Corporate Leadership

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The Emergence of Chief Digital Officers

The emergence of social media in business, along with related digital initiatives, is causing more organizations to appoint a chief digital officer, or CDO in the C-suite. While the position was initially found in media, education, and retail, an increasing number of industries of all types are considering the position to consolidate and focus its social and other digital activities. Many feel that the CDO needs to report directly to the CIO, but that reporting relationship may not fit all cases.

Image courtesy of AT&T.

Making Data Visible So You Can Act On It

At AT&T, John Schulz, a director of sustainability operations, had to make the company’s energy and water use data visible before the company could formulate a plan to reduce those numbers. The company’s definition has now broadened and evolved to include the social perspective on sustainability.

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The Role of the Chief Strategy Officer

The Chief Strategy Officer (CSO) is a comparatively new but increasingly important role in many organizations. This article proposes a typology of four CSO archetypes – Internal Consultant, Specialist, Coach and Change Agent – who carry out a variety of responsibilities in the CSO role. By understanding how the duties of the CSO can vary significantly from organization to organization, boards and CEOs can make better decisions about which type of CSO is necessary for their leadership teams.

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When Is an Outsider CEO a Good Choice?

On average, CEOs recruited from outside the company perform about the same as those who come up through the ranks, the authors’ research suggests. But there are certain circumstances in which outsider CEOs tend to do better: CEOs recruited from outside the company outperform those who come up through the ranks at companies with a recent history of poor performance.

The author studied CEO succession in 90 single-business organizations over 30 years in the U.S. airline and chemical industries.

Image courtesy of Flickr user andysternberg.

How to Become a Better Leader

Good leaders make their work look easy. But the reality is that most have had to work hard on themselves — by managing or compensating for potentially career-limiting traits. To grow as an executive, you need to recognize and manage your strongest tendencies.

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Achieving Successful Strategic Transformation

Companies that are able to radically change their entrenched ways of doing things and then reclaim leading positions in their industries are the exception rather than the rule. Even less common are companies able to anticipate a new set of requirements and mobilize the internal and external resources necessary to meet them. The article focuses on three companies that transformed themselves and compares them with three other companies from similar industries that hadn’t been required to make a dramatic shift.

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The Change Leadership Sustainability Demands

Sustainability initiatives can’t be driven through an organization the way other changes can. The authors’ research indicates that successful sustainability initiatives tend to evolve through three distinct phases. Phase 1 involves making the case for change, Phase 2 entails translating vision into action and Phase 3 is about expanding boundaries. Each stage requires different organizational capabilities and leadership competencies.

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Wanted: Innovative Management for the Big Three

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Michael Cusumano, a professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management who has studied the automotive industry, thinks a bailout is not what the automotive companies need.

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The Decline and Dispersion of Marketing Competence

In many organizations, the corporate marketing function has lost budget, head count, influence and confidence, resulting in strategic consequences that run deeper than many senior managers may realize. The question is not how to rebuild the marketing center, but how to disperse marketing competenceacross the organization.

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Ethical Leadership and the Psychology of Decision Making

How can managers improve the ethical quality of their decisions and ensure that their decisions will not backfire? The authors discuss three types of theories that will help executives understand how they make the judgments on which they base their decisions. By understanding those theories, they can learn how to make better, more ethical decisions.

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The Twenty-First Century Boardroom: Who Will Be in Charge?

We are witnessing an organic change in American corporate governance. The balance of power among owner, manager, and director is in the process of transformation. The once archetypal model of the CEO’s unchallengeable control of the board of directors and shareholders is fading.

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