Dell After Privatization–Accelerating Growth Through Change

November 10, 2014

Dell World 2014

I’ve just returned from Dell World 2014. Dell has been a private company for about a year now. While I’ve been bullish about Dell for a number of years, it’s now clear that privatization has been a transformative triggering event for Dell.

“Going private has unleashed us. It’s allowed us to be bold. We’ve redefined and focused on our customer’s success,” said Michael Dell. The excitement was palpable.

The mere fact that Dell doesn’t have to report quarter-to-quarter results, file with the SEC for any material changes in the company, etc., has unburdened Michael Dell and the Dell leadership team.

While many are declaring the PC market “dead,” it’s probably because that market grew only 0.2% if you exclude Dell’s growth. Dell’s growth was over 19%. It takes a solid product line-up to achieve this. This is just one marker. Dell did not discuss details about growth in Dell Software, Dell Services, Dell Security, Dell Enterprise. Based on generalities, growth in these areas is quite impressive.

I reunited with a few executives who sold their companies to Dell. They couldn’t be happier. How often do you hear that several years later?

I’ve long said that public companies tend to be myopic and operate with a short-term focus.

  • Amazon’s investors are beginning to beat up Jeff Bezos for not doing enough to “maximize shareholder value.” They are growing weary of waiting while the stock is getting hammered.
  • Carl Icahn looks at companies for the cash he can extract and return to investors while burdening the company with debt. Michael Dell said “no thank you” to Carl.

Michael Dell accelerated growth through change by privatizing Dell. Michael Dell’s singular focus is satisfying customers by offering end-to-end solutions that excite and delight them. He doesn’t have to be distracted by Wall Street. And he gets to focus on running “the world’s biggest start-up.”

I wonder how many other CEOs in the Fortune 500 are paying close attention and view Dell’s privatization with great envy?

“Oldie But Goodie” Blog Posts You Might Enjoy

If I Sell You My Company, Will You Respect Me In The Morning?

Why Dell Decided To Go Private

Thought for the week:

“Public companies are measured on their stock performance and private companies on the advocacy of their customers. “ – Rob Enderle, President & Principal Analyst, Enderle Group

Read Rob Enderle’s entire post here.
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What do you think? I welcome your comments!
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Dave Gardner, Gardner & Associates Consulting http://www.gardnerandassoc.com

© 2014 Gardner & Associates Consulting  All Rights Reserved

Note:  This posting is based on my weekly “Thank God It’s Monday” that helps you and your company thrive! To receive an email version of “Thank God It’s Monday” to start your week, please subscribe here.  I would very much appreciate your suggesting to others that they subscribe.

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Going Through The Motions

October 6, 2014

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It’s not easy to find organizations that are true standouts in what they do. When I find them, it feels great. The contrast, of course, is too many companies just seem to be “going through the motions.” Their raison d’etre is indifference.

One organization that needs to be a standout right now isn’t: The U.S. Secret Service. They can’t afford to have a bad week, day, hour, minute or second. It took mere seconds for an intruder to leap a fence and enter the White House.

The Secret Service was caught flat-footed in this recent incident as well as several others that have recently come to light. They can’t let their guard down. Ever. And, they certainly can’t be merely “going through the motions.” Yet, this is seemingly what is happening.

Some functions within companies can ill afford to have a bad week, day, hour, minute or second. When customers have a choice, they will take a bad customer experience and use it as a call to action to do business with a competitor.

Your challenge is to identify and take corrective action whenever your product or service isn’t what it should be or needs to be. To accelerate growth, you must be ever vigilant. Rest assured–your customers are paying attention.

Photo Courtesy of Eric Drost on Flickr

Thought for the week:

“Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.” – Robert F. Kennedy
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What do you think? I welcome your comments!
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Dave Gardner, Gardner & Associates Consulting http://www.gardnerandassoc.com

© 2014 Gardner & Associates Consulting  All Rights Reserved

Note:  This posting is based on my weekly “Thank God It’s Monday” that helps you and your company thrive! To receive an email version of “Thank God It’s Monday” to start your week, please subscribe here.  I would very much appreciate your suggesting to others that they subscribe.

