Excellence. Always. If not excellence, what? If not excellence now, when?



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“ ‘Good management’ was the most powerful reason [leading firms] failed to stay atop their industries. Precisely because these firms listened to their customers, invested aggressively in technologies that would provide their customers more and better products of the sort they wanted, and because they carefully studied market trends and systematically allocated investment capital to innovations that promised the best returns, they lost their positions of leadership.” —Clayton Christensen, The Innovator’s Dilemma

Forget > “Learn” “The problem is never how to get new, innovative thoughts into your mind, but how to get the old ones out.” —Dee Hock

“The more successful a company, the flatter its forgetting curve.” — Gary Hamel and C.K. Prahalad

  • “A pattern emphasized in the case studies in this book is the degree to which powerful competitors not only resist innovative threats, but actually resist all efforts to understand them, preferring to further their positions in older products. This results in a surge of productivity and performance that may take the old technology to unheard of heights. But in most cases this is a sign of impending death.”
  • —Jim Utterback, Mastering the Dynamics of Innovation

“It is generally much easier to kill an organization than change it substantially.” —Kevin Kelly, Out of Control

“Data drawn from the real world attest to a fact that is beyond our control: Everything in existence tends to deteriorate.” —Norberto Odebrecht, Education Through Work

  • #81

“When asked to name just one big merger that had lived up to expectations, Leon Cooperman, former cochairman of Goldman Sachs’ Investment Policy Committee, answered: I’m sure there are success stories out there, but at this moment I draw a blank.” —Mark Sirower, The Synergy Trap

Not a single company that qualified as having made a sustained transformation ignited its leap with a big acquisition or merger. Moreover, comparison companies—those that failed to make a leap or, if they did, failed to sustain it—often tried to make themselves great with a big acquisition or merger. They failed to grasp the simple truth that while you can buy your way to growth, you cannot buy your way to greatness.” —Jim Collins/Time/2004

“MERGERS: Why Most Big Deals Don’t Pay Off. A BusinessWeek analysis shows that 61% of buyers destroyed shareholder wealth.” —BusinessWeek

“Mergers and acquisitions get the headlines, but studies show they often end up destroying shareholder value instead of creating it. That’s one reason why organic growth is so prized by corporations and investors. In fact, if you compare the stock performance of a new index of 23 companies that are masters of organic growth to the S&P500, the Organic Growth Index beat the S&P500 handily, 31% vs. 22% over the year ending January 2004. And looking further back at a five-year period ending in 2002, the OGI walloped the S&P500, 25% vs. 3%.” —Fortune.com/06.03.2004 (The OGI includes Wal*Mart, Sysco, Harley-Davidson, Bed, Bath & Beyond, NVR)

“Almost every personal friend I have in the world works on Wall Street. You can buy and sell the same company six times and everybody makes money, but I’m not sure we’re actually innovating. … Our challenge is to take nanotechnology into the future, to do personalized medicine …” —Jeff Immelt/2005

  • “Don’t ever use that word ‘synergy.’ It’s a hideous word. The only thing that works is natural law. Given enough time, natural relationships
  • will develop between our businesses.” —Barry Diller, responding to a
  • student question, address at the Harvard Business School
  • (from Marshall Goldsmith, What Got You Here Won’t Get You There)

Did one of ’em ever turn to the other and say: “Wow I wonder what unimaginable new tools, otherwise not possible, will be quickly brought forth for our customers because of this deal?”

Did one of ’em ever turn to the other and say: “Wow, I wonder what unimaginable new tools, otherwise not possible, will be brought forth for my daughter Alice, age 17, because of this deal?”

“Not long ago, I heard one studio chief utter the unthinkable: ‘What would happen if I made a movie I actually looked forward to seeing?’ ” —Peter Bart, Editor in Chief, Variety; former Paramount exec, “Hollywood’s Model Doesn’t Produce Art, or Much Profit” (NYT/0721.06)

There’s “A” and then there’s “A.”

Winning the Merger Game Is Possible --Lots of deals --Little deals --Friendly deals --Stay close to core competence --Strategy is easy to understand Source: “The Mega-merger Mouse Trap”/Wall Street Journal/02.17.2004 / David Harding & Sam Rovit, Bain & Co./re Comcast-Disney

  • #82
  • No: People.
  • No: Product.
  • No: Value to customer.
  • Yes: Dilution, other
  • control and share-
  • owning issues.
  • Yes: Scale-as-power.
  • Yes: Market share.
  • Yes: People.
  • Yes: Product.
  • Yes: Value to customer.
  • No: Dilution, other
  • control and share-
  • owning issues.
  • No: Scale-as-power.
  • No: Market share.
  • “On the face of it, shareholder value is the dumbest idea in the world. Shareholder value is a result, not a strategy. … Your main constituencies
  • are your employees, your customers and your products.” —Jack Welch, FT, 0313.09, page 1
  • “Too Much Cost, Not Enough Value”
  • “Too Much Speculation, Not Enough Investment”
  • “Too Much Complexity, Not Enough Simplicity”
  • “Too Much Counting, Not Enough Trust”
  • “Too Much Business Conduct, Not Enough Professional Conduct”
  • “Too Much Salesmanship, Not Enough Stewardship”
  • “Too Much Focus on Things, Not Enough Focus on Commitment”
  • “Too Many Twenty-first Century Values, Not Enough Eighteenth-Century Values”
  • “Too Much ‘Success,’ Not Enough Character”
  • Source: Jack Bogle, Enough! (chapter titles)

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