very a quick and successful change management process at struggling travel firm Thomas Cook. It involved retrenchment and cost cutting. Her leadership was said to be aggressive by some tenacious by others. This strategy worked for the share price but she has now been pushed out after only 2 years as financial performance has begun to splutter again. It seems Green actually knew very little about the travel industry and that the weakness was beginning to show. The Chairman Frank Meysman’s commented that “it’s a different balance of requirements that is needed going forward”. 

Green’s number two, Peter Fankhauser, was promoted who has much more experience in this industry.

Perhaps this case shows although quick change can appear successful and keep shareholders and city analysts happy it does not guarantee long-term success if their are problems with the business model. Particularly in a challenging industry like travel & tourism.

 
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Jack Barrett's curator insight, March 8, 2016 4:56 AM

Harriet Green was credited with a very a quick and successful change management process at struggling travel firm Thomas Cook. It involved retrenchment and cost cutting. Her leadership was said to be aggressive by some tenacious by others. This strategy worked for the share price but she has now been pushed out after only 2 years as financial performance has begun to splutter again. It seems Green actually knew very little about the travel industry and that the weakness was beginning to show. The Chairman Frank Meysman’s commented that “it’s a different balance of requirements that is needed going forward”. 

Green’s number two, Peter Fankhauser, was promoted who has much more experience in this industry.

Perhaps this case shows although quick change can appear successful and keep shareholders and city analysts happy it does not guarantee long-term success if their are problems with the business model. Particularly in a challenging industry like travel & tourism.

 

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RBS Inside The Bank That Ran Out Of Money - YouTube

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Video about the extensive growth of RBS through mergers & acquisitions, the authoritarian leadership style of Fred Goodwin and the culture of bonuses, and reckless investment banking.

 

Fred was known as aggressive and a bully hence the nickname Fred 'The Shred'. He was known for making profits and reducing costs but grew RBS using far too many takeovers and allowed the investment banking side of the business to have too much power exposing the bank to massive sub-prime lending which went toxic and incurred heavy losses for the bank.

 

The bank was ultimately brought down by the acquisition of Dutch bank ABN Amro which was done with very little due diligence with the main motive being managerial pride, arrogance, risk taking and the aim of cementing their position as the biggest bank in the world. They ended up having to be bailed out by the UK government for £46bn which now owns 81% of the shares. The deal cost them £10bn but lost them £15bn.

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GSK Under Fire Again For Alleged Corruption in China

GSK Under Fire Again For Alleged Corruption in China | AQA A2 BUSS4 Culture & Leadership | Scoop.it
The risks for businesses from outside of China from operating in China have been well-illustrated by the problems now faced by pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline plc (
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According to an executive in GSK the China chief, Mark Reilly, had "fostered an aggressive sales culture that indirectly encouraged widespread bribery on the mainland". "With such unreasonable targets, if we do not resort to illegal measures, it's very difficult to achieve such high sales growth. Mark Reilly changed the company's objective to sales being king." 

 

This aggressive unethical culture has been true of the company for many years hence the accusations and fines  in a wide range of countries in recent years. Such as this in the US: http://www.theguardian.com/business/2012/jul/03/glaxosmithkline-fined-bribing-doctors-pharmaceuticals 

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/02eaa328-c468-11e1-9c1e-00144feabdc0.html

Despite GSK stating in public after the first wave of scandals they had removed many top staff, changed the structure and altered the way staff were rewarded linked to sales target it appears they have found it very hard to change the culture or that they never really had any intentions of doing so putting profit before ethics and people. 

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Turning around the world's oldest travel firm

Turning around the world's oldest travel firm | AQA A2 BUSS4 Culture & Leadership | Scoop.it
A profile of Harriet Green, the boss of Thomas Cook, and how she is trying to turnaround the fortunes of Thomas Cook.
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Retrenchment by Harriet Green at Thomas Cook covered well here. Great for BUSS4.

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Southwest Airlines Culture - YouTube

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A good video featuring Herb Kelleher (Fomer CEO) on Southwest Airlines in the US which is well known for having award winning customer service as result of their strong positive culture of employee engagement. Keep watching for the rapping airline attendant.

Other short stories about their culture:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/carminegallo/2014/01/21/southwest-airlines-motivates-its-employees-with-a-purpose-bigger-than-a-paycheck/

http://www.forbes.com/sites/kenmakovsky/2013/11/21/behind-the-southwest-airlines-culture/

As the airline says themselves: "We exist to connect people to what’s important in their lives through friendly, reliable, and low-cost air travel." They are the most profitable low-cost airline in the world and as Herb Kelleher said "the business of business is people."

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Zappos Company Culture - YouTube

Producer / Shooter / Editor www.nwgallucci.com
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Zappos.com is an online shoe and clothing shop currently based in Las Vegas, Nevada. In July 2009, the company announced it would be acquired by Amazon.com in an all-stock deal worth about $1.2 billion. Since its founding in 1999, it has become one of the world's largest online shoe stores.

 

Zappos rlies on loyalty and and relationship marketing. The primary sources of the company's rapid growth have been repeat customers and numerous word of mouth recommendations.Of its customers, over 75% are repeat buyers.

