Columnist Gael O’Brien says Volkswagen’s confession to rigging emissions standards on millions of diesel cars means the company’s board and new CEO, Matthias Müller (left), need to understand and correct what made it possible for illegal and unethical choices to be made when obstacles to business goals surfaced. What prevented anyone from speaking up or if anyone did, from being heard? And what are leaders willing to do to change that?Full Story»
Gravity Payments CEO Dan Price made headlines four months ago when he announced that his Seattle-based credit card payment processing startup was raising employees’ minimum annual salary to $70,000. Columnist Gael O’Brien says the ensuing maelstrom offers insights into resistance, the need for new work paradigms and how leaders give voice to convictions.
Boeing and IBM were among the large employers in South Carolina calling for the Confederate Flag to end its reign over the state capital last week. They are among a larger group of companies increasingly speaking out on issues such as anti-gay discrimination, immigration and race relations. Columnist Gael O’Brien offers thoughts on what’s driving the trend – social conscience or self-interest – and whether it matters.
Columnist Gael O’Brien examines two ambitious initiatives in leadership and corporate social responsibility – at Starbucks and Zappos – and wonders whether they are taking on too much or simply doing what’s necessary to develop bridges to a sustainable future. “We need more leaders to have big, out-of-the box ideas that have the potential to transform business and society,” she writes. At the same time, “change, even for the noblest purposes, needs to take hold internally and locally and build slowly owned by many.”
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