John Chambers joined Cisco in 1991, it had 400 employees and $70 million in revenues, when he left in 2015 after 20 years of being CEO, the company had $47 billion in revenues and Cisco is the backbone of the internet. Along the way, Cisco acquired 180 companies and beat out its competitors. How did he do it and can you learn something from Mr. Chambers? The answer to learning is yes and reading his book Connecting the Dots by Hachette books, NY, 2018 will help.
The most critical factor is to understand what your are competing against: market transitions, new technologies, and time – not a competitor. Remember market transitions is the potential of what the technology could do.
Cisco the network of the internet was focused on market transitions, customers and tying products together to speed implementation, lower costs and reduce risk while delivering the service, innovation and outcomes our customer need to thrive and stay ahead in the market.
Cisco had 4 things going for them: (1) an ability to anticipate and get ahead of market transitions; (2) innovation processes that could be replicated at scale; (3) a culture that promoted trust and empowered teams; and (4) a focus on solving problems rather than simply pushing products.
Cisco was crystal clear on what the company stands for and the mission that your company exists to fulfill. 25 years ago, it was the Cisco would change the way the world works, lives, learns and plays.
How you define your expertise and your value to customers is critical to how you grow your company. When you focus on a mission that is authentic, impactful, differentiated, and aspirational, people understand why they are with you.
For Cisco, they made a decision to the most effective reference and user of our technology by using it to close our books in 24 hours. The virtual close allows a snap shot on any day, not just month end.
Linking to dividend paying stocks, how does your company dream big? If it not dreaming are you contented what they are doing? Do you understand or have a crystal clear understanding of where they stand and do not stand?
There are more questions than answers, till the next time – to raising questions.
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