 

They view culture as the main source of this competitive edge. During the takeover by Amazon the CEO of Zappos.com, Tony Hsieh and another of the 5 executives, primary concern was maintaining the culture while the others were concerned with maximsining profit. Hsieh agreed to the deal knowing Amazon would allow them to maintain the firm as mostly a seperate entity maintaining its own distinctive culture it had developed.

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How Apple works: Inside the world's biggest startup - Fortune Tech

How Apple works: Inside the world's biggest startup - Fortune Tech | AQA A2 BUSS4 Culture & Leadership | Scoop.it
From Steve Jobs down to the janitor: How America's most successful - and most secretive - big company really operates.

Editor's note: This article appeared in the May 23, 2011 issue of Fortune magazine. A shorter version of it originally appeared on Fortune.com on May 9, 2011.
Mr Billinghurst-Bright's insight:

Lots of information about culture and particularly interesting is Job's handling of the MobileMe debacle which offers a rare glimpse of how Apple really operates. To Apple's legion of admirers, the company is like a tech version of Wonka's factory, an enigmatic but enchanted place that produces wonderful items they can't get enough of. That characterization is true, but Apple also is a brutal and unforgiving place under his leadership.

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The secret of IKEA's success

The secret of IKEA's success | AQA A2 BUSS4 Culture & Leadership | Scoop.it
THE paragraphs below are arranged randomly; you will have to assemble the finished article yourself. Just kidding. But if you shop at IKEA, you are no doubt familiar...
Mr Billinghurst-Bright's insight:

An interesting article that discusses IKEA's culture of empowered workers, being cost-conscious, ethical and efficient. However it also raises some of the more unethical practices it has been accused of mainly the amount of tax they pay.

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Jack Barrett's curator insight, March 8, 2016 4:58 AM

An interesting article that discusses IKEA's culture of empowered workers, being cost-conscious, ethical and efficient. However it also raises some of the more unethical practices it has been accused of mainly the amount of tax they pay.

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Nokia: a business culture problem?

Nokia: a business culture problem? | AQA A2 BUSS4 Culture & Leadership | Scoop.it
As Jim points out in his blog, there’s plenty of material in Nokia’s recent announcements to keep business students busy.  I’ve picked up on a link that looks at their problems and presents them as a case study in a failing business culture..
Mr Billinghurst-Bright's insight:

Useful Tutor2U article on the cultural problems at Nokia which have caused some of their problems in financial performance and lack of innovation which has left them behind many strong rivals in the difficult mobile phone market.

 

Make sure you read the BBC article linked within the story:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-12414595

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Nokia: Elop Raises the White Flag and Sells to Microsoft

It's all over for Nokia CEO Stephen Elop and his 32,000 employees in the core of Nokia - their mobile phones (handset) business. After several years of struggling to turn the business around in the face of intensive competition from Apple, Samsung, Google, Huawei and others, Elop has decided the.
Mr Billinghurst-Bright's insight:

Details on the end of Elop's attempts to change Nokia with the sale to Microsoft of the business. Nokia started to make slow progress but could not overcome the large rivals of Apple and Sam,sung who were too far ahead in the market. How will Microsoft fair?

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From bailout to sale: RBS’s traumatic seven years

From bailout to sale: RBS’s traumatic seven years | AQA A2 BUSS4 Culture & Leadership | Scoop.it
“The Government is not a permanent investor in UK banks. Its intention, over time, is to dispose of all the investments.”
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Thomas Cook chief resigns saying her work 'is complete' - BBC News

Thomas Cook chief resigns saying her work 'is complete' - BBC News | AQA A2 BUSS4 Culture & Leadership | Scoop.it
Thomas Cook chief executive Harriet Green has resigned, saying her work at the travel firm "is complete".
Mr Billinghurst-Bright's insight:
Thomas Cook shares crash after Harriet Green is pushed out: 

http://www.theguardian.com/business/2014/nov/26/thomas-cook-chief-harriet-green-shock-departure ;

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How Sony Fell Behind in the Tech Parade

How Sony Fell Behind in the Tech Parade | AQA A2 BUSS4 Culture & Leadership | Scoop.it
Sony once wowed the world with the Walkman and the Trinitron TV. But its fortunes have taken a sharp turn amid disruptive new technologies and unforeseen rivals.
Mr Billinghurst-Bright's insight:

Details on Sony's culture and how it linked to their fall in their market.

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Jack Barrett's curator insight, March 8, 2016 4:56 AM

Details on Sony's culture and how it linked to their fall in their market.

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Thomas Cook Turnaround Delivers Profit

Thomas Cook Turnaround Delivers Profit | AQA A2 BUSS4 Culture & Leadership | Scoop.it
The travel firm makes its first operating profit for three years as investors buy in to a massive cost-cutting operation.
Mr Billinghurst-Bright's insight:

Great video from Sky News with Harriet Green interview.

