The Business GRID

Great Reads

The Insider's Guide to Culture Change

by Siobhan McHale

The topic of culture can sometimes be a lengthy theoretical discourse. However, in this book, Siobhan McHale has masterfully given readers an extremely practical take on a culture change initiative.

What particularly resonated with me was the topic on "Reframing of Roles". Siobhan argues that "it is often advisable to avoid trying to tackle hardwired instincts or asking people to change their personalities ...... and focus on the roles that guide people's behaviour in your workplace".

That Will Never Work: The Birth of Netflix and the Amazing Life of an Idea

by Marc Randolph

"That Will Never Work" is the inside story on Netflix. It contains conterintuitive concepts and addresses some fundamental questions about taking the leap of faith in business and in life.

I followed up the read by looking up a 2014 HBR article entitled "How Netflix Reinvented HR". The article captures Netflix's approach to talent and is based on the following 5 tenets.

1. Hire, Reward, and Tolerate Only Fully Formed Adults
2. Tell the Truth About Performance
3. Managers Own the Job of Creating Great Teams
4. Leaders Own the Job of Creating the Company Culture
5. Good Talent Managers Think Like Business People and Innovators First, and Like HR People Last

I do not think any of the above should come as a surprise. The more pertinent question is that how many of those tenets are actually put into practice in your organisation ?

Losing The Signal

by Jacquie Mcnish

"Losing the Signal" traces the birth of Blackberry (BB) and relates the inside story on how it lost the smartphone wars to the likes of Apple.

In my mind, there are three points worth noting

1. RIM, as the company was called before it changed its name to just BB had two CEOs. Although the 2-CEO decision started out with the best of intentions, it was, over time, mired with conflicts and hence unsustainable. Having 2 head honchos is not always a good idea.

2. The Board dragged its feet on addressing the fallout. They also did not seem to have a good appreciation of the business and hence unable to add value.

3. Even after Steve Jobs launched the iPhone, RIM bet their strategy on the notion that carriers would not warm up to the data-guzzling smartphones as that would translate to a costly network upgrade. However, as consumers continued to ditch their BBs in preference for the graphic-rich & App-abundant iPhones, the carriers had to respond and RIM was left without a corresponding smartphone to arrest the decline.

The Ride of a Lifetime

by Robert Iger

Review from ..... #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER. A memoir of leadership and success: The executive chairman of Disney, Time's 2019 businessperson of the year, shares the ideas and values he embraced during his fifteen years as CEO while reinventing one of the world's most beloved companies and inspiring the people who bring the magic to life.

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