Stories and Strategies from Real Life: 5/8/15

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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 Instacart, Haier, Yahoo, Google, and Kohl’s.

From Farhad Manjoo: Instacart’s Bet on Online Grocery Shopping

“The company delivers groceries bought by personal shoppers, and its growth may be in the double digits. But deep questions remain.”

From Bill Fischer, Umberto Lago, and Fang Liu: The Haier Road to Growth

“Customers always come first for this Chinese appliance maker — even as it continually reinvents itself and expands around the world.”

From Douglas MacMillan: Yahoo Works to Avoid Brain Drain

“Tech giant works to keep the new blood it got in buying 52 startups”

From Aaron K. Olson and Keith Simerson: A Story from Google Shows You Don’t Need Power to Drive Strategy

“Brian Fitzpatrick joined Google as a senior software engineer in 2005, shortly after the company’s IPO. Brian specialized in open-source software development and he quickly became a champion within the company for various initiatives focused on end users.”

From Wharton: Jay H. Baker: How Kohl’s Carved Out a Retail Niche

“The famed department store chain Kohl’s was once a struggling small-time company that floundered in the 1980s. But a team of savvy managers helped set it up to become a massive success story that is now ringing up sales of $19 billion per year. Former Kohl’s president Jay H. Baker was part of the central management team that set the chain on its historic trajectory. In the first of a two-part interview, Baker, who along with wife Patty established Wharton’s Baker Retailing Center, talked with Knowledge@Wharton about his beginnings in retail and how he came to be a partner in Kohl’s. He also discusses the changes the new leadership team put in place to make Kohl’s stand out from the retailing pack.”

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