 

Thomas Cook the UK’s second-largest tour operator was hit in 2011 by a significant reduction in demand for its long-haul holidays due to the recession and unrest in the Middle East. Several profits warnings led to a collapse in confidence with share price falling by over 90% in just a few days. In 2012 Harriet Green was appointed to salvage the business and significantly scaled back its operations in order to cut costs, reduce losses and conserve cash. Aircraft were reduced from 41 to 35, almost 500 hotels were axed from the Thomas Cook brochures to enable the business to focus on the core, profitable destinations, 199 shops out of 1,069 were closed and almost 3,000 jobs were lost over two years.  This rapid transformation programme since 2012 has resulted in share prices rising from the 16p in 2000 to 170p in 2014, £350m costs saved and a return to operating profit. 

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Jack Barrett's curator insight, March 8, 2016 4:57 AM

Great video from Sky News with Harriet Green interview.

 

Thomas Cook the UK’s second-largest tour operator was hit in 2011 by a significant reduction in demand for its long-haul holidays due to the recession and unrest in the Middle East. Several profits warnings led to a collapse in confidence with share price falling by over 90% in just a few days. In 2012 Harriet Green was appointed to salvage the business and significantly scaled back its operations in order to cut costs, reduce losses and conserve cash. Aircraft were reduced from 41 to 35, almost 500 hotels were axed from the Thomas Cook brochures to enable the business to focus on the core, profitable destinations, 199 shops out of 1,069 were closed and almost 3,000 jobs were lost over two years.  This rapid transformation programme since 2012 has resulted in share prices rising from the 16p in 2000 to 170p in 2014, £350m costs saved and a return to operating profit. 

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The Importance of a Company's "Culture" - YouTube

"Would I want to hang out with these people if we weren't forced to work together?" is a guiding barometer for the Zappos CEO.
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Special Report: Inside Rebekah Brooks' News of the World | Reuters

Special Report: Inside Rebekah Brooks' News of the World | Reuters | AQA A2 BUSS4 Culture & Leadership | Scoop.it
LONDON (Reuters) - It was the kind of place you get out of and you never want to go back again. That's how one former reporter describes the News of the World newsroom under editor Rebekah Brooks, the
Mr Billinghurst-Bright's insight:

Two stories here about the leadership of Rebecca Brooks, and her replacement Andy Coulson, at The News of The World newspaper and the culture they created of pressure, ambition, stress, a military chain of command and bullying that led to unethical actions (such as phone and computer hacking, bugging and bribery of officials like the police), scandal and its eventual closure.

 

Additional source: http://www.theguardian.com/media/2012/feb/09/news-of-the-world-bullying-stress

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How to Innovate Like Apple

How to Innovate Like Apple | AQA A2 BUSS4 Culture & Leadership | Scoop.it
Apple's formula for success can be distilled into principles of sound management that could (in the right culture) flourish elsewhere too.
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Innovation and the Apple culture explained.

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Jack Barrett's curator insight, March 8, 2016 4:57 AM

Innovation and the Apple culture explained.

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Inside Apple's Cult-Like Culture

Inside Apple's Cult-Like Culture | AQA A2 BUSS4 Culture & Leadership | Scoop.it
The secrets on how to Think Different.
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A list of the key features that made Apple's culture unique and maximised its innovation under Steve Jobs.

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Jack Barrett's curator insight, March 8, 2016 4:57 AM

A list of the key features that made Apple's culture unique and maximised its innovation under Steve Jobs.

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Organisational Culture: The Frugal Billionaire who Founded Ikea

Organisational Culture: The Frugal Billionaire who Founded Ikea | AQA A2 BUSS4 Culture & Leadership | Scoop.it
It is often claimed that the organisational culture of a business is formed and developed in the
Mr Billinghurst-Bright's insight:

Tutor2U's take on the influence that IKEA's founder Ingvar Kamprad has had on their culture. Much like Steve Jobs did at Apple it is claimed that the organisational culture of a business is formed and developed in the "shadow of the leader". His cost-conscious lifestyle has influenced this as being a core value of IKEA and it has always tried to allow “people with limited means to furnish their houses like rich people”.


Ikea is actually a not-for-profit organisation. The profit achieved has to be reinvested into Ikea and its social enterprise activities.

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Technological change - Kodak’s big strategic mistake

I highly recommend that A2 business students read Tom White’s excellent blog about the demise of Kodak.  I came across a couple of useful video clips which help explain the strategic mistakes made by Kodak and also suggest that the corporate culture at Kodak was a significant part in the.
Mr Billinghurst-Bright's insight:

Links and video that highlight Kodak failure to take advantage of the digital revolution in the camera industry. They made the short-term decision to stick with film cameras despite inventing digital technology. Poor long term planning resulting from a bureaucratic culture fearful of change.

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Nokia and Strategic Change - the Essential A2 Business Case

I can’t think of a better case study than Nokia for students to research as an essential part of their advanced business studies.  Nokia is a global brand, a market leader and a firm rich in heritage.  But it is now battling for survival in a strategic crisis caused by.
Mr Billinghurst-Bright's insight:

Lots of links and details on Nokia's slow bureaucratic culture, slow innovation and attempts at change by Stephen Elop.

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