Dissecting Creativity: Interview with Tudor Rickards

March 10, 2015

Professor Gerard Puccio interviews LWD editor Tudor Rickards for the 2014 Alex Osborn memorial event at Buffalo State University

Gerard Puccio is chair and Professor at the International Center for Studies in Creativity [ICSC] at Buffalo State University. The memorial celebrations honoured the life and work of Alex Osborn who did much of his pioneering work on stimulating creativity there, with Sid Parnes. Sid’s wife Bea also attended and give a further key-note address.

The interview [47 minutes duration] covers Tudor’s association with ICSC, his personal history, growing up in a mining community in South Wales, [in Treforest, home of Tom Jones], developmental influences and how he became involved in creativity, moving from a career as a research scientist at New York Medical College and then Unilever on Merseyside,to his academic base at Manchester Business School where he helped build a network of European practitioners and academics.

Emirates pull out of backing FIFA

March 8, 2015

Emirates airlineAn Interview with Professor Kamil Mnisri links the strategy  of Emirates Airlines with recent controversies at FIFA

LWD has been following two different leadership stories, which have been brought together in this post.

The first is the basis  of a highly-visited post about Emirate Airlines, by Professor Kamil Mnisri of the University of Nancy, France.

The second story deals with leadership controversies at FIFA.

In a telephone interview [December 2014] Kamil pointed to an article in The Guardian which reported that Emirates Airlines is pulling out from its financial backing of FIFA.

“The company said that the contract proposal with FIFA did not meet with its expectations” Kamil told LWD . “This move suggests an ethical dilemma facing Emirates. Corruption allegations within the International football association have pushed other sponsors to consider the move as well.”

Strategic dilemmas for Emirates

Reviewing his earlier post, he suggested that the leadership once considered so effective may be facing a sustainability dilemma:

“Emirates Airlines now need more creative leadership, and develop partnerships to sustain its competitive advantage. Regional airline companies Qatar Airlines, Etihad and Turkish Airlines are all moving fast. The ongoing events in the region, in Syria, Iraq, Iran, Egypt present Geopolitical Dilemmas. Even the price of fuel is no longer a competitive advantage for the company.”

Additions to this post will be also found as updates to Kamel’s earlier post about Emirate Airlines, mentioned above.


Will Tim Cook’s Apple become a leading Ethical Data Corporation?

March 6, 2015

Paul Hinks

Apple WatchWhen Tim Cook inherited Apple, it was as much an opportunity to fail rather than an opportunity to succeed in re-inventing to Corporation through transformative technologies in the spirit of Steve Job’s legacy. The proposed strategic move into Big Data may prove more significant even than the development of the much- anticipated Apple Watch

Apple’s ‘spring forward’ event scheduled for 9th March 2015 will showcase Apple’s upcoming innovations – including Apple’s much-anticipated watch . This is an important moment for Tim Cook.

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Dave Whelan sets up a sporting dynasty at Wigan

March 4, 2015

Dave Weland

Entrepreneur and football sporting hero Dave Whelan announces his retirement as chairman of Wigan Athletic Football club.  He announces his successor as his 23 year old grandson David Sharpe. We look at the reluctance of founders to delay stepping down, or on signs of trouble to take the company back over

Earlier this year I researched business dynasties for the new edition of Dilemmas of Leadership.   In the book, I discuss the critical issues facing a founder intent on preserving a family firm into future generations  Clearly, there will always be dilemmas of succession.  It is not unknown for the family to encourage retirement of a dominant but aging figure.  Nor is unknown for such a figure to delay stepping down, or on signs of trouble to take the company back over. David Whelan, founder and owner of  JJB Sports, would have been a prime candidate for inclusion.

This week [3rd March, 2015] approaching his 80th birthday he announced his retirement, not from the business he founded and developed successfully, but from the Presidency of Wigan Athletic, the football club he sponsored unstintingly since 1995. He also announced that his 23 year old grandson David Sharpe would be taking over in his place. A trusted mentor from within the club has been nominated as Mr Sharpe’s mentor.

 Other reluctant leaders

Recently, [February 25th, 2015] the American satellite company Dish Network announced that founder Charlie Ergen will take over again the company that he founded over thirty years ago.  Since his previous departure, according to the New York Times, there has been ‘a revolving door’ for CEOs in the company.

Acer’s founder, Stan Shih, returned in similar fashion in 2013.

And that most powerful of the late 20th Century tycoons, Rupert Murdoch, another octogenarian,  has up until now postponed his retirement as he tries to decide which of various family members is to become his appointed heir. His son Lachlan Murdoch is currently considered front-runner

The trappings and reins of power

The examples could be compounded. [A good exercise for students of entrepreneurship and succession planing] . The trappings and reins of power are rarely yielded easily.




The curious start to a rugby match: A tale of two anthems

March 2, 2015

The Ireland team celebrate winning the RBS 6 Nations Championship in the dressing room 15/3/2014

On March 1st, 2015, something strange happened at the start of a Six Nations International rugby match between Ireland and England. It was something I have never experienced before, although I must have watched several hundred such occasions since my schooldays

My story has some of the elements of a Sherlock Holmes puzzle, and I’ve described it in that spirit. Imagine, if you will, the following, as recounted in a message sent to the great detective.

Dear Mr Holmes,

I approach on behalf of a personage who holds high office in the land who has requested my help. Forgive me for disturbing you on a matter which is baffling to me. I can only hope that through the brilliance of your intellect that progress might be possible. Your success in the case of the missing Cambridge three-quarter encourages me that you will be prepared to help in this instance too.

I refer to an event that took place before the start of last Sunday’s rugby match. You will recall it was played in Dublin between the two undefeated teams in the annual Six Nations tournament. My state of agitation comes from an incident that occurred as I was watching the build-up to the match from the comfort of my sitting room, courtesy of the BBC’s televisual reporting

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Will new leader Allen Leighton introduce Bill Gate’s creative capitalism to the Co-op?

February 25, 2015


Newly appointed chairman Allen Leighton faces an existential battle at The Co-operative Group which may serve as a case study for the kind of creative capitalism proposed recently by Bill Gates

Bill Gates has recently called for more efforts directed towards creative capitalism. This raises the immediate question: what is it? At very least, there is need to examine institutions such as The Co-operative group which challenged capitalism yet attempted to create structures within the capitalist system rather than seeking its violent overthrow.

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Three Keys to Culture Transformation: Lead, engage, align

February 23, 2015

Diana Rivenburgh

by Diana Rivenburgh

What causes cultures to run amok? Why do people do things they never thought they would? Perhaps the most important question is “what can we do to create ethical, high performance, engaged cultures?”

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