Executive Matters

February 2002

“IF YOU FAIL TO PLAN, YOU PLAN TO FAIL”
These are our words of wisdom for the month. Whether the issue at hand is customer retention, effective project management, or staying safe while traveling on business, proper planning is the key to a successful result. The goal of this month’s AMA Executive Matters e-newsletter is to give you the tools you need to plan for your professional and personal success.

THERE’S STILL TIME TO PARTICIPATE IN AMA’S CURRENT ECONOMIC CONDITIONS SURVEY
If you haven’t yet completed this short questionnaire on the web, there’s still time to voice your opinions. Remember: All participants will be eligible to win a FREE AMA seminar of their choice through our semi-annual Executive Member Survey drawings.

In This Issue

How to “Customerize” Your Organization

“Digitizing in a Downturn”

“The Oracle of Oracle – The Story of CEO Larry Ellison and the Strategies Behind His Company’s Phenomenal Success”

Safety Tips for International Business Travelers

Undoing a Bad Leadership Move

Going Global: Should You or Shouldn’t You?

AMA Executive Breakfast Briefings Spring 2002 Schedule

AMA Executive Member Breakfast Briefings —Spring 2002 Schedule

Reward Your Administrative Assistant!

 

 

red dotHOW TO “CUSTOMERIZE” YOUR ORGANIZATION
Shockingly, two out of five employees say it’s difficult for customers to do business with their organization. In today’s challenging economy, retaining existing customers is critically important. Bruce L. Katcher, Ph.D explains how to customerize” your company to make customer focus a priority:

  • Commit to Customerizing Your Business
  • Diagnose the Quality of the Customer Experience
  • Senior Management Must Take the Lead
  • Involve Employees in Customerizing Your Business
  • The methods used to promote safety can serve as a good
    customerization model for your organization.

red dotDIGITIZING IN A DOWNTURN
Guest columnist Adrian Slywotzky, author of “How Digital Is Your Business?” (Crown Business, 2000), explains why the real winners in 2002 and beyond will be those companies that use the opportunity created by a slowdown to trim, refocus and then accelerate, while continually keeping their best- customer relationships front and center.

According to Slywotzky, while an economic downturn may prompt business leaders to put their companies’ digital initiatives on hold in order to reign in costs, the best tack is to concentrate on those initiatives that will make money in the short term. He writes: “The pain of a slump gives you the undivided attention of everyone on your payroll, as well as making it abundantly clear that every penny counts. And now that there's slack capacity among the staff, they have more time to sweat the 10X improvements and accelerate the transition to a digital business design.”

red dot“THE ORACLE OF ORACLE – The Story of CEO Larry Ellison and the Strategies Behind His Company’s Phenomenal Success,” a new book by Florence M. Stone.
Ever wonder what it takes to build a world-class company from scratch? According to Ellison, it's a “take no prisoners” approach to business: “It is not enough that I succeed; all others must fail.” “The Oracle of Oracle” a new book by Florence Stone, editor of 'Executive Matters', gives us a rare behind-the-scenes look at the visionary, often enigmatic man behind the $10 billion software powerhouse. Read more about this leader called “ruthless” by some and a “visionary” by others in this fascinating, up-close report from the front lines of the software industry wars.

red dotSAFETY TIPS FOR INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS TRAVELERS
Dr. Tracey Wilen gives expert, practical advice for business travelers: how to prepare for travel emergencies, avoid thieves, and most importantly, stay safe when traveling far from home. Here are some highlights:

  • Make a photocopy of your passport and visas. Keep them with you, but separate from your actual passport. Also leave a set at home with someone you can contact easily.
  • If you have luggage, use covered luggage tags, and use an office instead of a home address.
  • Reduce your risk of theft and assault by staying in a quality hotel that has safety features such doormen, bellmen, and night staff. Choose popular business travelers' hotels in tourist areas, not in residential areas where the streets tend to quiet down in the evening.
  • Avoid ATM's in lonely areas. If it appears unsafe, exchange money at the hotel.
  • On sidewalks, do not walk close to street traffic, as passing motorbike thieves often snatch purses.

red dotUNDOING A BAD LEADERSHIP MOVE
Ideally, as a leader, you don’t want to find yourself in a position where you have to start over or undo the decisions made before you. If you do find yourself in such a situation, however, here are three rules to follow:

ONE Revisit plans and milestone goals. Examine them in light of current conditions. The ultimate objective may still be relevant but circumstances may call for a change in plans or the timetable for the goals’ achievement.

TWO Question every assumption. Divide your assumptions into three categories—marketplace issues, internal operational considerations, and people factors—and review deviations in these. Determine what could have been done to prevent them. Your goal is not to fix blame but to identify the nature of problems that beset your plan. By the end of your study, you should know not only what went wrong and why but also what actions to take to get back on track.

THREE Ask yourself, “Do I want to get back on track?” Before moving forward, be prepared to rethink your vision and mission. Question the very premises by which those decisions were made. A clear vision and mission are critical in enabling you to focus direction and determine where you want to go.

red dotGOING GLOBAL: SHOULD YOU OR SHOULDN’T YOU?
According to Bradley E. Hosmer of The Beta Consulting Group, “The biggest mistake any U.S. company can make when considering going global is assuming that foreign markets are the same as its domestic one. The reality is, customers in other parts of the world will not automatically respond to products and services in the same way they do here in America.” Hosmer points out that foreign consumers may also be wary of an unknown brand. And an American company may be woefully ignorant of its major competitors in the new market. There are many points to consider, starting with these
questions:

  • Do you understand the unique characteristics of the target markets?
  • What local trade practices could determine your success and failure?
  • Are there trade barriers? What are they?
  • How will you get paid? What are the currency risks?

Click here for the full story: http://www.mworld.org/goingglobal

red dotAMA EXECUTIVE MEMBER BREAKFAST BRIEFINGS
SPRING 2002 SCHEDULE
Register now to attend the Briefing nearest you where you'll meet and network with colleagues and hear experts speak on timely business issues. Real-world examples will be a crucial part of these dynamic programs and each presentation will be followed by a question and answer session.

Continental breakfast will be served at 8:30 a.m. Presentations, including Q&A, will take place from 9:00—10:30 a.m.

Briefings are FREE to Executive Members.
$35 for Guests and non-members.

SCHEDULE

Anticipate the Upturn by Preparing to Grow Again
Speaker: Robert K. Tomasko
April 11, 2002, AMA Executive Conference Center—Washington, DC
Meeting #17125-001

Outrunning the Economy: Improving Your Company's P&L
Speaker: Lee Epstein
April 18, 2002, AMA Executive Conference Center—San Francisco
Meeting #17126-001

Change...Do You Have the Talent to Get to the Future?
Speaker: Charles H. Bishop, Jr.
April 18, 2002, AMA Executive Conference Center—Chicago
Meeting #17127-001

Why Strategies Fail, and How To Make Sure Yours Succeed
Speaker: Richard Treitel
April 19, 2002,AMA Executive Conference Center—New York
Meeting #17122-001

Managing Cash Flow for Survival and Growth
Speaker: Bernard Marino
May 23, 2002, AMA Executive Conference Center—Atlanta
Meeting #17128-001

To register, call 1-800-313-8650

red dotREWARD YOUR ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT DURING ADMINISTRATION PROFESSIONALS WEEK, APRIL 22-27!
AMA is running a variety of seminars specially designed for Administrative Professionals during Administrative Professionals Week, April 22-27. Sending your assistant is a great way to train and reward a valued employee.

For details on the courses (and on significant cost savings!)
call 1-800-262-9699.

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