Leadership

January 2021

Costa Coffee: Project Marlow – Compact Case

By Julian Birkinshaw, Ken Mark

For Jim Slater, head of Costa Express in 2014, the biggest new growth opportunity was to roll out the company’s third-generation vending machine, called Marlow. The product had been developed in record time, but Slater faced several strategic and operational challenges in launching it....

October 2020

Reinventing performance management at Allen & Overy

By Herminia Ibarra, Carrie J. Fletcher

By early 2019, Magic Circle law firm Allen & Overy (A&O) had replaced its longstanding, traditional annual review system with Compass, a state-of-the-art performance management process based on real-time feedback and planful career development discussions. As Managing Partner Andrew Ballheim...

September 2018

David Pyott: The Battle for Allergan (B)

By Randall Peterson, Lisa Duke

This case series charts the evolution of the hostile battle for Allergan and its ultimate sale to a white knight, Actavis. David Pyott had been the CEO of Allergan since January 1998; only the third CEO in the company’s 60-year-plus history. Allergan was primarily known for Botox, the aesthetic an...

June 2024

Jean-Philippe Courtois at Microsoft Global Sales, Marketing and Operations: Empowering Digital Success

By Herminia Ibarra, Adam Jones

When Jean-Philippe Courtois took control of Microsoft’s global sales, marketing and operations in 2016, reporting directly to CEO Satya Nadella, he realised that he needed to lead the organisation away from an "inspection culture" towards a culture of learning and coaching. After a first phase of ...

August 2020

Jean-Philippe Courtois at Microsoft Global Sales, Marketing and Operations: Empowering Digital Success (Spanish language)

By Herminia Ibarra

When Jean-Philippe Courtois took control of Microsoft’s global sales, marketing and operations in 2016, reporting directly to CEO Satya Nadella, he realised that he needed to lead the organisation away from an "inspection culture" towards a culture of learning and coaching. After a first phase of ...

June 2016

Satya Nadella at Microsoft: Instilling a Growth Mindset (Spanish language)

By Herminia Ibarra, Aneeta Rattan

When Satya Nadella took over as CEO of Microsoft in 2014, he inherited a firm fading toward irrelevance, plagued by internal fights and inertia. Earlier that year his wife, Anu, had given him a best-selling book by Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck entitled Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, su...

May 2019

The Maestro Marin Alsop – Leading “Under a Huge Magnifying Glass”

By Randall Peterson, Vyla Rollins, Carrie J. Fletcher

This case study follows the career of world-renowned orchestra conductor Marin Alsop. As a gay woman in a blatantly male-dominated (and often sexist) field, Alsop faced significant challenges in her rise to the top of the profession. At virtually every turning point on her unconventional path, Alsop...

February 2019

Jack Ma at Alibaba: Building a Learning Organisation

By Herminia Ibarra, Jessica Spungin

In September 2018 Alibaba’s co-founder and executive chairman, Jack Ma, announced his plans to step down from the $420 billion Chinese internet company to pursue philanthropy in education. The case describes the evolution of Alibaba’s corporate strategy from Chinese e-commerce pioneer to a compl...

April 2019

Clarasys: Born Agile by Taking Groups Seriously

By Randall Peterson

In March 2015, London-based management consultancy Clarasys found itself in crisis. Established in 2011, the company had experienced consistent growth since foundation and had expanded staffing levels to service new business accordingly. But it was still in start-up phase and a perfect storm of even...

March 2018

Turning Around KBC in 2009-2016 (C)

By Costas Markides, Daniel Oyon, Lisa Duke

This is part of a case series. The case describes the turnaround of the Belgian bank KBC under the leadership of Johan Thijs in the period 2009-2016. The case is made up of three parts - A, B and C. KBC (A) describes the situation in July 2009 when Johan This was promoted to Managing Director (MD) o...