Privacy Statement:  Our subscriber lists are never rented, sold, or loaned to any other parties for any reason.


Don’t Be Complacent About Customer Experience

September 29, 2014

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Dell recently invited me to participate in a discussion with customers and executives to learn about areas where Dell needs to improve the customer order experience. This is a continuation of my participation on Dell’s Customer Advisory Panel.

Dell is now over 30 years old. While it would be easy to believe that a 30-year old company would have everything worked out to perfection, Dell continually seeks input to improve customer experience. During the conversation, Dell heard about areas that have improved and areas where improvement is still needed.

It takes courage to ask customers questions and to listen to their answers. The real challenge goes beyond listening. What action will be be taken to address issues identified? Understanding and, then, responding effectively to customer input, will accelerate growth.

Photo Courtesy of Celestine Chua on Flickr

 

Thought for the week:

“It’s possible to have big impact without big size. What matters is the size of the idea.” – Rosabeth Kanter
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What do you think? I welcome your comments!
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Dave Gardner, Gardner & Associates Consulting http://www.gardnerandassoc.com

© 2014 Gardner & Associates Consulting  All Rights Reserved

Note:  This posting is based on my weekly “Thank God It’s Monday” that helps you and your company thrive! To receive an email version of “Thank God It’s Monday” to start your week, please subscribe here.  I would very much appreciate your suggesting to others that they subscribe.

Privacy Statement:  Our subscriber lists are never rented, sold, or loaned to any other parties for any reason.


Are You Poised To Accelerate Growth?

September 15, 2014

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  • Where are you experiencing frustration and complexity in your business? Where is there a greater need for ease and simplicity?
  • Are there gaps in people, processes and/or systems in tightly and seamlessly connecting your teams with your customers and partners?
  • Is your company sought after by prospects, customers, potential employees and investors?
  • How are revenues and profits trending? Up? Down?
  • Is business exciting?

You can’t accelerate growth if you are slogging through muck.

Photo Courtesy of Ian Sane on Flickr

Thought for the week:

“The time is now…What are you waiting for? No excuses.” – Mike Libecki
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What do you think? I welcome your comments!
___

Dave Gardner, Gardner & Associates Consultinghttp://www.gardnerandassoc.com

© 2014 Gardner & Associates Consulting  All Rights Reserved

Note:  This posting is based on my weekly “Thank God It’s Monday” that helps you and your company thrive! To receive an email version of “Thank God It’s Monday” to start your week, please subscribe here.  I would very much appreciate your suggesting to others that they subscribe.

Privacy Statement:  Our subscriber lists are never rented, sold, or loaned to any other parties for any reason.


Reliability & Durability

September 8, 2014

 

Mike Libecki (center) and Umang Patel (right)

Mike Libecki (center) and Umang Patel (right)

I met Mike Libecki at a Dell event in San Francisco this past week. He is an expeditioner for National Geographic and other groups and travels to some of the most isolated and unforgiving venues on planet earth. He’s gone on over 50 expeditions. “Extremes” characterize his work.

You have to imagine reliability is of the utmost importance to Mike. He can’t afford to carry duplicate equipment “just in case” something fails. He can’t request assistance if something breaks. He’s on his own. No FedEx or package delivery service can support him. Everything he brings on a trip must be very carefully evaluated.

Dell Ruggedized laptop encased in ice

Dell Ruggedized laptop encased in ice

Road warriors are a bit like Mike in that we need our computers to be extremely reliable. Mike will be using a Dell Ruggedized computer to support his work and communications needs in extremely harsh, punishing environments. He’s looking forward to the ruggedness and reliability of the Dell product–his last brand wasn’t robust enough for his needs.

Reliability is essential for Mike. Every component, system and process needs to work flawlessly and seamlessly to protect Mike and his team and help him create the value his sponsors expect.

Have you considered whether every aspect of your product and/or services have been carefully vetted and designed to offer a fantastic customer experience? Are your products, services, processes and systems as reliable and durable as your customers need them to be? Do you ever stop to think like Mike? This is key to accelerating your growth.

