Stories and Strategies from Real Life: 10/23/15

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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 WalMart, Target, Zillow, Borgward, and Volkswagen

From Len Lewis: Walmart Bites the Hands That Feed It

“There’s a smell of desperation in the air and it seems to be coming from the direction of Bentonville, Arkansas.”

From Kavita Kumar: Target enlists entrepreneurs to help it think outside the Big Box

“None had the typical résumé of a Target executive who climbed up through its ranks. But Target sold all three of them on joining its first entrepreneur-in-residence program, which launched in March.”

From Sarah Lawson: Zillow’s Recipe For Scaling A Business The Smart Way

“the real estate business, from home browsing to mortgage paperwork. The Zillow network of sites and apps sees 140 million unique visitors a month, and four out of five homes have been listed on the Zillow platform, Rascoff reports”

From Peter Sigal: Borgward, a Storied German Carmaker, Tries Comeback in China

“For a moment in the 1950s, the second-biggest German automaker, after VW, wasn’t BMW or Mercedes. It was Borgward, and it may start selling cars again.”

There’s more to the situation at Volkswagen than a single post could handle. So here are three of the best.

From Gilles Hilary: Volkswagen: Requiem for a Dream?

“Crisis management is only the first step for Volkswagen. Whether or not the company bounces back depends on its ability to change its culture.”

From Gerard Seijts: Fixing Volkswagen Requires Manufacturing Candid Conversations

“Winterkorn eventually agreed to resign to give Volkswagen a chance at a fresh start. And that might have been worthy of some applause, but then he issued a statement as insulting as Parnell’s self-absorbed apology. ‘I am doing this in the interests of the company even though I am not aware of any wrongdoing on my part,’ Winterkorn said. Nothing wrong, sir? What about failing to lead in a way that ensured the decisions made under your watch were ethical?”

From Ludo Van der Heyden: VW: What Happened and What Happens Next?

“For a company that identifies sustainability as a core value, VW has some explaining to do.”

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