qr code reader library .net THE BIGGER THEY ARE, THE HARDER THEY ARE TO CHANGE in Software

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THE BIGGER THEY ARE, THE HARDER THEY ARE TO CHANGE
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A CEO Wakes Up
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It s fitting that I end this chapter with a positive bigcompany change story. It s also fitting that it be about PepsiCo, a company that I panned earlier in the chapter. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, PepsiCo was sold a bill of goods on the idea that it could reduce its income tax bills if it invested some of its huge cash flow from the soft drink and snack business into leasing companies, where the depreciation created by leasing large assets would create taxable losses for the corporation. It s the kind of thinking that big companies get talked into. PepsiCo purchased several leasing companies, including Chandler Leasing of Waltham, Massachusetts. Chandler specialized in leasing computer equipment, but it was given the go-ahead to lease other types of assets. Because the president of Chandler liked airplanes, the company created an aircraft leasing division. Flush with Pepsi cash and huge lines of credit from Pepsi s banks, it began to lease first small aircraft, then corporate planes, and then jumbo jets. Don Kendall, CEO of PepsiCo, came around for an annual review. My inside source reported that he was half asleep during the opening segment until the presentation showed the figures on how many aircraft the company owned and the millions of dollars of debt owed to the banks.
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Suddenly, Mr. Kendall s eyes popped wide open as he watched the amount of aircraft assets threaten to pass the amount of soft drink assets in another few years. But worst of all, the company could be on the hook for an enormous amount of money if things went bad. (Sounds like AIG.) That amount of debt could sink the company. It was probably at that moment that the CEO decided to change his corporate strategy and rid the company of aircraft leasing. It was back to soft drinks and snacks. Nicely done, Mr. Kendall.
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CHAPTER SIX
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WHEN NOT TO EVOLVE
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The simple answer is no. Growth just for the sake of growth can be a trap, as you ll see. Evolving just to keep up with the other guys can be a mistake. (Remember what your mom said when you told her, But everybody is doing it. ) Trying to be the latest or the nextgeneration something can kill your existing business. And about the worst thing you can do to yourself is fuzz up your identity, as this opens the door for a wellfocused, specialized competitor. Consider White Castle, the hamburger place that has been basically the same since the 1920s. The burger business has exploded around it, with other chains hurling themselves into grilled chicken and loaded baked potatoes and yogurt parfaits.
WHEN NOT TO EVOLVE
White Castle never changed its buildings and made only minor additions to its burgers-and-fries menu. Result: next to McDonald s, White Castle has the highest sales per unit in the category. Its ace in the hole It is privately owned and doesn t have to answer to Wall Street, a group that is nothing but trouble.
The Growth Trap
Those friendly folks from Wall Street often create an environment that encourages bad, sometimes irrevocable things to happen. In a way, they set up a greenhouse for trouble, and as with a greenhouse, what it s all about is encouraging things to grow. But this growth is not evolution to cope with change. It s more about the stock price. The well-known economist Milton Friedman put it perfectly when he said, We don t have a desperate need to grow. We have a desperate desire to grow. That desire for growth is at the heart of what can go wrong for many companies. Growth is the by-product of doing things right. But in itself, it is not a worthy goal. In fact, growth is the culprit behind impossible goals. CEOs pursue growth to ensure their tenures and to increase their take-home pay. Wall Street brokers pursue growth to ensure their reputations and to increase their take-home pay.
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