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jerryking : john_chambers   5

Every Company Is Now a Tech Company
Dec. 4, 2018 | WSJ | By Christopher Mims.

There was a time when the primary role of leaders at most companies was management. The technology required to do the work of a company could be bought or siloed in an “IT department,” treated more as a cost center than a source of competitive advantage.

But now we’ve entered a period of upheaval, driven by connectivity, artificial intelligence and automation. The changes affect the world of business so profoundly that every company is now a tech company. But now companies born before the first internet bubble also must realize they can no longer function as non-tech businesses......The question is, how does a non-tech company become a tech company quickly? Increasingly, the answer is bringing tech talent into the highest executive ranks, adding deeply knowledgeable and indispensable “technical co-founders” long after the company was founded......To put it another way: When faced with a competitor like Amazon, do you do as Walmart did, and invest heavily in tech firms and technical knowledge? Or do you go the way of Sears…into bankruptcy court?

In August 2016, Walmart announced it would acquire e-commerce startup Jet.com for $3.3 billion, the largest ever deal of an old-line bricks-and-mortar company buying an e-commerce company. The acquisition was about a transfusion of new minds as much as Jet’s technology, which was far ahead of Walmart’s online operation at the time....Mr. Lore is now chief of e-commerce at Walmart......Walmart’s e-commerce business revenue grew 43% in the last quarter alone....Wal-Mart is successfully pursuing a “second-mover strategy” against Amazon....Things don’t always go this smoothly. In fact, when well-established companies acquire tech-savvy startups in order to bring aboard engineers and executives--acqui-hires-- it’s usually a disaster.....Within the first three years after an acquisition, 60% of employees at a startup leave......That rate of turnover is twice that of employees hired the old-fashioned way. What’s worse, the employees who leave tend to be the most aggressive and entrepreneurial—and more likely to launch a competing startup.....For large companies stuck between the rock of disruption and the hard place of acquiring startups that can’t hold on to key employees, what’s to be done?[sounds like a cultural clash] John Chambers, who was chief executive at Cisco for more than 20 years, where he oversaw 180 acquisitions, has some answers. In his new book, “Connecting the Dots,” Mr. Chambers outlines some rules. For one, corporate cultures should align. Also, it helps if the company you’re buying already has significant traction in the market..... it’s essential to promote the leaders of acquired companies into your own ranks. Mr. Chamber’s rule at Cisco was that a third of the company’s leaders should be promoted from within, a third should be recruited from outside, and a third should come from acquisitions. .......As the competitive landscape continues to change and technology becomes ever more essential to how business is done, investments that might have seemed too risky a few years ago now may sometimes turn out to be the best path to survival.
acquihires  artificial_intelligence  automation  Amazon  books  Christopher_Mims  connecting_the_dots  CTOs  Cisco  cultural_clash  digital_savvy  e-commerce  Jet  John_Chambers  large_companies  post-deal_integration  reinvention  silo_mentality  technology  Wal-Mart 
december 2018 by jerryking
Cisco’s CEO on Staying Ahead of Technology Shifts - HBR
John Chambers
FROM THE MAY 2015 ISSUE

Mr. Chambers said that customers are the best indicators of when to make investments in new technology. “That’s one reason I spend so much time listening to CIOs, CTOs, and CEOs during sales calls,”
HBR  Cisco  anticipating  ksfs  transitions  indicators  market_intelligence  John_Chambers  IBM  layoffs  CEOs  market_windows  disruption  customer_relationships  sales_calls  CIOs  CTOs  listening 
may 2015 by jerryking
Corner Office - John Chambers of Cisco - Treasure Your Setbacks - Question - NYTimes.com
Aug. 1, 2009 | New York Times | Interview w. John Chambers,
chairman and CEO, Cisco Systems, conducted and condensed by Adam Bryant.
(1) We’re products of the challenges faced in life; (2) Becoming a
great company involves encountering major setbacks--near-death
experiences--and overcoming them; (3) During stressful events, it’s
valuable to be your calmest, most analytical self; (4) Today’s world
requires a different leadership style — more collaboration and teamwork
including using Web 2.0 tech; (5) Build relationships with people who
have dramatically different views from yours by identifying and focusing
on areas shared in common; (6) Moving too slow or moving too fast
without process behind it are both dangerous; (7) Interview questions -
tell me about your results;your mistakes and failures-what would you do
differently this time? who are the best people you recruited and
developed-where are they today? Customer-oriented? Good listeners?
Domain expertise? Sports played?
Cisco  CEOs  leadership  lessons_learned  interviews  hiring  interview_preparation  John_Chambers  setbacks  teams  stressful  resilience  bouncing_back  collaboration  dual-consciousness  dangers  internal_systems  relationships  calm  industry_expertise  dissension  process-orientation 
august 2009 by jerryking

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