Book – Running the Gauntlet

Wonderful, and very inspirational reading!  I love the dedication:

“To all the naysayers, opportunists, and obstructionists who do their best to stop the progress of change in an organization. Note: we will beat you. “

Oh – love it!!  🙂

Notes and sources from the book:

  • “Change” video used for employees and customers to explain company’s move to digital
  • Quality of the leaders of the change:
    • Problem solvers, not problem seekers
    • Change agents for the processes
    • Cheerleaders who reinforce goals
    • Seam operators

  • “…established way is rife with negatives and change is full of opportunities.”
  • Not everything can be measured in ROI; the objective of change agents is improvement, what can be expressed in:
    • growth
    • margins
    • savings
    • customers
    • customer satisfaction
    • time
    • morale
  • …”tell 90% of what sucks in a company just by walking around and getting a feel of what is going on…”
  • It is important for business leaders to “fire themselves” from the jobs they are not doing well (detail-oriented, etc.) to be more efficient and to have more time.  However, it is even more important to “fire themselves” from the jobs they can do well to save the time that needs to be devoted to something else, something more beneficial for the organization.
  • Organizing principle FAST – Focus, Accountability, Simplicity, Trust.
  • “…never approach a bull from the front, a horse from the back, or a fool from any direction. In business, the bull is your competition, the horse is your team, and the fools are the people who stand in your way – and you if you let them!”
  • Kodak tried to understand what is the most important for the people in a camera setting.  The discovery: 90% of all people user the default button on the camera… so Kodak put all top 10 features that people wanted (such as facial recognition and red-eye reduction) into the default. 
  • People still want to talk with human to deal with service issues
  • Focused executive program
    • Executives of the company establish top-to-top strategic relationships with top customers
    • This approach prevents issues in case of any changes in both companies (sales rep moved away)
    • This approach shows customers that they are important and helps company’s executives to understand and connect with the top customers
    • Sales people may not like the program at first, but feel comfortable when they understand that day-to-day operations are remain in their responsibility
  • “Young bull” marketing plans waste your and your business’s energy and money. They stampede into awareness on the backs of huge, expensive, one-off plans that require massive resources… Create salable plans that unfolds as you grow.
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One thought on “Book – Running the Gauntlet

  1. A sound, problem-solving management strategy makes sense. I am not sure about Kodak as a case in point; the switch from SLR film cameras to digitals has been hard on the company’s bottom line.

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