Kodak fades in the digital age…

Kodak Fades into the Sunset…

Today, a TECHMONDAY article in the Austin Statesman written by Ben Dobbin, Associated Press told his version how a 125 year old iconic company lost their vision. Here’s the link to the article:


…and here’s the last paragraph:

If you’re not willing to cannibalize yourself, others will do it for you,”
said Mark Zupan, dean of the University of Rochester’s business school.
Technology is changing ever more rapidly, the world’s becoming more
globalized, so to stay at the top of your game is getting increasing harder.”

As a business and life balance coach for a couple of dozen Austin senior executives, I could not agree more when he said the game is getting increasing harder. You are going at the speed of light, many of you are on a cone of a rocket and there’s just not enough time in the day to get it all right, is there?

Here’s 4 thought processes to ponder as you set yourself up for success in 2012.

1st. These are my four QBQ questions when I hear someone thinking or wanting to go in a new or different direction. Have you ever had a brainstorming session with your management team with the intent to put yourself out of business? I encourage you and your leadership team to ponder these questions the next time you do a SWOT analysis or have a strategically critical decision needing clarity:

Is it real?
Can we win?
Is it worth it?
At what costs?

What is your process/procedure when considering an acquisition, product extension or a new product launch, a new competitor is in town, additional geography, a new branch office, and the list goes on and on? What is your methodology to arrive at the right/correct decision? Considering adding or asking the above questions to yourself and your management team and dive deeper than you have ever gone before with what and how questions. If looking for an interesting read in drilling down to the QBQ. Read John G. Miller’s book The Question Behind the Question.

2nd. Patrick Lencioni summed it up in his book “Four Obsessions of an Extraordinary Executive” with:

Be cohesive
Be clear
Over Communicate

As the CEO, Owner or Team Leader:
• Building a cohesive leadership team is critical if not essential to the health and well being of your organization.
• Creating organizational clarity and which behavioral values are fundamental.
• Determine which messaging works internally as well as externally
• Hiring, managing performance, rewards, recognition and dismissals

Each of my members has placed this approach as one of their top priorities for 2012. We have dozens of position openings across my clients with many if not filled in Q1 will challenge and possibly prevent the company from delivering their 2012 Revenue & Profit Plan.

3rd. Over the holidays, I came away from reading “The Oz Principle” by Roger Connors and Tom Smith with:

See it
Own it
Solve it
Do it

Accountability starts at the top with a complete buy-in and developing alignment at all levels within your company will take time. Be your word to me means, say what you will do and then do what you said you were going to do. So, to me, seeing progress can become the most rewarding companywide behavioral change you will do in 2012.

4th and last. Entrepreneurs, business owners, presidents and CEO’s are facing the fastest changing landscape in modern time. Where can you turn to for help? Who has the silver bullet? Who can you trust? This link is from MP Mueller, who is the founder of Door Number 3, a boutique advertising agency in Austin, Texas. Her NY Times article is a “heart felt” sharing on what a peer advisory group now means to her. I believe we can make a difference. Take a leap of faith and reach out to me for a 90 minute evaluation on if you could benefit and qualify for selection into one of my CEO and senior executives advisory groups.

Ed Stillman spends the majority of his time working with business owners and CEOs who are focusing on growing their profitability greater than their competition. He is a central Texas business/life balance coach working with two dozen company executives that want to take themselves and their companies to the next level.

Ed Stillman

Published by edstillman

I grew up in Carlsbad, north San Diego County, lost my dad as a teenager, went into the USAF for four years and hired on with 3M in 1969. Received my AA from Santa Barbara City College, BA and Masters from Redlands University and after 33 plus years, I retired from 3M in 2002. As I look back on my life, I have been creating myself and developing my skill sets to be a business coach and a Vistage Chair. I am president of SEOT, a "personal improvement" consulting firm spending most of my time working with Central Texas executives running small to medium size for-profit companies who are focusing on improving their profitability greater than their competition. My area of interest is assisting senior executives in creating a better balance between business commitments and personal relationships. I also facilatate three leadership labs each consisting of a dozen owners, presidents and CEOs. We meet monthly both in a group setting as well as in a 1-to-1 coaching session. Our focus is to sharpen each others' skills in becoming better leaders, making better decisions and taking ourselves and companies to that next level. Who are we? My members are experienced top executives who recognize that they don’t have all the answers and who actively seek the company of successful peers—both to give and receive insights and ideas. My members mine the 200 plus years of chief executive experience that comes together in our monthly meetings and members are eager to offer their own experience and insights in the process. As a group, we spend our time exploring topics members can't discuss anywhere else. My members have many other places where they can engage in idle, "cocktail party" chatter. Our mission is to provide the setting for discussing the "undiscussable." Where or who can you go to for confidential, honest feedback to assist you in minimizing your personal "Worry List"?

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