Stories and Strategies from Real Life: 11/11/16

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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 Wells Fargo, Whole Foods, Newell Brands, Tome, and Apple.

From D. Charles Galunic: Wells Fargo Misread its Own Culture

“Corporate leaders are responsible for both the company culture the firm proclaims and that which really exists.”

From Jena McGregor: Whole Foods is the latest company to drop this unusual CEO arrangement

“The company announced that John Mackey, its founder, will run the upscale supermarket by himself, ending an arrangement where he shared the helm with longtime Whole Foods executive Walter Robb. Facing lower commodity prices and competition from both mass market grocery stores upping their foodie game and upstarts like Blue Apron or Amazon Fresh — the company reported a 2.6 percent decline in comparable store sales in its most recent quarter — the board decided it was time for a more ‘streamlined structure,’ Robb said in an investor conference call. He will step down as co-CEO at year’s end.”

From Dale Buss: How a Consumer Goods CEO Built a Post-Merger Executive Team

“CEOs face all kinds of challenges when it comes to forming and maintaining an effective and cohesive leadership team. Trying to do so as the result of a merger during slack U.S. economic conditions is one of the most challenging situations of all.”

From Frankk Witsil: Michigan entrepreneur adding to the Internet of things

“Jake Sigal, the founder and CEO of Tome, is helping to create the Internet of things. To put it simply, the Internet of things — IoT in tech-speak — is the complex concept that everyday objects have network connectivity, putting them on the path to automation and artificial intelligence. Tome — pronounced like home but with a T — helps devices talk to each other using apps”

From Troy Wolverton: Apple out of touch with both fans and average consumers

“Apple is looking more and more like it’s lost its way. Revenue and earnings are falling. Sales of all its major products are in decline. Numerous individual products are getting long in the tooth, waiting years for updates. Even for products that are getting refreshed, the updates are underwhelming.”

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