Thought for the week:

“A bird sitting on a tree is never afraid of the branch breaking because her trust is not on the branch but on her wings. Always believe in yourself.” – Unknown
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What do you think? I welcome your comments!
___

Dave Gardner, Gardner & Associates Consulting http://www.gardnerandassoc.com

© 2014 Gardner & Associates Consulting  All Rights Reserved

Note:  This posting is based on my weekly “Thank God It’s Monday” that helps you and your company thrive! To receive an email version of “Thank God It’s Monday” to start your week, please subscribe here.  I would very much appreciate your suggesting to others that they subscribe.

Privacy Statement:  Our subscriber lists are never rented, sold, or loaned to any other parties for any reason.


Changing Corporate Behavior–It Ain’t Easy

August 18, 2014

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As Marshall Goldsmith wrote, “What got you here won’t get you there.”

If your company has a change-resistant culture, Goldsmith offers an important insight. It also speaks to the notion that embracing the status quo is insufficient to get a company from where it is to where it wants to be.

How do you implement significant, dramatic change? In an article written by David Roberts, Staff Writer at Grist.org, Roberts paraphrases insights from Dr. Doug McKenzie-Mohr:

The first step in changing a behavior is to isolate it into a kind of indivisible unit. For each desired behavior change, there will be a unique set of barriers and benefits; successful programs will reduce the barriers and increase the benefits (or, he noted, raise barriers and reduce benefits of competing behaviors).

While the article speaks about humans adopting environmentally-friendly changes, McKenzie-Mohr provides insights to one of the business world’s most daunting challenges: implementing change.

How might you use this these insights to help you and your company accelerate growth through change?

Photo Courtesy of myriam di maio on Flickr

 

Thought for the week:

The world has been “down in the dumps” this past week over the passing of Robin Williams. I’m hard-pressed to think of anyone else in the entertainment industry who is so universally loved. Robin leaves behind an amazing legacy. He will be missed.
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What do you think? I welcome your comments!
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Dave Gardner, Gardner & Associates Consulting http://www.gardnerandassoc.com

© 2014 Gardner & Associates Consulting  All Rights Reserved

Note:  This posting is based on my weekly “Thank God It’s Monday” that helps you and your company thrive! To receive an email version of “Thank God It’s Monday” to start your week, please subscribe here.  I would very much appreciate your suggesting to others that they subscribe.

Privacy Statement:  Our subscriber lists are never rented, sold, or loaned to any other parties for any reason.


Infosys, Vishal Sikka & Murmurations

August 4, 2014

I’m following the thoughts and ideas being offered by Dr. Vishal Sikka, the new CEO and Managing Director of Infosys, a 33-year old global I.T. services company with over 160,000 employees based in Bangalore, India.

In an interview about his joining Infosys and his vision for the future, Vishal offers:

All great systems in nature–like murmuration–are decentralized, distributed, and not hierarchically controlled. I believe decentralization, empowerment and trust but also accountability are an incredibly important part of management.

Murmuration is a phenomena of birds called starlings. Here’s a short video that beautifully illustrates murmuration.

I love the murmuration metaphor as it speaks to seamlessness, transparency, ease, continuous flow, lack of hierarchical leadership, synchronicity, harmony and collaboration. This is a great metaphor for leadership and companies today.

Imagine if your department or company achieved the ease and grace of murmuration? Don’t you believe that would help you thrive?

A Blog Post Worth A Closer Look

The Startling Science of a Starling Murmuration

 

Thought for the week:

“If you’re not willing to learn, no one can help you. If you’re determined to learn, no one can stop you.” – Unknown
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What do you think? I welcome your comments!
___

Dave Gardner, Gardner & Associates Consultinghttp://www.gardnerandassoc.com

© 2014 Gardner & Associates Consulting  All Rights Reserved

Note:  This posting is based on my weekly “Thank God It’s Monday” that helps you and your company thrive! To receive an email version of “Thank God It’s Monday” to start your week, please subscribe here.  I would very much appreciate your suggesting to others that they subscribe.

Privacy Statement:  Our subscriber lists are never rented, sold, or loaned to any other parties for any reason.