Stories and Strategies from Real Life: 12/9/16

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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 Domino’s, Google, Apple, U. S. Concrete, and Citi.

From Bill Taylor: How Domino’s Pizza Reinvented Itself

“I spent the last 18 months researching and writing a book on how organizations and leaders can do extraordinary things, even if they operate in pretty ordinary fields. You don’t have to be a programmer in Silicon Valley or a gene splicer in biotech to unleash exciting innovations and create huge value. Instead, you can rethink what it means to be in the retail-banking business, or the industrial-distribution business, or the office-cleaning business. Yet little did I know that some of the most extraordinary innovations I’ve seen would take place in the pizza business.”

From Ben Thompson: How Google Is Challenging AWS

“Big companies are often criticized for having ‘missed’ the future — from the comfortable perch of a present where said future has come to pass, of course — but while the future is still the future incumbents are first more often than not. Probably the best example is Microsoft: the company didn’t ‘miss mobile’ — Windows Mobile came out in 2000 — but rather was handicapped by its allegiance to its license-based modular business model and inability to envision a world where its core product (Windows) was a planet orbiting mobile’s sun; everything about Windows Mobile’s design presumed the exact opposite.”

From Matthew Yglesias: Apple may have finally gotten too big for its unusual corporate structure

“Mark Gurman reported for Bloomberg on Monday that Apple is ceasing development of its Airport line of wifi routers as well as its Time Machine wireless backup disks. That comes hot on the heels of an October public announcement that the company would no longer be making external displays, and will instead partner with LG to create a sort of Apple-blessed display manufactured and branded by the Korean company.”

From Jennifer Pellet: How CEO Bill Sandbrook Shored Up U.S. Concrete

“How a rollup-fueled strategy put a struggling company back on solid footing.”

From the McKinsey Quarterly: Rewiring Citi for the digital age

“Citigroup’s Head of Operations and Technology describes the bank’s efforts to accelerate its digital transition, as well as the importance of having the right talent and agility to pull it off.”

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