Bob's Gutsy Leadership Blog

Archive for July, 2014

An Important Reminder from United Technologies

Most managers tend to proliferate projects. Then they attempt to keep them all going forward, rather than regularly assessing things and picking the vital few that are clearly more important and giving them full attention. We know killing projects is hard, and that is why the recent success of United Technologies is worth scrutinizing a bit.

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Learning from Yahoo’s Ineptness

Yahoo recently reported their 2nd quarter, 2014 results. Total revenue fell 3%, its fourth decline in the past five quarters and below the company’s estimates. The item that really took people by surprise was the 7% decline in display advertising. One financial analyst from Pivotal Research who follows Yahoo closely cited, “it’s remarkable how bad […]

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Objectivity: Elusive But Necessary!

In the 1960’s and 70’s General Electric had a very robust business in nuclear power generation. In 1979, the Three Mile Island accident occurred in Pennsylvania and it dramatically changed the world of nuclear power. Public support plummeted and governments suspended plans for future expansion of nuclear energy.

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Warning: Beware of Silos and Fiefdoms!

General Motors’ ignition switch problems that apparently led to several reported deaths have gotten a lot of publicity. The problems were reported to low levels of management as early as 2001, but the news was never acted upon. The new CEO at GM summarized the problem as being one of a “silo” culture in which managers in different departments failed to communicate safety concerns to one another or to senior executives. Hence, the problem festered for over a decade.

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Three Steps to Avoid Losing Your Credibility

Surprisingly, the CEO opened that meeting by saying: “Let me start with this idea that we are going to lead the IT industry through this change (i.e., the cloud revolution).” Throughout her comments, she continued to emphasize that IBM will be the leader, but provided no specifics. Amazingly she made no effort to bring up the current problem, and gave no hints as to the strategies IBM would be using to solve these problems.

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