After a very short conclave, the Vatican last week named Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio the new Pope. What can the selection process for Pope Francis teach us about business?

How to Choose a Leader: Imagine a public company locking up its board of directors in a room – without their smartphones – until they chose the next CEO. Then, picture the public relations team communicating that a decision has been made by sending out a puff of white smoke.

It’s a scenario shareholders would never stand for, yet leadership experts believe there are lessons corporations can take away from the papal conclave – the oldest ongoing process of picking a leader.

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The Obvious Choice Isn’t Always the Best: Some have suggested that the corporate world might provide the new pope with valuable advice on how to navigate the Church through rough and uncertain waters. But perhaps the most relevant contribution that corporations can offer the papal conclave is how to avoid the mistakes of the recent past in choosing a successor — specifically, the potential pitfalls of moving a No. 2 senior leader into the No. 1 role.

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Yes, Businesses Can Benefit (Financially) From the New Pope: The election of the new pope is supposed to be a largely spiritual event, but it does have its material benefits, especially for the sellers of souvenirs and for the people who live in the new pope’s home town.

In the foothills of the Tatra Mountains of southern Poland, Wadowice, the birthplace of Karol Wojtyla, who served as Pope John Paul II, is still earning a decent return from its native son.

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