In an attempt to contend with its digital competitors, the Swedish home goods titan Ikea Group bought TaskRabbit, a contract labor marketplace where people can hire others to do tasks such as putting together Ikea furniture. Diving even deeper into the tech space, Ikea unveiled an augmented reality iPhone app, called “Ikea Place,” which allows users to scan a room with their iPhone camera and then virtually place Ikea furniture in it. This allows customers to see how their desired furniture will look before actually purchasing it.
Our View: Competing in the digital age requires that leaders advance their business models at a faster pace. As competitors will continue to emerge from unexpected places, companies must take into account how digital dynamics remove barriers to entry that have held firm in the past. Further Reading
Twitter, an eleven-year-old social media platform, is experimenting with doubling the character limit for each tweet to 280 characters. While many long-time users have been criticizing the change, others welcome the opportunity it presents.
Our View: Twitter, like many organizations, must strike a balance between embracing change for progress and managing it to avoid disenfranchising loyal users. Organizations that lead through change successfully are well respected and remain competitive. Leaders manage change effectively when they understand their organization’s priorities. Further Reading
Jeffrey C. Hall, Michael Rosbash, and Michael W. Young won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for their findings on the biological clock that describes how plants, animals, and humans adapt their biological rhythm so that it is synchronized with the Earth’s revolutions. The Nobel committee said, “since the seminal discoveries by the three laureates, circadian biology has developed into a vast and highly dynamic research field, with implications for our health and wellbeing.”
Our View: Awards and recognition are important parts of building growth in all industries. Business leaders who recognize their employees foster a workplace that generates happier and more engaged employees with higher rates of retention. A survey of 1,000 U.S.-based, full-time employees showed that 85% of employees that were recognized weekly reported being satisfied with their job. Further Reading
Nissan Motor Co. will recall 1.2 million cars in Japan, because Japanese regulators said the cars didn’t receive proper quality checks at the factory. The recall isn’t limited to any one model, but Nissan cars sold in other countries aren’t subject to recalls for this issue.
Our View: Leading through crisis management involves a lot of moving parts and can be tricky to navigate. Strong crisis leaders recognize the realities at hand and decisively take ownership of the solution. Most crisis management requires continuous decision making, and as more decisions need to be made, there becomes an increasing number of opportunities for mistakes. Leaders must be prepared to admit their mistakes and adapt to what works. Further Reading
Business leaders are significantly concerned about reducing their energy spend, but most companies report that they still manage energy on a reactive, short-term basis. However, there is also a growing trend to implement new energy business models and generate power on site which can have a major impact on costs and add millions of dollars to a large company’s bottom line. These new energy strategies not only cut costs but also reduce carbon emissions, making companies more environmentally responsible.
Our View: Businesses that are leaders in environmental sustainability can better attract and retain talent. Yale University and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development and the Global Network for Advanced Management conducted a global study of more than 3,700 students at 29 top business schools and found that 44% of students are willing to accept a lower salary to work for a company with better environmental practices. Students consider environmental protection a profitable stance that will improve economic growth. Further Reading