John Malmo

Commentary
7:32 am
Wed November 2, 2011

Decisiveness is Critical when Times are Tough

Khlda Rhmn fotolia.com

It’s too simple to say some business executives perform better than others.  Way too many factors determine a company’s success or failure than just the actions of the CEO.  Especially companies that have been around for a long time.

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Commentary
8:39 am
Wed October 26, 2011

WKNO: Among the Great Brand Names

One of the older WKNO logos.
WKNO

I talk a lot about brand names. Because a great brand name makes everything easier. 

We have great brand names in Memphis.  FedEx, although the company originally didn’t want people saying FedEx, is a great brand. Federal gave the brand credibility in its earliest days.  Auto Zone, though not the original name, is a strong brand. Better, I think, than the original, Auto Shack.  LifeBlood’s a classic. 

A great brand name you’ve probably never given a thought about is WKNO. Think about it.  Public broadcasting in America has been a fact since the early Twentieth Century.

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Commentary
8:16 am
Wed October 19, 2011

When Companies Grow Up

A FedEx Airbus A310-200 taxis for takeoff.
Adrian Pingstone WikiMedia Commons

Almost all companies start out doing one thing.  Terminix sold termite control.  Added pest control; now blows insulation.

Remember when Kraft meant cheese?  Now Kraft means everything from salad dressing to cigarettes.

FedEx, too, used to mean just one service: absolutely, positively overnight delivery service.  Now add trucking, office supplies, printing and I’m sure there’s more I don’t know about.

So now comes a new FedEx advertising campaign designed to "tell all the cool things we do to help people solve problems."

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Commentary
7:08 am
Wed October 12, 2011

Be a Mystery Shopper

@sculpies fotolia.com

There’s one thing that everybody in every company can do to help make the company successful: be a mystery shopper.  Test how easy it is to do business with your company.

A couple weeks ago I tried to make a reservation for a golf package on Alabama’s Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail.  I went to the web site and called the direct number for the hotel on a Saturday evening.  I was told to call back between nine and five on Sunday.  I tried another number on the web site and got an answering machine with an announcement that I needed an extension number to reach anybody.

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Commentary
7:49 am
Wed September 28, 2011

Great CEOs Mind the Details

Lou Gerstner resurrected IBM with no previous knowledge of IBM’s business. He proved that a lack of company, even category, experience can be overcome. Gerstner was the exception.

A CEO with the full body of knowledge about a company and its category has a huge leg up. CEOs who grow up in a company know the pressure points at every level. They know where each job fits in the total scheme. They know the industry. And that means they know the competition.

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