Friday links, March 26

Note: during the course of my research--and, tbh, time-wasting on Twitter--I come across a variety of sources that are interesting to me. This post is an experiment to see whether you might also find them useful as well.  If so, I'll make this a regular feature.   Please drop me a note and let me know what you think... - MZ

Are automotive incumbents finally getting their s**t together? I wouldn't call action after 10+ years of denial and half-hearted attempts as "catching up fast," but I guess better late than never:

The End of Tesla’s Dominance May Be Closer Than It Appears
Elon Musk’s upstart still rules, but traditional automakers are catching up fast.

Crowdfunding is a powerful tool for large organizations, yet it remains a rarity (one exception is Haier which uses it widely).  My hunch is that like prediction markets and  other means to democratize corporate decision making, crowdfunding isn't readily embraced because it challenges existing managerial prerogatives.

Crowdfunding Can Deliver More Than Just Money
It’s an unparalleled opportunity to solicit input from your customers.

Can agile transform budgeting? If we ever needed proof that top-down, calendar-driven budgeting is outdated, COVID-19 provided that in spades.  The question is, can we finally rid ourselves of such an outdated way to allocate resources?   Great piece by Bjarte Bosgnes, one of the world's leading authorities when it comes to creating more dynamic and flexible resource allocation and performance management.

Agile Meets Beyond Budgeting
Can the two approaches help each other open up the last bastion of traditional corporate management to new ways of working?

It's hard to collaborate virtually.  Before the pandemic, U.S. workers spent an average of 43% of their workweeks collaborating either virtually or in person. That number fell to 27% for workers who worked from home in 2020, according to Diane Hoskins of Gensler:

Commentary: How companies can reinvigorate collaboration post-COVID
Commentary: COVID-19 has had a negative impact on collaboration with so many working from home. How can it be fixed?

Worker Representation on Corporate Boards doesn't seem to live up to the hype

"Conditional on the firm’s size and unionization rate, we find that worker representation has little, if any, effect [on wages and earnings risk]. We therefore conclude that, despite the wide-spread enthusiasm, mandating worker representation is unlikely to benefit workers."  Aside from unions and works councils, there are several other ways to increase employee voice and improve compensation (see, for instance, Nucor).

Do Employees Benefit From Worker Representation on Corporate Boards?
Mandated legislation of worker representation is unlikely to be the magic bullet some policy-makers have pictured, according to a new paper.

The outsting of Danone's Chief has little to do with purpose, and a lot more to do with mediocre performance.

The supreme irony of Faber's recent dismissal as Danone CEO is that activist investors were clamoring for more investment in innovation & marketing. A the same time, the company cut 2,000 people based on a plan the board didn't support.

At Danone, internal discord ripened case for activist funds: sources
Abruptly ousted as head of Paris-based Danone, the yoghurt group he turned into a standard bearer for green-friendly businesses, Chief Executive Officer Emmanuel Faber’s dismissal is a rare win for activist funds in France campaigning for his removal.