Business

Wise questions get answers

November 12, 2014
“Self-awareness,” is what entrepreneur Joel Trammell says is the most important skill a CEO needs. “It’s hard to get authentic information from your employees. CEOs are constantly worried that they’re not hearing the full story.”

Honeywell’s David Cote drafts top 12 behaviors

October 30, 2014
When David Cote became Honeywell’s CEO in 2002, it was in disarray. And so he listed 12 behaviors that he wanted everyone to follow. He felt that unifying the company around the be­­haviors would work better than articulating vague, hard-to-measure values.

The ‘father of containerization’ mastered the art of the long wait

October 15, 2014

Malcom McLean didn’t like to waste time, but in 1937, he had to spend most of a day waiting for his truckload of cotton to be loaded onto a ship in Hoboken, N.J. It gave him a bold idea. He saw what needed to be done to streamline shipping—but it would take him 20 years to make it happen.

Build a great idea, block by block

October 8, 2014
As a young child in northern Sweden, Yngve Bergqvist spent much of his time shoveling snow. Years later, he was so accustomed to snow and ice that he built a thriving business around it. Bergqvist decided to create a hotel made entirely of ice. It seemed crazy, but the concept worked.

Try ‘co-opetition’ with rival firms

September 29, 2014
A public-relations whiz, Sam Calagione of Dogfish Head Brewery does not view competing breweries as enemies. He rightly concluded that any positive publicity for rival brands would benefit his business.

Sealing deals with a handshake and a taco

September 24, 2014
After more than two years of testing a Doritos-flavored taco shell, Taco Bell still had not signed a contract to partner with the company that made Doritos. So as the date neared for a major launch, CEO Greg Creed invited Frito-Lay’s CEO to a meeting where they forged a handshake deal. Creed’s eagerness to forge ahead without an official contract paid off.

Success comes at high price for CEO

September 3, 2014
During Alyson Pitman Giles’ 13 years at the helm of Catholic Medical Center in Manchester, N.H., the hospital’s finances reversed course. By the time she left in 2012, its operating margin exceeded $3 million. But her success did not come without turmoil.

Rejiggering a 110-hour workweek

August 21, 2014
Pressed to the limits by his workload, Stephen Shapiro analyzed all the activities on his plate and found only a small percentage of them truly mattered. Within two weeks, he had re­­duced his weekly work hours from 110 to 20. What can be learned from this speaker and consultant’s example?

Culture is the key differentiator

August 13, 2014
“We’re in an industry with 115% annual turnover,” says Brian Fielkow, president and CEO of Jetco Delivery. “Our raw number is about one-third of that.” How does he craft a culture than resonates with employees?

How to woo 440,000 global employees

July 29, 2014
When Sam Palmisano became IBM’s chief executive in 2002, he succeeded a superstar CEO, Lou Gerstner. In 1993, Gerstner turned around the sinking company, declaring, “The last thing IBM needs is a vision.” By 2002, however, Palmisano felt IBM needed one.