David Thodey, Telstra CEO, has $11bn burning a hole in his pocket. I am referring to the payment Telstra will receive from the government as its hands over it’s traditional business to the National Broadband Network Company. It’s a bit like a gigantic severance package – here’s $11bn for you to go and pursue other interests.
Unlike you or I who might be tempted to hang up our boots, buy a yacht and improve our golf handicap; David Thodey has a duty to his expectant shareholders. Corporations are notoriously bad at transforming themselves, even when the war chest is full.
Here are 8 lessons that I have learned from those that have been successful:
- Riding waves is better than making them.
- Plan to jump through open windows of opportunity.
- Manage the consequences, having “the right answer” is not enough.
- What got you here won’t get you there.
- Learn to reduce dependency on immunosuppressants.
- Double the estimated opportunity cost in acquisitions.
- Feed off a customer data warehouse and agile MIS (they do exist).
- Ultimately it’s all about relationships with customers and partners.