Why We Should Cheer for Michael Dell

Dell went private about a year ago. Not necessarily for all the right reasons, but it is a start. Dell faced needed time and space to make things happen and  WallStreet and its “90-day shot clock” looking for results sooner rather than later just wouldn’t allow that to happen. So, Dell snubbed WallStreet and with help from partners took the company private.

2000px-Dell_Logo.svgResults over past year (as reported by CNBC):

  • US shipments grew 19.7%
  • Paid down $1.3 billion in debt
  • Gained PC market share for 7 quarters in a row
  • Fastest YoY growth among peers

The short-term thinking competitors namely IBM and HP that are using the Wall Street playbook of splitting up, reorganizing and cutting costs have given ground to Dell. Dell is out of the crisis created by Wall Street thinking and generating new opportunities for new longer term thinking. Michael Dell said it best, “We now have the freedom and flexibility to focus %100 on our customers and partners.”

Wow! Building your business with a focus on customers and long-term thinking. W. Edwards Deming would be smiling.

Take heed Wall Street – Dell said that many of the things they have done private could have been done public, “but it would have taken longer.” What? You mean the 90-day shot-clock doesn’t promote fast movement. The answer of course is a resounding NO – it creates all the short-term thinking knee-jerk reactions and crisis.

Let’s hope other companies make this move. They can – using the guiding principles Dr. Deming left us.

Take a look at your organization as your customers see it – our 4-day workshop has been called “an awakening experience.” You will understand the customer view of your organization and take inventory of the assumptions, beliefs and perspectives that drive performance. Tripp Babbitt is a service design architect and organizational futurist. His company helps service organizations understand future trends, culture and customer. The 95 Method designs organizations to improve the comprehensive customer experience while improving culture and management effectiveness. Read his column at Quality Digest and his articles for PEX and CallCenterIQ. Reach him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/TriBabbitt or LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/trippbabbitt.

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