Recently you have seen a lot of press on the problems of the traditional Japanese hardware powerhouses of Sharp, Panasonic, and Sony (they collectively lost $20 billion in the past fiscal year). In general they have been beaten out in the marketplace by competitors that provided not just great hardware but also many elegant features enabled by elegant software. Also, they provided online services, and had smarter marketing. Most industry analysts believe Japan’s current weakness is due to its clinging to its traditional strength; hardware and manufacturing. In essence, clinging exclusively to that strength has been their downfall.
Bob's Gutsy Leadership Blog
Archive for September, 2012
Today, Nokia is fighting to avoid bankruptcy. They are trying to catch up in smartphones but likely won’t make it. The Chinese are taking over the low end cell phone business with low price phones with some smartphone features.
Millions of people have read the famous management book: Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey. Unfortunately, he passed away recently, due to head injuries associated with a bicycle accident. I met Stephen Covey in his early days; he was doing some consulting work with Procter & Gamble in the 1970’s. The favorite lesson from his work that really stuck with me over the years was: “begin with the end in mind.” Know where you are going before you start on the journey: simple but powerful.
The takeaway here is obvious: gutsy leaders avoid these practices and they avoid organizations where such approaches are used. Strong leaders seek out information from the folks who have valuable input on a decision, ask such people for reactions to possible options, and then make a decision.