Kodak Fades into the Sunset…

Today, a TECHMONDAY article in the Austin Statesman written by Ben Dobbin, Associated Press told his version how a 125 year old iconic company lost their vision. Here’s the link to the article:


…and here’s the last paragraph:

If you’re not willing to cannibalize yourself, others will do it for you,”
said Mark Zupan, dean of the University of Rochester’s business school.
Technology is changing ever more rapidly, the world’s becoming more
globalized, so to stay at the top of your game is getting increasing harder.”

As a business and life balance coach for a couple of dozen Austin senior executives, I could not agree more when he said the game is getting increasing harder. You are going at the speed of light, many of you are on a cone of a rocket and there’s just not enough time in the day to get it all right, is there?

Here’s 4 thought processes to ponder as you set yourself up for success in 2012.

1st. These are my four QBQ questions when I hear someone thinking or wanting to go in a new or different direction. Have you ever had a brainstorming session with your management team with the intent to put yourself out of business? I encourage you and your leadership team to ponder these questions the next time you do a SWOT analysis or have a strategically critical decision needing clarity:

Is it real?
Can we win?
Is it worth it?
At what costs?

What is your process/procedure when considering an acquisition, product extension or a new product launch, a new competitor is in town, additional geography, a new branch office, and the list goes on and on? What is your methodology to arrive at the right/correct decision? Considering adding or asking the above questions to yourself and your management team and dive deeper than you have ever gone before with what and how questions. If looking for an interesting read in drilling down to the QBQ. Read John G. Miller’s book The Question Behind the Question.

2nd. Patrick Lencioni summed it up in his book “Four Obsessions of an Extraordinary Executive” with:

Be cohesive
Be clear
Over Communicate

As the CEO, Owner or Team Leader:
• Building a cohesive leadership team is critical if not essential to the health and well being of your organization.
• Creating organizational clarity and which behavioral values are fundamental.
• Determine which messaging works internally as well as externally
• Hiring, managing performance, rewards, recognition and dismissals

Each of my members has placed this approach as one of their top priorities for 2012. We have dozens of position openings across my clients with many if not filled in Q1 will challenge and possibly prevent the company from delivering their 2012 Revenue & Profit Plan.

3rd. Over the holidays, I came away from reading “The Oz Principle” by Roger Connors and Tom Smith with:

See it
Own it
Solve it
Do it

Accountability starts at the top with a complete buy-in and developing alignment at all levels within your company will take time. Be your word to me means, say what you will do and then do what you said you were going to do. So, to me, seeing progress can become the most rewarding companywide behavioral change you will do in 2012.

4th and last. Entrepreneurs, business owners, presidents and CEO’s are facing the fastest changing landscape in modern time. Where can you turn to for help? Who has the silver bullet? Who can you trust? This link is from MP Mueller, who is the founder of Door Number 3, a boutique advertising agency in Austin, Texas. Her NY Times article is a “heart felt” sharing on what a peer advisory group now means to her. I believe we can make a difference. Take a leap of faith and reach out to me for a 90 minute evaluation on if you could benefit and qualify for selection into one of my CEO and senior executives advisory groups.

Ed Stillman spends the majority of his time working with business owners and CEOs who are focusing on growing their profitability greater than their competition. He is a central Texas business/life balance coach working with two dozen company executives that want to take themselves and their companies to the next level.

Ed Stillman

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