Motorola Solutions' Brown Admits Company's Shortcomings, Promises Improvement
Greg Brown, chairman and CEO, of Motorola Solutions ($MSI) took the stage today to deliver a heart-felt speech to the 3,000 attendees of the Motorola Channel Partner Expo 2014 in Las Vegas. I found his candor to be particularly refreshing. All too often, CEOs get on stage and string together a variety of hollow platitudes intended to make everyone in the room feel warm and fuzzy. Brown took a more humble approach and focused on what Motorola could be doing better.
“I still feel like it’s too difficult to do business with us,” he said. “Our processes and layers of people sometimes get in the way.” He continued by explaining how the company has restructured some of its leadership to help in this regard, but admitted that there’s still work to be done.
He also said, apart from the year Motorola split into two companies, 2013 was the most challenging he’s experienced. He believes the company should have done better forecasting to avoid surprises. He also says that the company should have changed its organizational structure sooner. Finally, related to the organizational structure, is the need to cultivate the top 100 leaders within Motorola to strengthen the company. Brown focuses on this, but says he wants to see more happening so he’s dedicating additional time to this task.
In highlighting these areas which need improvement, Brown illustrated that he’s aware of the company’s weaknesses and reassured the crowd that improvements are on the way. Great stuff. I should note that it's not like Motorola has been unsuccessful lately. Brown really is talking about taking a company that already is a leader in many categories and making it even stronger.
On a related note, Brown also outlined what he feels are the keys to success for Motorola Solutions and to all the solutions providers in the room.
- Make sure your company is equipped to adapt to change. Do you have different thinking in the room to help make decisions?
- Do the “important,” not the “required.” Is your calendar filled with routine meetings and tasks or is it filled with items that are critical to your success?
- Follow the advice of business guru Jack Welch: Over-deliver.
- Hold the highest expectations of yourself.
- Keep everything in perspective, including your personal life.