MIT Sloan Senior Lecturer Douglas Ready has been named one of the 2013 Thinkers50 top global management thinkers. The biennial publication is recognized as the go-to source of the most influential management thinkers in the world.
Ready is Founder and President of the International Consortium for Executive Development Research (ICEDR), an internationally renowned collaborative in talent management and leadership development. As such, Ready helps management teams mobilize their leaders to bring about large-scale change. He has led change and leadership development initiatives for global companies, including Continental AG, Ford Motor Company, Four Seasons, Hess Oil, HSBC, LG Group, PwC, Royal Bank of Canada, Samsung Group, and United Technologies Corporation.
In early November, the Justice Department settled its suit blocking the merger of American Airlines and US Airways and, this month, the merger was completed. The original suit claimed “airline consolidation had gone too far and the proposed merger would lead to higher fares for consumers.” In the end, having the two airlines concede to surrendering some take off and landing spots at certain airports would “foster competition and lead to low prices.” So the merger continues.
Airline mergers are nothing new in the industry; as noted in an MIT Sloan Management Review (SMR) interview with Tom Kochan, Professor of Work and Employment Research and Engineering Systems at MIT Sloan, “Airline companies may be the business everyone fantasizes the most about trying to fix.” As experts quoted in the recent article in The New York Times, “Concession in Airline Merger is Criticized,” airline mergers create “unprecedented pricing power” and are designed to cut operational costs. But, as the story notes, “merged airlines have had varied levels of success in meshing their operations and achieving the ‘synergies’ they sought.”
Most of today’s leadership literature focuses on the two most popular forms of leadership: the visionary leader—the charismatic transformational leader who inspires, or the relationship leader—the mentor who has the compassion and empathy needed to form strong relationships to support their organization.
But the global business world is changing rapidly, from the top down and the bottom up. Organizations are flatter. Boundaries are more blurred. Information moves faster across all levels within an organization. This means that leaders who can innovate and move quickly—leaders who have dynamic capabilities—are more likely to succeed.