Get out of your cultural cubicle | Rupert Murdoch unfit to run a major firm, British lawmakers say | Is social media changing the role of the CEO?
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May 2, 2012
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SmartBrief on Leadership

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Get out of your cultural cubicle
Big Think
Americans can tend to show a lack of interest in other cultures that leaves them with unfounded fears and missing out on opportunities, says Henry Rollins in this Big Think video. "There's a decency amongst some people in some parts of the world that you can learn astonishing lessons from," he says. SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Leadership (5/1)
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Rupert Murdoch unfit to run a major firm, British lawmakers say
In a scathing report, British lawmakers have declared News Corp. chief Rupert Murdoch unfit to run a major company, and argue that he must take personal responsibility for the phone-hacking scandal that's dogging his media empire. Murdoch "exhibited wilful blindness" as the scandal unfolded, the lawmakers note. "We conclude, therefore, that Rupert Murdoch is not a fit person to exercise the stewardship of a major international company," they write. The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (5/1), The Guardian (London) (5/1), Reuters (5/2)
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Is social media changing the role of the CEO?
Social channels can help companies more quickly cultivate customer relationships, but there's a big change when it comes to controlling the message, says Michael Sansolo, a food industry consultant and former senior vice president of the Food Marketing Institute. "One of the things we're constantly teaching ourselves is that the kind of control a CEO used to be able to assert, that's changing because everyone is sharing everything. You really can't say, 'This is all you're allowed to talk about.' " SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Leadership (5/2)
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Female CEO ranks expected to swell
While there are only 35 women CEOs at Fortune 1000 companies, experts say more women than ever are primed to move into top positions. Pressures from investors to diversify corporate leadership teams and a growing pool of experienced women has led to a prediction that the number of big company female CEOs could double by 2017. The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (4/30)
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Social marketing and effective communication strategies
The latest CCRRC study reveals the power of social marketing in building strong communications strategies. As your business partner, Coca-Cola brings consumer insights and category expertise to help build your business. Learn more about CCRRC and this new study.
Strategic Management
Is your company experiencing a C-suite sprawl?
Across America, C-suites are getting bigger as companies shift from a tight-knit team of all-purpose senior managers to a broader team of specialized C-level executives with clearly delineated skills and responsibilities. That requires careful monitoring from the CEO to prevent turf wars and broader strategic disruption, argues Columbia researcher Maria Guadalupe. "Specialization and general administration are both important, but the firm's strategy matters," she notes. Columbia Business School/Ideas At Work blog (4/30)
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Don't read too much into Microsoft's Nook investment
Microsoft is offering up $300 million to help Barnes & Noble spin off its Nook e-reader division, prompting fierce speculation over what exactly the software giant wants from the deal. It's possible Microsoft could use the Nook to erode Google's control of the Android platform, writes Charles Cooper, but the real strategic goal is simple: to acquire, for a relatively minor sum, a foothold in the booming e-reader marketplace. "There's not much sense in overthinking this. If you're Steve Ballmer, there's no way that you don't do this deal," Cooper writes. The Washington Post (tiered subscription model) (4/30), CNET (5/1)
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Innovation and Creativity
The power of enemies in driving innovation
The rivalry between Pepsi and Coca-Cola drove both companies to strive for greatness, spurring product and business-model innovations that made both brands global icons, writes Martin Lindstrom. Surprisingly, few firms are willing to cultivate that kind of fighting spirit these days, Lindstrom laments. "Yes, it requires courage, determination, and a fierce focus, but aren't these the very ingredients that successful companies are supposedly made of?" he writes. Fast Company online (5/1)
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The Global Perspective
How Siemens bounced back from a bribery scandal
Siemens managed to overcome entrenched corporate corruption by offering full amnesty to any employee who admitted paying bribes to foreign officials, says general counsel Peter Solmssen. While some workers didn't come clean and were subsequently fired, most were eager to embrace Siemens' new whiter-than-white corporate culture. "Bribery, corruption is a form of theft ... And our employees are thrilled not to be part of the problem," Solmssen says. National Public Radio (5/1)
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Daily Diversion
Richard Branson gives flyers a chilling surprise
Travelers in Virgin's new Upper Class premium service can relax at a swanky in-flight cocktail bar while sipping drinks poured over ice-cubes shaped like Richard Branson's head. Four designers took six weeks to create a mold based on Branson's cranial measurements, even managing to capture the Virgin founder's trademark beard and toothy grin. ShortList online/Cool Stuff blog (5/1)
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