Inspiration and Stories of Change


Costco Aligns Strategy with Execution

Everything from store layout to staffing decisions serves the company's strategy of selling more memberships.

Abercrombie Completes an Astonishing Resurrection

In seven years, Abercrombie went from "most hated retailer" to outperforming NVIDIA

Ferrari Reduces Its “Bureaucratic Mass Index”

A new CEO accelerated change by flattening the hierarchy and connecting employees to what it means to drive a Ferrari

In the Midst of Uncertainty, Shoot for the Moon

Organizations need a beckoning frontier, not just to discover new business models and revenue streams, but to renew the human spirit and fend off the crush of uncertainty.

How Satya Nadella Led Microsoft through a Corporate Turnaround

Leading a corporate turnaround at a company as large as Microsoft is a daunting challenge, but CEO Nadella focused on culture and innovation to return it to dominance

What We Can Learn From Amazon’s Planning Process

Amazon's high-performance culture, with its focus on customers, data, and outcomes, is supported by a unique annual planning process. Leaders and teams are incentivized to think big while supporting cross-divisional goals.

How an Extreme Offsite Led to eBay’s Turnaround

When corporate bureaucracy slows innovation, it takes unorthodox measures to break through. A secret offsite gave eBay's team the focus they needed to develop a new solution.

How NASA’s Pirate Paradigm Challenged The Status Quo

When an organization enters a hibernation period where innovation slows and bureaucracy mounts, renegades can shake everyone out of complacency.

How Google’s TGIF Meetings Empower Employees

If you’re looking for ways to show you value your employees, share important information on a regular basis. To further increase transparency, give employees access to upper management and encourage them to ask questions.

How GE Implemented FastWorks to Act More Like a Startup

If you think your company’s complexity and bureaucracy can’t be overcome because of its size and scale, think again. GE’s FastWorks program shows that a giant, too, can simplify and streamline their operations to increase speed and encourage innovation.

What You Can Learn from Culture Decks and Employee Handbooks

As more organizations understand culture as the competitive tool it is, they're openly sharing "culture decks" or employee handbooks to attract like-minded employees and customers.

How Starbucks Energized and Engaged Store Managers

While you may not have $35 million for your team's development, the Starbucks Leadership Lab demonstrates how creative training opportunities can inspire people while reinforcing the company mission. Brainstorm simple ideas that encourage managers to better serve customers and allow employees to work as strategic thought partners at the local level.

How Jeff Bezos Frames Decisions for Speed and Inventiveness

When your team sits down to make decisions, always first ask yourselves whether the decision can be reversed. This will determine the appropriate level of caution for the situation at hand. 

The Best Teams at Google Are the Most Empathetic

Prioritize creating a safe environment for your team to get the best results from them. Monitor personal interactions and chat with team members (or collect anonymous surveys, if necessary) to gauge the overall level of trust and comfort. 

Lessons from 4 Leaders Who Failed to Make Change

Everyone likes to point to Steve Jobs’ return to Apple as proof that company turnarounds can be wildly successful. In fact, Yahoo!’s beleaguered CEO, Marissa Mayer, has mentioned it to employees as a reminder that even the best turnarounds take time. But now that activist investor Starboard Capital has gained seats on the board, time’s up—it’s increasingly likely that Yahoo! will be sold, and Mayer removed as CEO.

BP: Why Companies Fail to Learn from Past Mistakes

Even if mistakes are not life-threatening, they are still costly: they stifle innovation, kill profits, and endanger the job security of your team. Make sure that new products or processes are "safe to fail"—that is, they won't hurt the business—and reward people for speaking up about safety.

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