Best-Practices Leadership

French firm drives home diversity

October 27, 2011

Diversity is on the mind of Severin Cabannes, one of three deputy CEOs for Société Générale. The France-based global banking concern is pressing forward on a topic that doesn’t get much play in today’s economy-obsessed world:

The secret to great partnerships

October 25, 2011
Brian Grazer and Ron Howard have made plenty of terrific movies, including “A Beautiful Mind” and “Apollo 13.” Their secret, says former Disney CEO Michael Eisner in his book about partnerships, is freedom from being in lock step.

Social media fuels automaker’s R&D

October 17, 2011
The good, old-fashioned focus group isn’t going away, but leaders are increasingly finding that they can bolster their companies’ R&D efforts by using social media strategies. Take a cue from leaders in the auto industry who use social media to engage with customers:

Lay the groundwork for small miracles

October 11, 2011
Sometimes, it takes a miracle to hold an organization (or yourself) together, and sometimes, that miracle turns out to be extremely hard to maintain.

Maybe it’s time for a breakfast club

September 28, 2011
Four British men together led the scientific world in the early 1800s through a simple device: by meeting every Sunday morning over breakfast to talk about science. The men aimed to launch a new scientific revolution—and they pretty much did. Lesson: Bring together your peers to brainstorm on a regular basis.

Leadership Tips: Vol. 1011

September 21, 2011
Rock icon Tom Petty challenged his record label, and won, when it wanted to raise album prices. “Look, I don’t need the extra dollar,” he told executives. “But it makes a big deal to the people buying the music.”

Solving everyday problems

September 20, 2011
The wisdom of Eileen Gittins is that she keeps learning. In 2004, Gittins launched Blurb, where anybody can produce a pocket-size book for $2.95 or a coffee table book for about $200. Business is almost doubling every year.

Go where the lion hunts, not the zoo

September 19, 2011

Lately, Gianfranco Zaccai spends his time lying in a hospital bed. He’s not sick; he’s researching ideas for a health care client. As president at Continuum, Zaccai knows that he and his staff find the best ideas when they’re observing clients or putting them­­selves in clients’ shoes. He insists that staffers “go to where the lion is hunting, not the zoo.”

Keeping the short-termers at bay

September 16, 2011
Amazon founder and billionaire Jeff Bezos wants us to think long term. The company was founded in 1994, listed in 1997, but didn’t post profit until 2001. His company isn’t the only one to get off to a slow start:

Paul Allen: The run-up to innovation

September 14, 2011

Today, Paul Allen says that each of his big ideas—which now include aspects of brain science and aerospace—has begun with a development that sets the stage. In co-founding Microsoft, that development was the evolution of Intel’s early chips.