Leaders and Strategies in Real Life: 4/4/17

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Instead of studying leadership, why not spend some time studying leaders and strategies in the wild? You can learn a lot from leadership experts, but you always see the leader and what he or she does through the expert’s personal lens. Supplement that learning with studying real leaders in real life situations and draw your own conclusions. The posts in this series will help you.

Every week I’ll point you to articles by and about real leaders in real situations and to articles about how real companies are faring in the marketplace. Read them. Think about them. Draw your own lessons and conclusions from them. Then try to apply those lessons in your own real life.

This week I’m pointing you to articles about McDonald’s, Bio-Techne, KPN, Casper, and the Chicago Cubs.

From Julie Jargon: McDonald’s decides to embrace fast-food identity

“Critics have long been urging the chain to focus on its core customers, but McDonald’s had added more salads, snack wraps and oatmeal to its menu to attract health-conscious customers. In recent months the chain pulled many of those slow-selling products. It also had experimented with higher-priced burgers that failed.”

From Joe Carlson: Bio-Techne carves a large niche in tools for research

“The company, Minnesota’s biggest biotech company, makes tiny bits of biology plus analytical machines and kits used in academic laboratories and pharmaceutical research and development labs worldwide. Its customers are trying to solve some of the most pressing questions in life sciences, from the vagaries of gene expression to drugs for cancer, autoimmune diseases and diabetes. Now the dawn of the age of precision medicine therapies like cancer immunotherapy holds the potential for some of the company’s most exciting and lucrative contributions to science.”

From Arnoud Rozendaal, Ruben Schaubroeck, and Naomi Smit: KPN dials up a new digital strategy

“The leader of digital IT at the Netherlands-based telecommunications company explains how KPN reintegrated previously outsourced expertise and shifted to agile ways of working.”

From Jonathan Ringen: How Cult Mattress Company Casper Plans To Get You Into Bed

“The New York-based mattress company is using science, design thinking, and whimsy to make sleep products worth talking about.”

From Robert Reed: Cubs turnaround play is a business case study

“Yet before the new games begin, let’s reflect on another successful team play: The execution of an ambitious Cubs turnaround plan that over a few years propelled the franchise from worst to first.”

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