Last Updated Oct 31, 2008 9:11 AM EDT
- The Find: When facing a crisis, there's nothing more helpful than studying a company that's been there before and come out all the stronger for it: Xerox has done just that.
- The Source: The Public Offering blog from Columbia Business School.
- Take time: "Understand the issues in the company and know what the problems are that you are facing. When I started -- I traveled the world for 90 days listening to the problems through the eyes of our employees, investors and customers. A lot of our problems were masking fundamental issues in the business; we were trying to put out fires when we didn't even know were the fuel leak was."
- Communicate openly: Be candid and transparent.
- Believe in it: "You have to have people aligned with your goals and objectives. It's the scale of belief that is the single most important thing to making progress and without that, it is a disadvantage being big."
- Make decisions: Be bold and decisive and move quickly.
- Simplify your business plan: "We undid all the complexities and engineering so that there was this incredible logic about revenue, costs, expenses and profits that we hadn't seen in a while."
- Follow your instincts: "We had a five-dimensional management matrix [when I took over as CEO] and each step of it was logical, but when I looked at it, I couldn't really find anyone who was accountable. It's far less important the choice you make, than making a choice for clear accountability. So we made a choice: geography is our P&L center. At the end of the day, when I want to know what's happening in Europe, I call the guy who is managing in Europe. It's not perfect, but it's clear and it enabled us to move quickly and efficiently."
The Question: So have you seen many candid, decisive managers around these days, busily simplifying their businesses and believing in their future?