How should leaders prevent an Uber-style exodus of top talent?

How should leaders prevent an Uber-style exodus of top talent?

Uber’s freewheeling corporate culture may have sparked rapid growth, but it has also left the firm’s senior leadership talent in tatters. What can other firms learn from this chaos?

Who’d have thought it – now Uber needs a taxi out of town. In a move that has upset commuters, tourists and frequent night-time travellers, Transport for London (TfL) has refused to renew the app-driven cab service’s licence to work in the UK Capital. Meanwhile, behind the scenes, the company founded by the combative Travis Kalanick is suffering from a serious exodus of senior talent… one that, in the summer, even claimed Kalanick himself.

It may seem on the surface that the two developments have little to do with each other – the first being a local difficulty, and the second being a whirlpool of internal politics at the US head office. But in fact, they are intimately linked. To uncover the connection between Uber’s regulatory and commercial nightmare in London and its wave of talent departures back in Silicon Valley, we need only explore the reasons that TfL provided for banishing the firm from such a lucrative market.

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How Tim Cook knocked it out of the park in the empathy league

How Tim Cook knocked it out of the park in the empathy league

With his morale-boosting email to staff affected by Hurricane Harvey, Apple’s CEO masterfully showed how leaders can achieve empathy with their workers

There are few things in life more soothing than the message, “I know how you feel.”

Empathy is a precious commodity – much sought after, but not even half as widely available as it should be. And that’s particularly true within leadership. So we must welcome the intervention of someone with a neon-lit public profile riding into the agenda like a one-man cavalry charge to show us all how it’s done. Someone, for instance, like Apple CEO Tim Cook.

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Don’t want a whistleblower? Then maintain an ethical culture!

Don’t want a whistleblower? Then maintain an ethical culture!

It’s never on a casual whim that an employee becomes a whistleblower. Whistleblowing is a big deal – an arduous process that immediately puts a member of staff at odds with a huge, established machine. The act of speaking out when others won’t poses clear risks for an employee’s wellbeing: stress will rocket immediately at the prospect of a damaged career. This will only worsen when lawyers get involved. Who wouldn’t suffer in a climate where one has to put in full-time hours and yet must also spend a great deal of extra time doing casework relating to the very same workplace? It’s exhausting just to think about.

So, why do employees do it? What’s the trigger that makes the deeply unpalatable, not to mention daunting, prospect of whistleblowing something that must be done… a moral duty? Taking a glance at some recent cases will provide us with a few clues…

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Eager to diversify? Then get good at risk management!

Eager to diversify? Then get good at risk management!

Diversifying a business is by turns one of the most exciting and nerve-wracking processes that a manager or entrepreneur can go through. So many opportunities! Yet so much risk! Among the long grass in that commercial garden of delights could lay one or two casually placed rakes. And it doesn’t take an expert in slapstick to know that when you step on the functional end of a rake, it’s not long before you get whacked in the face.

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Why firms need to get serious about reputation management

Why firms need to get serious about reputation management

Fear of being talked about negatively behind our backs is the square root of countless social phobias. We have a few defence mechanisms at hand – such as getting busy and ploughing on with our lives – but it’s a spectre that’s becoming ever harder to ignore, particularly given the ultra-tempting distractions provided by social media. Our profiles and output on platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram provide complete strangers with at-a-glance hints of the kinds of people we are. While that may not completely cement a reputation, it certainly lays a lot of groundwork for people to build on.

Now, let’s go wider and consider the reputation challenges faced not by individuals, but organisations.

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