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Ryan Air and Easy Jet are considered innovative and successful low-cost airlines. This week, [July 28th 2015] commentators were quick to point to the excellent financial results and growth figures from Ryan Air, and to compare them with the relatively modest progress made by Easy Jet over the same period
Four candidates are battling to become the next leader of the Labour party. Here’s a lighthearted charisma league table which is currently headed by Fidel Castro and Boris Johnson Read the rest of this entry »
For over thirty years I have been working with colleagues at Manchester Business School introducing experiential learning ideas into business courses. More recently, we found out that our work with business managers could be transferred into sports management courses.
Why sports management and business management are similar
The discovery was unexpected, but afterwards was rather obvious. It came about when we realized that professional managers and athletes have similar developmental needs.
The Manchester Method approach
The approach was recently described on the MBS website
The Manchester Method is a practical, situation-based way of studying business that runs through all of our programmes.
It pushes you to your limits to bring out your best, focusing on group work, practice-based learning and self-reflection. You use and build on your own experiences to improve your leadership skills and manage complex projects.
On important feature of the approach is the use of living cases. The term indicates that the topic under study is not bounded by the text provided.
Web-based work is increasingly important. Students, often working in teams, search for the most recent information of the current situation in each project. The work is evaluated from two perspectives, one its critical understanding, and one for evidence of appreciation of the practical aspects of the case.
In longer projects, a business client brings his or her ‘living case’ into the Business School. In shorter projects the business client is role-played by a tutor. These cases are chosen from the recent posts on leadership to be found in leaders we deserve. These have the added attraction of being updated regularly, giving emphasis to different leadership dilemmas.
A suitable course textbook is Dilemmas of Leadership which encourages students to examine the living cases for the tough decisions business leaders are taking. In its most recent edition, it comes with web based Tutor’s guide, power points and chapter by chapter revision quiz.
Sports based applications
Although the cases are selected for their business relevance, some have been sports-related. The role of the coach in team sports such as football and rowing has been studied, as well as the nature of charismatic leadership of managers and of on-field leaders. Another shared issue is that of Corporate Social Responsibility
For more information
I would be pleased to share experiences with sports management professionals interested in exploring the methods outlined in this post. You can contact me by email by submitting a comment below.
The notification [July 13th 2015]
Nintendo Co., Ltd. deeply regrets to announce that President Satoru Iwata passed away on July 11, 2015 due to a bile duct growth
- Name:Satoru Iwata
- Date of Birth:December 6, 1959
- Career Record:June 2000, appointed as Director; May 2002, appointed as President, appointed as Representative Director;June 2013,appointed as CEO of Nintendo of America Inc.
- Other Information:As a result, the following two Representative Directors remain at the company.Genyo Takeda (Representative Director; Senior Managing Director).Shigeru Miyamoto (Representative Director; Senior Managing Director)
An outpouring of respect and affection
The official corporate notification above was followed by an outpouring of respect and affection for a remarkable leader.
Reggie Fils-Aime, President of Nintendo of America commented:
Mr. Iwata is gone, but it will be years before his impact on both Nintendo and the full video game industry will be fully appreciated. He was a strong leader for our company, and his attributes were clear to most everyone: Intelligence, creativity, curiosity and sense of humor. But for those of us fortunate enough to work closely with him, what will be remembered most were his mentorship and, especially, his friendship. He was a wonderful man. He always challenged us to push forward…to try the new…to upset paradigms—and most of all, to engage, excite and endear our fans. That work will continue uninterrupted.
Satoru Iwata was born into a comfortably well-off family (his father was mayor of his home town of Sapporo ). From a young age he showed an aptitude for information technology, and electronic engineering, is some way echoing the stories of pioneering figures such as Steve Jobs and Bill Gates before him.
As a schoolboy he also did freelance work as a programmer for HAL Laboratory, Inc., a game developer that often collaborated closely with Nintendo. This gave him access to Nintendo, so that after University he was able to join then quickly make significant contributions in its transformation from a modest manufacturer of had made playing cards to a global giant in electronic gaming.
In keeping with traditional Japanese corporations, Nintendo (roughly translated ‘leave luck to heaven’) retained an extremely stable corporate structure. In 2002, Iwata was to become only the fourth President in a hundred years of operations.
Nintendo’s growth was fuelled by the innovativeness of internal technical workers, often creating through spare-time activities, becoming legends in the fast-developing electronic games market.
Gunpei Yokoi developed ideas for the Japanese toy industry in his free time. Yokoi was moved from maintenance to the new “Nintendo Games” department as a product developer. He later hit on several creative ideas of enormous importance. In 1979, Yokoi conceived the idea of a handheld video game, while observing a fellow bullet train commuter who passed the time by interacting idly with a portable LCD calculator, which gave birth to the Game & Watch suite of games.
Another innovator working with Yokoi was Shigeru Miyamoto. Recruited as a young student, he went on to create, direct and produce some of Nintendo’s most famous video games, including Gameboy.
At the start of the 21st century, with the leadership of President Satoru Iwata, the company was facing serious competitive challenges. Under difficult trading conditions the company recorded a substantial drop in profits in 2014, prompting Iwate to take a substantial salary cut.
However, in Fiscal 2015, the company returned to profit although this was partly through favourable exchange rates.
Leadership and culture
In the Anglo-American culture, Iwata would have been lauded as a creative genius (think Gates, Jobs, Branson). In a Japanese context, It is easier to see the more subtle notion of distributed leadership playing out.
It is also instructive to note that the engineering culture in German manufacturing has also been more aware of the power of distributed leadership. You can see the examples of the link between the power leader (machtpromotor) and operational leader (fachpromotor) outlined in the various editions of Dilemmas of leadership in the chapter on project management.
Iwata’s insights into celebrity leadership
Iwata had the grasp of social media which allowed him to revolutionize Nintendo’s relationship with its army of faithful gamers. His appearances as a game character and as his corporate self, produced strong bonding and interactions. Shortly after his death, a tribute went viral showing a sleeping Iwata character surrounded by weeping Nintendo characters.
This week two leaders and their possible successors were tested. Alistair Cook opened the batting for England in Cardiff, and David Cameron started for the Government at Westminster
Here are my notes made at the time, [8th July 2015] which have been slightly edited for clarity purposes.