Diet Coke has been hurt as much as any soda in recent years as Americans switch from soda to bottled water, sports drinks, coffee and other beverages. "It's not hard to understand Diet Coke's imploding popularity: The diet beverage is suffering both as a diet product and as a beverage," Derek Thompson writes.
Sonic Drive-In CEO J. Clifford Hudson says growing up in an era of segregated schools shaped his commitment to helping minorities advance, and today he runs a company where women and minorities are the majority of Sonic's leadership team, writes Sapna Maheshwari. "When there's one, we're a token, and by four, it takes gender off the table," says Susan Thronson, a Sonic board member.
Beer used to have a smoky taste because the grains were dried over a fire before brewing, writes Jim Clarke. Today, some craft breweries are experimenting with smoke-flavored malt, following the lead of brewpubs in Bamberg, Germany, that never stopped making smoke beers.
Having good data on your customers not only helps you understand who they are but also how they trend over time with your business, writes Ric Noreen. Companies that know which customers offer growth, profitability or both can narrow their focus to only the most important customers, Noreen argues.
Leaders who borrow concepts from stage performances have a better chance of engaging the audience because the crowd becomes part of the story, writes Edmund Chow. Such a presentation requires an antagonist, a protagonist, staging with appropriate props and getting into character, he writes.
A group of 22 states and the District of Columbia filed a petition seeking to force the Federal Communications Commission to reverse its rollback of net neutrality rules. The filing is the first step in what is likely to be a lengthy legal battle.
Aon Risk Solutions Financial Institutions Practice Leader Jacqueline Quintal discusses the anticipated impacts of bitcoin, other cryptocurrencies, initial coin offerings and blockchain, the underlying technology behind them. She writes that using this emerging technology can ultimately reduce infrastructure costs for banks by billions each year.
You'll achieve better outcomes if you consult with the people around you when making complex decisions, Mary Jo Asmus writes. "The truth is that almost everything a leader does has more than one possible solution and including others in a decision is the best way to assure it'll be the right one," she writes.
Amazon founder and world's richest person Jeff Bezos is establishing a more public presence, whether politically, through his philanthropy or through his personal businesses The Washington Post and Blue Origin. "He's getting thanked at the Golden Globes and targeted by presidential tweet tantrums -- not even Steve Jobs had that kind of pop-culture currency," said Margaret O'Mara, a University of Washington professor.
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