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It’s one thing to come up with a great business idea; it’s quite another to change theface of the business world. Henry Ford, Apple, and Sears Roebuck are among thosetaking a bow.
THE NAME GAME
Deciding to call your business IBM rather than the Computing Tabulating &Recording Co. can make the difference between mere success and global acclaim.Naming a baby is hard; naming the company is often even more problematical.
A single marketing decision can change the shape and fortunes of a business. WitnessCoca-Cola’s decision to make its drink available to U.S. troops during wartime, ortheGrateful Dead’s decision to allow fans to tape concerts. Marketing brilliance comes inmany shapes and forms.
Intuition, gut feeling, instinct: Call it what you will, it plays a huge role in decisionmaking, even though you may not acknowledge it to the rest of the board. Forgetanalysis; back your gut.
LEADING BY EXAMPLE
Great decisions often have an ethical dimension, and they are all the greater for it.Nice guys often make the greatest decisions.
Decisive moments in business history have frequently produced new and imaginativesolutions to age-old organizational challenges. Whether it is the M-form, the virtualorganization, or the shamrock, organizational models change the business world and,sometimes, the entire world.
Career management is highly fashionable, but what are the decisions that can reallyinspire career moves? Machiavelli or bust?
There are more ways to leave your lover than to establish genuine competitiveadvantage. But some decisions have managed to do just that, keeping companiesahead of the game.
Innovation is the modern mantra. Amid the gray order of business life, bright ideasare often notable by theirabsence; but some have succeeded in splashing primarycolors onto the gray.
It’s all about people. Every business is a people business. The trouble is, amid thepaperwork, the deadlines, the hubhub, and the corporate politics, people are easilyforgotten.
THE HALL OF INFAMY
There is always a flip side. For every triumph, there are dozens, perhaps hundreds, of failures. We all fail, but some failures have been more memorable than others. TheHall of Infamy provides a timely reminder.