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Corporate Leadership, LinkedIn Series

Pope Francis and Conscience-Driven Capitalism

Reposted from Dan Hesse's LinkedIn series on Executive Leadership and Corporate Responsibility. The following was published September 24, 2015. 

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Pope Francis, in his papal exhortation almost two years ago, denounces capitalism as a “new tyranny” and blames many of the world’s ills, from the plight of the poor to the deteriorating state of the Earth’s environment, on the system and its culture of power and greed.

I’m Roman Catholic and an enthusiastic supporter of Pope Francis. But in a recent interview with Forbes titled A Catholic CEO Urges The Pope To Embrace Capitalism As A Force For Good, I give reasons why Pope Francis should encourage Catholics, and others sharing the Pope’s values, to become capitalists, rather than discourage them from pursuing careers in business. 

In my view, capitalism, or financial freedom, creates a virtuous cycle with freedom of information, political freedom and religious freedom. It’s therefore important that business be taught in Catholic universities to infuse companies with more values-driven leaders.

In all of history, this Pope might have an unprecedented power of the pulpit to encourage consumers to vote with their wallets and to spend their money with ethical, responsible companies. As I point out in the interview, Pope Francis could be instrumental in ushering in a new age of “conscience-driven capitalism.”

Corporate Leadership, LinkedIn Series

Creative Accounting – The Digital Economy’s Impact on Artists

Reposted from Dan Hesse's LinkedIn series on Executive Leadership and Corporate Responsibility. The following was published August 23, 2015.

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Today’s New York Times magazine includes a thoughtful article, The Creative Apocalypse That Wasn’t by Steven Johnson. The article examines how the digital economy (I like the term “Gig Business” Johnson used) is changing the way creative people make their livings, whether it be in recording music, writing books or making movies.

This analysis is part of an important, ongoing conversation about the digital economy and its impact on artists and musicians. The business practices of this new economy affect many elements in our lives. I focused on the changes to music in this year’s New York Global Leaders Dialogue keynote and during the National Music Publishers Association 2014 meeting keynote with CTIA CEO Meredith Baker and NMPA CEO David Israelite.

Johnson’s New York Times piece reviews the plusses and the minuses created by the new digital economy with respect to artists, concluding that the impact, overall, is neither good or bad, it simply represents significant change.  The analysis is at a macro-level, though.  Free music isn't free.  There are individuals, and elements of the music industry, like song writers and music publishers, for example, that may be harmed in my view.

Johnson uses revenue data and employment statistics to challenge some widely-held views.  I would expect those with another point of view could use data to reach a different conclusion.  For those of you interested in how the digital economy is impacting the lives and livelihoods of artists, this article is a very worthwhile read.  The arts are so important to our way of life, it's a subject we should care about.

The Creative Apocalypse That Wasn’t

Steven Johnson - New York Times Magazine – August 23, 2015

LinkedIn Series, Corporate Leadership

The Complexities of our Digitally Connected World

Reposted from Dan Hesse's LinkedIn series on Executive Leadership and Corporate Responsibility. The following was published August 16, 2015. 

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Today’s New York Times front page story on AT&T highlights one of the many dilemmas raised in a speech I delivered in March titled “Is a Digitally Connected World a Better Place?” The speech was one of two keynotes from the New York Global Leaders Forum annual gala; the second delivered by NSA Chief Admiral Mike Rogers in which he discussed cyber security.

In my address, I posed a question to the audience:

“Which CEO is more patriotic, the one who provides all of the information the government requests to help catch a criminal or prevent a terrorist attack, or the CEO whose company creates tools that make it difficult for law enforcement or the government to acquire a customer’s information, believing protecting civil liberties is a higher calling?”

It’s a very tough question.

The talk explores the plusses and minuses from our digitally connected world in areas such as education, the news, the environment, economies, health care, music, safety, aging, privacy and national security. Creating a “Goldilocks Solution” (getting it “just right”) will require open, thoughtful debate, dialogue, and compromise, which the American political system could use more of in many areas.

Quality Shifts From Measurement To Driver Of Innovation, Say Top CEOs | Forbes

Forbes spoke with three leading business leaders, including Dan Hesse about success and how they view quality. Published June 2016. 

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Reiss: What is a key to your organization’s success?

Dan Hesse: There are two big levers that can lead to success. When I came to Sprint, the company was struggling primarily because service quality had deteriorated, so customers were leaving. Service quality and customer satisfaction go hand-in-hand. We pulled two major levers to turn things around, compensation and agenda. First we linked everyone’s pay to the number of customer calls to care; second, customer service was the first thing on the agenda of every senior team meeting. We were able to reduce our annual care expenditure by 55%, saving over $2 billion in cost per year, while Sprint went from last place in The American Customer Satisfaction Index to first place in our industry, and Sprint was the most improved U.S. company across all 43 industries they study.

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Award

10 Inspirational Leaders Who Turned Around Their Companies | Entrepreneur

Article originally appeared in Entrepreneur online. Article reviews the inspirational stories of 10 CEOs who revitalized their companies. Published February 2013. 

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When Dan Hesse took over the role of Sprint's CEO in 2007, the company was in a freefall, reporting losses of $29.6 billion after a merger with Nextel Communications. Hesse implemented Sprint's new "Simply Everything" rate plan in 2008.

In 2008, Sprint lost 5.1 million subscribers and wireless revenue fell by $3.1 billion, but the company, which had been last in customer satisfaction surveys, was scoring higher on its customer service ratings. In 2009, Sprint acquired Virgin Mobile USA and moved into the prepaid market. By 2010, Sprint had returned to positive subscriber growth for the first time in three years. Hesse continues to serve as CEO. In 2012, Sprint reported revenue of $35.3 billion, an increase over 2011's revenue of $33.7 billion.

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Award

Boys and Girls Club Great Futures Award | BGCA

Honor originally posted to homepage of Boys and Girls Club of America. Published October 2013. 

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Boys & Girls Clubs of America is pleased to present Dan Hesse, CEO of Sprint Corporation, with the Great Futures Award. This award is presented to an individual who has demonstrated outstanding leadership and commitment to the youth of this country.

Hesse joins a list of distinguished leaders previously honored, such as Craig Omtvedt, Edward and Diane Zore, and Thomas Flanagan. A premier event in Chicago, the Chairman’s Dinner has also featured many special guests including President Bill Clinton, Regis Philbin, and Major League Baseball Commissioner, Bud Selig.

Hesse has served as a Governor for Boys & Girls Clubs of America, and continues to work to provide a bright future for children and teens.

With a goal to provide every young person with a cyber safe future, Sprint supports BGCA’s media safety initiative providing tools and resources to educate parents, guardians, educators and youth on important issues like cyberbullying, social networking, online privacy and mobile safety. BGCA’s cybersafefutures.org, along with Sprint’s online safety resource 4NetSafety, aims to raise awareness around potential cyber safety issues while giving adults and youth the resources they need to have a fun, positive experience online.

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