Stories and Strategies from Real Life: 10/3/14

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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 Kohl’s, Ericsson, King Kase, Darden, and McLaren.

From Phil Wahba: Q & A with Kohl’s CEO on his plan to kickstart growth

“Mansell tells Fortune in an interview about his plans to right the department store.”

From Heather Clancy: Connected: Hans Vestberg, CEO, Ericsson

“Almost two-thirds of the Swedish company’s $31.5 billion in revenue came from software and services. CEO Hans Vestberg is pushing for more.”

From Tom Daykin: St. Francis storage case-maker King Kase thinks inside the box

“Company that caters to stars gets loans for move to newer facility.”

From Steven Davidoff Solomon: In Trying to Save Darden, a Board Sealed Its Own Demise

“Darden Restaurants directors have paid a steep price for refusing to give in to the demands of shareholder activists pushing for change.”

From Drake Bennett: McLaren Uses Racing Expertise in Data-Driven Consulting

“Six laps into the 2008 Monaco Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton’s McLaren race car skidded on the rain-slicked pavement, bumped against a barrier, and blew out its right rear tire. At the time, Hamilton, a gifted, impatient driver and one of auto racing’s biggest stars, was in second place. A puncture is a serious setback in any Formula One competition. In Monaco, the most prestigious title on the schedule, it’s a disaster: The course is laid out on the principality’s twisting, hilly streets, rather than a purpose-built racetrack, so passing is nearly impossible, and ground lost is particularly hard to regain. The three-time Formula One champion Nelson Piquet once likened the race to ‘riding a bicycle around your living room.’ Rain only compounds the challenge.”

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