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February 10, 2009



Awesome post, where is the Darn DIGG button when you need it!

Johnny Chan

Thanks Big Guy. I'm in the process of reworking the functionality of BoostStrapping. Stay tuned.

Pearl DSa

Interesting article and I completely agree with you that companies, more importantly known brands, should invest in brand reassurance for the sake of customer loyalty. It's coincidental that we were discussing the Starbucks case in class earlier this week, and I mentioned this very same point (so the reason behind this post is that I'm happy someone else thinks so too!). Hyundai is doing a great job of keeping the image going, and I just saw an ad from Honda saying how they are still able to lease even in these harsh economic times. Impressive strategic move..

Although the 3-box framework is ideological, I somehow can't totally agree with Box 2 - I'd look at it as more like "Learn holistically from the Past", rather than (even selectively) forgetting it completely. Bad choices are also part of making healthy ones, where you actually end up appreciating the good ones even more. Sometimes we need our past [mistakes] to also remind us of how best to "manage the present," take steps to circumvent the more obvious ones while dodging the not-so-obvious holes, and thus being able to successfully "create the future". Of course (and I agree with Micha here) that in current economic times, it would be encouraging to "forget" the past and not dwell on failures so much that you lose focus for the future.

Just my thoughts..

Johnny Chan

Pearl, thanks for your input. As an interested student of linguistics, I like where you're coming from.

I'd agree that for many organizations, "learn holistically from the past" would be proper. If tools are appropriate to time, space, and place, then language is too. To that, I'd point out the framework was originated by Professor Govindarajan for GE as part of its Leadership, Innovation, and Growth (LIG) initiative. It's been difficult for Immelt to shake the acquisitions mentality - so much in the organizational DNA of GE - that rose GE to prominence in the Welch era. The purpose of LIG is to support Immelt's priority of growing GE by focusing more on expanding businesses and creating new ones rather than on making acquisitions. Hence, "forget the past".

In summary, for start-ups or entrepreneurial companies, I'd encourage "learn holistically from the past". For companies with established histories seeking to change and/or heading change management initiatives, I'd stick with "forget the past".

I'd encourage you to read the piece in HBR (linked in the original post) since it discusses how GE teaches teams to lead change. Great read!


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Great job here. I really enjoyed what you had to say. Keep going because you definitely bring a new voice to this subject. Not many people would say what you’ve said and still make it interesting. Well, at least I’m interested. Cant wait to see more of this from you.

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