* What do you remember of the Fall of the Berlin Wall?
Coca-Cola’s Berlin Wall blitz: Lessons in leadership 20 years later
Reading Comprehension 1. Why was the report’s visit surreal? 2. What was behind Coke’s success in East Germany? 3.What key decision di Doug Ivester make at the time?
Discussion Questions 1. Did you find the article surprising or interesting? How does it fit with what you know about the time after the Fall of the Berlin Wall? How is Western Germany different from Eastern Germany? 2. What do you know about contemporary German culture, food, technology, sports, etc.? What do you like about Germany and its culture? 3. Name some large international German companies. What do they do or make? How competitive are they? Would you buy their stocks? What business or economic ties does your country have with Germany? What do you think of the unions in Germany? 4. In January 2009, China’s GDP of $3.4 trillion surpassed Germany’s GDP of $3.3 trillion. China is now the 3rd largest economy in the world. What do you think of this? Is Germany in decline? 5. What do you know about German politics? What do you think about Angela Merkel’s decision on how to handle the ‘Great Recession’ in Germany? (Ie. Cutting taxes, giving incentives to help companies keep workers employed part-time, etc.) What do you know about Germany’s history? How has Germany changed over the years? 6. The Halle-based IWH research institute estimates the reunification process has cost Germany €1.3 trillion. Was it worth it? If your country has lost territory in the past, would you be in favour of re-acquiring it? 7. What do you think about Coca-cola as a business? Which do you prefer: Coke or Pepsi? Why? What do you think of Coke’s decisions in Germany? How risky was the move? Have companies from your country entered the markets in the former East Bloc countries? What successes and/or failures have you heard of? How good of an investment are these countries? Would you invest or do business there?
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