Sunday, May 6, 2012

Leadership: Carl Bass, Autodesk

A truly inspiring, and enlightening interview by Adam Bryant of NYTimes with the CEO of Autodesk Carl Bass...
Quotable Excerpts, and the lessons to be learnt/remembered:

Why big companies take time to change:
And the analogy for me is that a small company’s a ball-peen hammer; you can move it back and forth really quickly. Big companies are more sledgehammers. It takes a lot to move them, but when you do you can actually have a big impact.
On the importance of being crystal clear, not every time but sometime very clear:

I think there are other times when you’re expected to be very clear.

Setting the stage for meetings, and decision making process:

We’re very clear at the beginning of every meeting whether it’s one person’s decision, or whether it’s more of a discussion to reach consensus.
The next one is particularly insightful, and is an eye opener for me. "Effect" will lag the "Cause" is one way to understand it but of course Carl Bass uses a very unique & apt analogy - that of light reaching to us from the stars:

This is my current fascination: it’s this whole idea about keeping companies entrepreneurial and innovative and cutting-edge. The thing that I worry about a lot is how companies measure themselves. The analogy is that you can see light from a star that burned out a long time ago — it’s 100 light years away, and three years ago that star died.
The same thing is true in companies. We measure ourselves around revenue and profits and financial metrics that perform long after a spark is gone. You have this funny feedback mechanism in which you’re getting the results from something that happened a while ago.

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