The Lead: Boeing beats Airbus, Saving Sears, Expanding Hulu

The Lead, AchieveForum’s weekly brief of leadership news and insights, provides quick clarity into relevant headlines and straight-forward analysis for applying effective leadership tools and techniques.

Boeing Delivers Record 806 Aircraft

In 2018 Boeing beat out its European rival Airbus in the number of jet orders and outsold it three to one. Recent data shows that Airbus dipped to its lowest share of the $150 billion jet market in six years. Boeing’s revival is in part due to their cashing in on greater availability and declining costs for its 787 Dreamliner.

Our View: Cautious optimism is required when leading your competition. Being in the leading position is advantageous but doesn’t come without certain risks to mitigate. Being in the lead means your every move is shadowed and the competitive fervor can influence your decisions. Double check that your decision making processes are grounded with your customers’ perspectives remaining top of mind. Further Reading

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Saving Sears

A revised takeover bid from billionaire Chairman Edward Lampert is being considered by Sears Holdings Corp, the 126-year-old U.S. department-store chain. The takeover would temporarily stave off a liquidation that would likely lead to Sears’ demise. Predicate companies that tried to emerge from bankruptcy filing don’t stand as hopeful examples. Toys ‘R’ Us, the largest U.S. toy retailer, attempted to emerge from its 2017 bankruptcy filing, but creditors didn’t have confidence in its turnaround plan and it was forced to liquidate six months later.

Our View: When leading through financial turmoil, it is important to avoid assigning blame. It’s often the underlying process or systems that are faulty and not an individual person or team. Analyze your current strategy in the context of a timeline. How well were things working before the turmoil began, and what changed? Moving forward, evaluate which assets and resources are still at hand to try new things. Further Reading

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Expanding Hulu

As Hulu continues to expand its content (both in the form of original series and older hits with rights purchased from Netflix), the streaming service now has more than 25 million subscribers. In the near future, Hulu may expand internationally in conjunction with Disney which plans to grow its Hulu content offerings and finalize details with its Fox acquisition, giving it a majority stake in Hulu.

Our View: Understanding your organization’s readiness to go global requires principle-centered leadership. These grounded leaders align the scale and scope of overseas opportunities with their firm’s objectives and capabilities. Confirm that all stakeholders thoroughly understand the differences of the global opportunities from the markets in the current portfolio. Further Reading

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Mattel Live Action Barbie Movie

The toy franchise, Mattel Inc. will work with Warner Bros. Pictures Group to create the first live-action film starring Barbie, its iconic character. Margot Robbie will have the lead role as Barbie and also co-produce the film under LuckyChap Entertainment.

Our View: Cross-industry collaboration is a business trend to watch as novel partnerships continue to emerge. Take note of the leaders who do it well because many of the current challenges of our time have complexities that span across industry, geography, and function. Solutions in silos do not work for problems of great scale and intricacies, so develop your cross-sector leadership capabilities to leverage shared knowledge into innovative solutions that are sustainable and scalable. Culture is a key ingredient for long-term success in these collaborations. In the words of Community Wealth Partners President Sara Brenner, “culture is the great accelerant or deterrent for progress because it is complex human beings who make change.” More simply put, “culture eats strategy for breakfast” as stated by Peter Drucker. Culture requires extra special attention when it comes to partnerships and cross-sector leadership. Further Reading

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Google’s New Campus

Google recently announced a $1 billion investment into a new campus in New York City. The company also announced that it leased space from what is currently a mall in West Los Angeles to create a 584,000 square-foot office campus by 2022. After all of the construction, the building will be topped off with a rooftop garden deck that will likely have LEED Silver certification.

Our View: Investing in awesome office space may seem like just a trendy thing to do, but it has perks that go beyond boosting morale to building real business results. Getting your office space investments right is about finding the ideal balance of collaborative and personal space that is equipped with great technology. Find ways to use art to incorporate elements of your organization’s history and your hopes for its future. Further Reading

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