Leadership and Change
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Now a billion dollar company, Under Armour began with a single product -- a form-fitting, moisture-wicking shirt that founder and CEO Kevin Plank developed to remedy his own problems with perspiration after a long day on the football field. At a recent Wharton Leadership Lecture, Plank discussed the company's growth trajectory and shared the principles and slogans that guide him in his efforts to build "the biggest, baddest brand on the planet."
Skateistan, a non-governmental organization that offers educational programs to Afghan youth while also teaching skateboard skills, has become an international sensation. The organization, founded by Oliver Percovich, is the subject of a much talked about nine-minute documentary as well as a new full-length documentary.
Some of the information technology industry's biggest companies and some of its more notable young entrepreneurs were present at the Middle East North Africa (MENA) ICT forum on October 10 and 11, 2010. Throughout the two-day forum, business and political leaders agreed on the potential investment opportunities in the region. But forum participants were quick to point out the challenges faced by entrepreneurs, including stifling regulations, a lack of content for the Arab market and a business culture bent on adapting to current trends rather than innovating new ones.
Amy Schulman had many experiences that shaped her law career prior to joining Pfizer in 2008 and leading the legal team in the drug maker's $68 billion acquisition of Wyeth Pharmaceuticals in 2009. During the 12th
annual Wharton Women in Business Conference in Philadelphia, she shared a critical insight: A perfectionist mindset can be constricting to your career, especially if you are a woman.
In recent years, GE has faced severe business challenges -- the company's $200 billion market cap is half of what it used to be. Still, an area of enormous strength is the way the company identifies and builds leaders, as the large number of CEOs who once worked for GE testifies. Much of the credit goes to GE's corporate learning programs, executed through a learning facility in Crotonville, N.Y., the oldest corporate university in the United States. Knowledge@Wharton talked with Susan Peters, GE's chief learning officer, about GE and leadership.
Compared with other countries in Latin America, Colombia has very high extremes in income levels while the concentration of land ownership remains in relatively few hands. Colombia's new president, Juan Manuel Santos, has promised to attack Colombia's deep social problems, which are widely believed to be the root cause of the violence and criminality that have plagued this country for decades.
The San José copper mine accident in Chile that in August trapped 33 men 2,300 feet beneath the earth's surface is a true lesson in leadership. In an interview with Universia Knowledge@Wharton, Francisco Javier Garrido, a professor of strategy, discusses what can be learned from the miners' experience.
Early in September 2010, the Indian government said it would release 2.5 million tons of rice and wheat to the country's poor over the next six months. It was following orders from India's Supreme Court, which in turn had reacted to television reports that showed stacks of rotting food grain in railway yards. The case brings renewed focus on the interlinked challenges of feeding India's poor and overhauling its food grain procurement, storage and distribution infrastructure.
Who are you? What do you stand for? What do you want? Entrepreneurs usually know the answers to those questions when they start up companies. But do their leadership teams? To make sure they do, top entrepreneurs develop a "blueprint" that will guide their companies as they grow. In this podcast, Wharton professor Michael Useem discusses blueprints and other things that entrepreneurs need to develop successful leadership teams.
For years, the tourism industry grew almost effortlessly, and it continues to be a leading economic sector, contributing 10% to global GDP. However, companies have discovered that they can no longer guarantee that customers will come knocking on their doors; they must go out and find them. This was part of the message to come out of the 2010 Wharton Global Alumni Forum in Madrid.
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