December 26, 2006

Rebuild Your Company

Here in Toronto a local cable company (Rogers Cable) is previewing two new movie channels; AMC and TMC. Great channels if you love old movies, because they run them 7x24x365. Thanks to my PVR I stumbled onto a movie that connected with me in a business and technology way, so I thought I'd share.

The movie was
Tennessee Johnson, a 1942 film about the life of President Andrew Johnson. It turns out that this President Johnson was impeached, then acquitted by one vote. His enemies didn't like the fact that he was the only Southerner to stay with the US Government (the North) during the U.S. Civil War. But according to the movie, President Johnson's pardoning of the former Confederates to bring them back into the fold was the true reason for the impeachment. Personally I think that the pardoning was the right thing to do to make the nation whole again and get on with the rebuilding.

So, on to the business at hand. There are companies out there in dire need of someone like President Andrew Johnson. They need a person that's prepared to do the right thing (and suffer the consequences) to get the business back on track. Often in these organizations there's a cultish adherence to the notion that it and its products (the org's) are best...that the competitors and their products are morons.

Left unchecked, this transforms into strategic myopia and business denial. Their products, typically in the "me too" category are positioned as "best of breed". Innovation gets overused internally in in external communications. This attitude can quickly transform a companies of any size, in any industry...and I don't mean in a good way.

If you're reading this, and think this describes your organization, then make your top business resolution for 2007 to be more like President Johnson. And get started on a company rebuild project right away!

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