How McKinsey Lost Its Way in South Africa

When the godfather of management consulting landed its biggest contract ever in Africa, it made the worst mistake in its storied nine-decade history.

Consistency Drives Success at Telus

The Canadian telecom giant transformed its business by adopting a clear, stable approach to strategy and culture.

Warby Parker Sees the Future of Retail

I spent more than three months embedded within Warby Parker to try to understand the making of this made-on-the-Internet brand. Among other things, I watched employees decide on frames for their winter season, wrestle with the nuances of their burgeoning retail strategy, and obsessively plan an employee ping-pong tournament. How, I asked—in meetings and during presentations in New York and over martinis in Los Angeles—have … [ Read more ]

The Inside Story Behind the Unlikely Rise of Airbnb

In 2007 Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia were broke and looking to raise money to make their rent in San Francisco. They decided to rent out air mattresses in their apartment to attendees of a conference because all the hotels were booked. They called their service “Air Bed and Breakfast.” In a few years, this small experiment would create the hotel industry disruptor Airbnb. The … [ Read more ]

Andrew Mason On How To Deal: From Founder To Ex-Groupon CEO

Groupon’s journey from world’s hottest startup to most polarizing company in tech is delicious, disgraceful, and just plain weird. Inside its precipitous fall–and its audacious bid for redemption.

Udacity’s Sebastian Thrun, Godfather Of Free Online Education, Changes Course

He captivated the world with visions of self-driving cars and Google Glass and has signed up 1.6 million students for online classes. So why is he pivoting away from MOOCs? “We don’t educate people as others wished, or as I wished,” Thrun says.

Zumba: Four Steps for Leading Innovation and Growth

Zumba® is a Latin dance-fitness program that now has​ more than 12 million participants in 125 countries. During the past two years, I’ve been researching Zumba through in-depth interviews with co-founders Alberto Perlman and Alberto Aghion. During these discussions, these entrepreneurial leaders talked about their formative experiences and key decisions. Below, I sum up four recurring steps that supported Zumba’s innovation, growth, and resilience during … [ Read more ]

Why Walmart Is Like a Forest

Thinking about your company as an ecosystem yields lessons for innovation, growth, and renewal.

Wayfair’s Road to $1 Billion

Wayfair was founded with one goal in mind: to get as big as possible. Next stop: $1 billion.

How Ikea Reassembled Its Growth Strategy

During the Great Recession, this iconic Swedish furniture company developed a new way to expand: cutting costs while increasing customer loyalty.

Truvia’s Test: Can Diet Sweeteners Go Natural?

When supersecretive agriculture giant Cargill decided to attack the no-calorie-sweetener market dominated by Sweet’N Low, Splenda, and Equal, it sent its best marketers and scientists to basement war rooms and covert labs. Only now can the inside story of Truvia — and its unlikely success — be told.

How General Motors Lost Market Focus – And Its Way

When does having too many brands and too many variations of those brands create a perilous situation? The answer is that when you are an American icon, once thought too big to fail, and that never ever thought it should modify, let alone re-consider trimming, its portfolio of offerings. On the verge, General Motors illustrates why building an offering for every market segment may make … [ Read more ]

Ringing the changes

With slow growth in its core European market, mobile phone giant Vodafone must focus its attention on emerging countries and new data services.

Emirates Airline

Emirates Airline has bucked industry slumps with a 25 per cent annual growth rate since it was founded in 1985. What lies behind its success and what challenges does it face as it prepares to step up its expansion?

Is This Any Way to Run a Railroad?

You think you’ve got problems? Amtrak’s got an overpaid workforce. Its trains and tracks are falling apart. Worse, the carrier’s balance sheet is a flat-out mess.

Exploring the Mindset of the High Performer

The development and diffusion of a winning mindset is central to the ability of a high-performance business to outpace its competitors. Here’s how one company – Harrah’s Entertainment – created that mindset by mastering five key tasks.

Skoda Leaps to Market

A Communist car monopoly turned Volkswagen subsidiary is now becoming an entrepreneurial global enterprise.

Watch Out, Coke and Pepsi – Here Comes Wahaha

Wahaha, whose main products are milk drinks, bottled water and mixed congee, is the number one beverage company in China, with revenues of 11.4 billion yuan ($1.37 billion) and profits of 1.35 billion yuan ($162.7 million) in 2004. The company was started in 1987 by Zong Qinghou, its 60-year-old chairman and CEO. In an interview with Wharton marketing professor John Zhang, Zong talks about his … [ Read more ]

The Power of Synchronization: The Case of TAL Apparel Group

The story of how TAL Apparel Group grew from a single textile mill in Hong Kong to its current status as a global powerhouse in apparel design, manufacturing, and logistics, is a prime example of how synchronization – the simultaneous and highly efficient coordination of far-flung supply chain, product development, and marketing and sales activities with customers and suppliers – can provide not only the … [ Read more ]

The New Architecture of Biomedical Research

As the economics of R&D evolve, the Salk and other private research institutes become increasingly crucial to health care’s changing value chain.