Sunday, June 19, 2011

Businessweek Pieces: Nokia / Subaru of Indiana Plant / Stuck in Jobs

Couple of different pieces of note from the June 6 issue of Businessweek.

Cover story was "Stephen Elop's Nokia Adventure" written by Peter Burrows and looks at the turnaround efforts at the mobile phone maker. It's pretty fascinating given the various elements around Nokia right now. The Finnish company has been floundering in recent years and some 6 months ago hired an outsider in Elop, former head of Office products for Microsoft. Pretty drastic action he's taken thus far in the scrapping of Nokia's internally built phone software in favor of Microsoft Windows Phone 7. It may or may not mean success for Nokia as it battles Apple and it's proprietary software, HP and it's Palm-acquired software and a host of other hardware manufacturers running free Android software from Google, but it is certainly a bold move.

Another interesting corporate view piece from this issue of BW looked not at a company struggling, but one thriving. Subaru sales last year increased at twice the rate of the rest of the automotive industry and the feature "Subaru of Indiana, America's Scrappiest Carmaker" looks at operations at Subaru's sole US plant. Pretty remarkable stuff detailed in this Roben Farzad piece with the facility operating at a level of high efficiency as well as minimal waste generated.


Interesting as well from BW lately was "Stuck in Jobs: The New Swing Voters" from the June 20 issue. The notion put forth by Mike Dorning deals with employee's having the confidence to willingly switch jobs. He looks at it as a comparative measure with a larger number of employee's willing to switch being a positive indicator for the economy... and for people voting for politicians based on their feelings of our economic track. What got me wasn't the political implications, but just the general idea around the import of this willingness to move.

Perhaps an obvious thing, but people who are employed not liking a job, but feeling trapped in it is certainly something that can have big ramifications of the economy, as well as of course the happiness of people working in it.