6/20/14: Stories and Strategies from Real Life

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Some of the best learning happens when you read stories about real people and real companies. Read them for ideas, for lessons, and inspiration. This week’s stories and strategies from real life are about Hermes, Caroline Simas, Winter Park Cycles, Saturn, and The Hartford.

From Morten Bennedsen: Luxury Wars: How Hermès Faced Down its Rival

“Threatened by a sudden and hostile takeover, the Hermès family sought strength in unity and formed an elaborate defence to ensure the 130-year-old company remained under family control.”

From Caroline McMillan Portillo: Charlotte artist Caroline Simas licenses faith-based work to global retailers

“Retailers attest: there aren’t many artists like Caroline Simas. She’s a mother of four and incredibly prolific. She’s got design chops and business savvy. And rather than gunning for a gallery wall, she’s found a way for her designs to appear on products worldwide. The difference-maker: Simas licenses her work.”

From Sara K. Clarke: Winter Park Cycles converts store to online

“Winter Park Cycles is dealing with a situation that faces retailers everywhere: How best to blend physical stores and online operations in a world that now demands that retailers do a good job at both.”

From Doron Levin: GM recall: What it can learn from the rise and fall of Saturn

“Saturn, introduced 30 years ago, was intended to be more than a new GM brand. The name heralded advanced manufacturing techniques, a revolutionary labor agreement with the United Auto Workers union and a no-haggle style of retailing – GM’s answer to Honda and Toyota.”

From Shawn Tully: How CEO Liam McGee saved a two-century-old financial giant

“Few turnarounds have been as remarkable as The Hartford’s under CEO Liam McGee. Last week he stepped down—but not before leaving the company in capable hands.”

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