Newsletter – February, 2021

On My Mind
Jeff Bezos will step down as CEO of Amazon later this year and become the Executive Chair of Amazon. Andy Jassy—who now runs the very successful Amazon Web Services business for Amazon—will become the next CEO. It has been reported that Bezos will continue to play an important role in the company. Perhaps he will spend more time with his space company Blue Origin. It can’t be easy for a company to replace a legendary CEO. However, Apple in the post-Steve Jobs era and Microsoft in the post-Bill Gates era have done exceptionally well. GE in the post-Jack Welch era initially did well, but then faltered badly. GE appears to be making a comeback as of late.

Interesting Stories
There was a Yellow Pages book containing Business and Government listings delivered to my home recently and for some reason it made me pause and reflect. The book used to be such an invaluable resource for me and yet I probably hadn’t held one in my hands for several years. I asked myself the question: Is my business listed in the book? After a quick search of the book – No! I recall that my business used to be listed, but I’ve no idea when it disappeared from the book. I’m not even sure how to get a business listed in the book and—strangely—I don’t care. It will be interesting to see how long the book continues to be published. Apparently, enough people still derive value from it. Maybe I’m missing a marketing opportunity. Anyhow, I really enjoyed the trip down memory lane.

Company News
I recently became a member of the SouthWest Metro Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. My work with the Chamber has been very rewarding. I’ll be presenting on Big Data Techniques & Tools at the MN ASQ session the evening of February 9, 2021. You can visit the MN ASQ website to register. There are several upcoming public SIS events: the Advances in Strategic Planning webinar on February 26, 2021; the virtual Strategic Improvement Yellow Belt course on March 8 & 12, 2021; the Shaping Organizational Culture webinar on March 11, 2021; the virtual Multivariate Data Analysis short course on March 19, 2021; the Strategic Quality Management webinar on March 26, 2021; and the virtual Strategic Improvement Black Belt course which starts April 13, 2021. The brochures are available on the PUBLIC SEMINARS page of this website.

Intriguing Reads
I’ve been reading a lot of Artificial Intelligence (AI) material lately and the book Competing in the Age of AI: Strategy and Leadership When Algorithms and Networks Run the World by Marco Iansiti and Karim R. Lakhani is worth reading if you are interested in the subject. The two authors are from the Harvard Business School. I especially liked the following chapters: Chapter 3. The AI Factory; Chapter 6. Strategy for a New Age; Chapter 9. The New Meta; and Chapter 10. A Leadership Mandate. This is not the book for you if you want technical details on AI. However, if you want to learn about AI from a strategic (C-suite) perspective, then this is the book for you.