Friday, 8 October 2010

Heroes and sidekicks


Who could recall Batman without Robin? How could Shrek have conquered half of the world's hearts with no Donkey? Even Mr Incredible would have failed without Frozone.

Out from Disney’s or Dreamwork’s worlds, real life, and eventually business world has no standalone heroes without sidekicks: Bonnie and Clyde, Robin Hood and Little John, King Arthur and Lancelot… No Hewlett, no Packard; no Gates, no Ballmer…

On the contrary, villains usually operate in a standalone mode… The Joker, Lord Farquaad, Syndrome, Michael Dell…

Quite doubtful, by the way, about the lonely Ellison… that could be the exception of the rule. Maybe age has softened him a bit (despite such a big mouth) and looks for his sidekick in his dear friend Mark. Still wondering though about who the latter is sidekick to; might make his mind up after a nice seafood dinner…

So… we got this nice couple stepping up: Léo and Ray…

Tough choice to make at this moment, who the hero is, and who the sidekick is. Theoretically, one would think that an exec would play the main role, and a non-exec would stay in the backstage providing sidekick support… but still, it could be the reverse, having Mr-Backstage-Nice-Guy behind the steering wheel, while the exec limits himself to the actual execution of Mr-Nice-Guy’s higher-level strategy.

Ambiguous enough, we have an Apotheker (that’s German for “pharmacist”) that might have the magic potion that his new company needs urgently… and we have what someone called the a Ray of sunshine to shed the light his new company urgently needs too.

Light or potion? Light to prepare the right potion, or the appropriate potion to enlighten around?

We think that after the recent experiences with CEOs that HP has had, this time they’d better try to position themselves in the right lane and race fast as light rays before the oracle’s rage strikes hurder.

Back to ruling SAP, Léo?


One of the good things about numbers is that they may tell you more than what they seem… and though interpretation might as well vary, readers can be really wise when drawing conclusions…;range=20101001,20101007;compare=sap;indicator=volume;charttype=line;crosshair=on;ohlcvalues=0;logscale=on;source=undefined

Observe carefully the trend since we started to hear rumors about a sound wedding between (h)ardware and (s)oftware, with curious initials…

Silicon Valley might be great for living there… but maybe someone’s mind is homeward bound, Léo?

Now, wait a minute!


We start to see around some claims about HP employees’ morale reaching new lows…

Well, though the sample is quite limited so far in terms of the number of employees that have responded to the “request for feedback”, as well there is a significant time constraint: Léo Apotheker has not yet formally started in his new job.

It seems to us pretty unfair to even dare to publish verbatim the feedback of just a couple of individuals.

This is not meaning that these two chaps are not right in the long run… just that it is too risky an assertion to have it as the basis for a conclusion that is highlighted in the headline.

We know of people who have known of much better days at HP years ago. We do as well. And though the reasons for the changes within the HP world can be thoroughly and passionately discussed, we believe any single employee from this relevant company should consider several things before just letting the first feelings that pop up in their minds reach the email of a journalist that just needs to fill up his words’ quota.

Of course this about letting time pass, and judge after having had some perspective. At the same time, newcomers should be allowed the time to start and show what their plans are.

But probably the most important thing is that employees themselves should try to avoid this feeling of “over-protection” they sometimes too much seem to expect from the company they work for. Even if this was a feeling that came as a consequence of former Management’s attitude and manners. Even if “employee-protection” was a motto in the past, this does not really entitle anybody to assume that the company he or she works for is really obliged to the employee beyond a certain limit. It is the responsibility of that employee to care for himself. As much as he would not allow the company to tell him or her what to do with his salary once he or she has earned it, right?

And while they let newcomers develop their plans, and while time provides a better judgment, it is the employees obligation to support his company as much as he or she is able to precisely to make sure that the company will later provide for him.

Sounds too Kennedy-an, doesn’t it? “It’s not what your country can do for you…”, some veterans might recall…

Well, that might very well be the problem of our times… people in the basis of families, companies, or any other organization, that just limit themselves to milk a cow they think they have been born with the right to milk.

Once these guys do this… then they will earn the right to say whatever they feel like about managers, companies and even the rest of the world.