Stories and Strategies from Real Life: 10/2/15

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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 Nokia, Samuel Adams, Herschel Supply, Kiwi Crate, and the Peabody Memphis.

From Quy Huy and Timo Vuori: Who Killed Nokia? Nokia Did

“Despite being an exemplar of strategic agility, the fearful emotional climate prevailing at Nokia during the rise of the iPhone froze coordination between top and middle managers terrified of losing status and resources from management. The company was wounded before the battle began.”

From Chris Morris: Big changes coming for Samuel Adams Beer

“The second largest craft brewer in the country, Samuel Adams is unveiling a nitro line of beers. ‘I want to keep shocking people a little bit,’ Jim Koch, founder of Boston Beer Co., told Fortune.”

From Damon van der Linde: How Vancouver’s achingly hip Herschel Supply Co. backpack became so ubiquitous

“The panoramic warehouse windows of the Herschel Supply Co. headquarters overlook hundreds of shipping containers stacked on the Port of Vancouver’s Ballantyne Pier. It’s there where the company’s achingly hip backpacks arrive from factories mostly from China for distribution to retailers around the world.”

Thanks to Smartbrief on Leadership for pointing me to this story

From James F. Peltz: Kiwi Crate packages kids’ fun, one box at a time

“Starting a business can be fraught with problems, even for someone with a Harvard MBA and management experience. Just ask Sandra Oh Lin, a co-founder and chief executive of Kiwi Crate. Her Mountain View company creates and ships hands-on crafts and learning projects, or ‘crates,’ for children ages 3 to 16.”

Peabody Hotel Ducks

“In 1933, Frank Schutt, General Manager of The Peabody, and a friend, Chip Barwick, returned from a weekend hunting trip in Arkansas. The men had a little too much Jack Daniel’s Tennessee sippin’ whiskey and thought it would be funny to place some of their live duck decoys (it was legal then for hunters to use live decoys) in the beautiful Peabody fountain.”

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