Steve Jobs Tribute: Behind the Fierce Competitor and Exacting Boss, the ardent desire to serve connected the creator, the visionary and the executive.
Much has been written about Steve Jobs the creator, the technology visionary and the enterprise leader, but none of these personas entirely get to his essence. Steve Jobs was all these things, par excellence, but what deeply touched and inspired Apple’s customers and what made Steve bearable as a boss was an unconscious yet poignant feeling that he was there to serve people. He flew the flag of The Rest of Us. Unswervingly. Vehemently.
Without this higher calling, Steve would have been merely a successful tyrant. However, Steve’s commitment compelled thousands of brilliant and highly intelligent people to work for him and millions of customers to feel that Apple stood for something rare. Beige boxes and senseless software are optimized for profit, but Steve loathed mediocrity and its inherent compromises because they didn’t serve people, they acted at the expense of people. The desire to serve drove Steve Jobs, the creator, the leader and the innovator. Steve would never […]
Why 2009’s economic disruption will prove more pervasive and protracted than many experts think—and how you can guide you company. Guidance on using social networks to become more competitive and enhance your survival. […]
New Exit Strategy for Mature Manufacturers—Acquisition by Asian Firms shows how process excellence can inject new vitality into ailing manufacturers.
Picture this: you are the CEO of a venerable manufacturer that has been besieged by price pressure, increased imports and high capital costs. Revenue has been barely edging up, and profits have been negative three of the last five years. You have had to lay off a significant portion of manufacturing personnel, many of whom had been with you more than a generation.Your ship is still taking on water despite best efforts, and you do not know where to turn.
This was precisely the situation of several U.S. firms that took the unusual route of selling themselves to Indian firms that turned the companies around very quickly by applying sophisticated process and management expertise. In many cases, local employment increased because the companies became much more competitive. Here are two examples:
Geography 3.0, What It Is and What It Means predicts a new synthesis in the Knowledge Economy—fast forward to the past—Plus, the fire
Noodles are largely driven by intuition and holistic mental doodling, and this one has been simmering a long time*. I believe that there is profound meaning in virtual and literal “mobility,” and I’ll explore its significance in terms geography and human relationships. Geography has always had a profound impact on how humans have lived and the organizations in which we have lived, and when its meaning shifts, our lives are transformed. This is of paramount importance because human relationships are currently transitioning from geography-based to interest-based. Many governments and businesses harbor business rules that assume geography-based relationships, and, unless they appreciate the shift to interest-based relationships, they will experience disruption’s spin cycle. Lose a turn. Don’t pass go ,^)
Before exploring how these things will unfold in Part II, let’s review three geographies and four economies here in Part I…
U.S. Economy Due for Sideways Year—Special Effects by Presidential Election—Uncomfortable Long-term Questions Waiting in Wings
The Executives’ Club of Chicago assembled an all-star panel to give Midwest business leaders their guidance for various aspects of the U.S. economy in 2008. Diane Swonk, Chief Economist of Mesirow Financial and Robert “Bob” Froehlich, Chairman of the Investment Strategy Committee, Deutsche Asset Management returned, and the mystery panelist was Jack Ablin, Chief Investment Officer, Harris Private Bank. They broke out their respective crystal balls for 2008, along with comedic effects. The session was brilliantly moderated by Terry Savage, Financial Columnist of the Chicago Sun-Times who didn’t miss a beat and extracted specific predictions from panelists.
Panelists agreed that the U.S. economy would struggle in 2008, but it would move mostly sideways, probably eking out a 1-2% gain for the year after an unsatisfying first half. All panelists predicted that the Dow would touch 14,000 sometime during the year. Froehlich again emphasized the importance of looking beyond the U.S. for investments. Swonk and Ablin were less outspoken but had high non-U.S. allocations in their recommended investments […]