Microsoft and Dell are ditching employee performance reviews

Here’s why that may not be a great move. The media have begun to notice that several big, famous companies—Microsoft, Dell, Accenture, New York Life, and many more—are abandoning one of the most loathed traditions in management: the performance review. The Wall Street Journal noted the trend a few days ago, and last month the…

Meat-cancer connection: How should the food industry respond?

If meat producers don’t respond wisely, they run the risk of becoming a declining industry and a social pariah. As you may have heard, a committee of the U.N.’s World Health Organization announced on Monday that processed meat causes cancer. This wasn’t the typical announcement of a new research study saying this or that “may…

Amazon earnings: Maybe investors aren’t obsessed with short-term gains?

Many leaders believe they must aim for short-term wins to please Wall Street. But Amazon is the most famous counter-example. Is short-termism the scourge of capitalism? If you asked 100 people I suspect you’d get 95 yeses. But I’m a skeptic of that view, and Amazon’s earnings report on Thursday reinforces, surprisingly, the case that…

Why every aspect of your business is about to change

  Imagine an economy without friction—a new world in which labor, information, and money move easily, cheaply, and almost instantly. Psst—it’s here. Is your company ready? Cars bursting into flames are never a good thing. So when a Tesla Model S ran over a metal object in Kent, Wash., in October 2013 and burst into…

Have patience with Walmart’s wobble

  Walmart’s problems were a long time in the making, and they’ll take time to fix. Shareholders should be patient with CEO Doug McMillon Walmart shocked Wall Street on Wednesday morning when CFO Charles Holley told a group of stock analysts that this year’s sales and profits would be lower than previously forecast, and profits…

General Electric’s transformation just took a big step forward

The industrial giant offloaded a large chunk of its finance business to Wells Fargo. General Electric chief Jeff Immelt has sold a $32-billion portfolio of loans and leases to Wells Fargo WFC , the latest move in his strategy of abandoning GE’s giant finance business and transforming the company into a 21st-century web-enabled industrial enterprise.…

Sumner Redstone and Viacom are ailing together

Sumner Redstone, the 92-year-old chairman of CBS and Viacom, does not seem able or willing to relinquish control. Some leaders simply can’t let go. That was made very clear on Wednesday morning, in a Wall Street Journal piece about Sumner Redstone, the 92-year-old chairman of CBS and Viacom. The issue arose separately last week when…

Ellen Kullman’s resignation exposes one major failure at DuPont

  DuPont is an aristocrat of American enterprise. It’s hard to believe that it had no one lined up to step into the CEO’s job at a moment’s notice. Of the many surprises surrounding Ellen Kullman’s abrupt departure as DuPont’s CEO on Monday, the greatest is being largely overlooked in the news coverage: It’s the…