Learn How To Focus On The Right Things From HP’s Real Story

20 November 2022

[Video Transcript]  

Focus On The Right Things

Insights from 'Measure What Matters' by John Doerr

Businesses must continually do the right things and do them brilliantly.

Sounds simple, right?

But consider companies like Blockbuster, Polaroid, Toys R Us, and Pan Am.

All these brands chased the wrong corporate goals and failed.

Here’s what happened.

Customers changed.

Markets changed.

Technologies changed.

Brands must change, too.

But for these brands, change came too little, too late.

Leaders must monitor, measure, and manage the brand’s competitive position and focus on making the right strategic choices.

The focus is on the right choice for the brand.

Take Hewlett Packard as an example.

For long, it was a technology giant that was wholly focused on developing its military equipment business.

It poured its efforts into ensuring it was the US Government’s preferred military equipment supplier.

But then, defense spendings was cut in the 70s, and HP were a major casualty.

Here’s what had gone wrong.

It was focusing on the wrong things whilst failing to spot the big opportunities on the commercial horizon, like personal computers boom that began in the early 1980s.

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In the case of HP, the management confused their tunnel vision towards military equipment with focus.

Fortunately, for HP, it learned from the pain and rose like the proverbial phoenix.

It gained a foothold in the PC market and an even more sustainable foothold in the peripherals market with innovation, quality and precision.

This is why Doerr stresses on having the right objective.

Make sure you do the right things. That is, set the right priorities and do them the right way.

Of course, to achieve this, leaders often must make brave choices.

It isn’t always possible for a business to do everything it needs to and wants to at the same time.

But Doerr can help you prioritize your choices with precision, as you’ll see in the next video.

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