The minicomputer was a huge success and Olsen won many awards for his incredible breakthrough. Unfortunately, he also developed incredible pride in his accomplishment and that pride was the source of his total rejection of the emergence of the personal computer during the late 1980’s and early 1990’s. That rejection led to the quick demise of Olsen and DEC.
Bob's Gutsy Leadership Blog
Archive for April, 2011
During my decades with Procter & Gamble, I came to realize the most important aspect of the P&G Brand Management system was that the small 4 or 5 person brand group charged with running a specific brand was rewarded by studying consumer behavior carefully, listening to lots of advice from support groups like product development, sales and manufacturing, and then making clear decisions on what they thought would win with the consumer. They knew they were rewarded only by winning with the consumer. No compromises were required, other organizations did not have to concur with plans, and you ignored all other brands the company marketed. In essence, leaders were encouraged (in fact required) to lead. It is still their strength today.
It is amazing how much time you can waste sitting in front of a pc or with a smartphone, doing e-mail, messaging, and probing the internet. The same is true with meetings.
One big advantage we had in the 1990’s at Microsoft was that fact that the business was growing so fast we were always significantly understaffed. Hence, everybody had lots of responsibilities and not much time for non-essential meetings or e-mails. On the other hand, recently I have done work with a few organizations that were experiencing just the opposite; peoples were complaining about how tightly their schedules were packed with meetings and how each day they are buried by e-mail.