Tom Glocer is chief executive officer of Thomson Reuters, a leading global source of intelligent information for businesses and decision makers in the financial, legal, tax and accounting, scientific, healthcare and media markets.
Glocer joined Reuters Group in 1993 as vice president and deputy counsel of Reuters America and has held a number of senior leadership positions at Reuters, including President of Reuters LatAm and Reuters America, before being named CEO of Reuters Group PLC in July 2001.
Glocer is on the board of Merck & Co., Inc., and serves as a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the International Business Council of the World Economic Forum, the International Advisory Board of British American Business Inc., and various other corporate and philanthropic organizations. Glocer holds a bachelor's degree in political science from Columbia University and a J.D. from Yale Law School. You can read his blog at www.tomglocer.com.
Companies have a tendency to look inwards during recession. You've got a million efficiency efforts going on, largely cost-driven. I think it's the worst mistake companies can make.
What I'm doing is trying to, number one, lead by example. I spend a lot of time out with all of our customers because fundamentally I find their businesses really interesting.
I don't kid myself to believe that I'm doing proper customer research.
Businesses come alive for me when I'm out with the customers, when I see how they interact with products and services we provide, and when I am with the frontline staffs all around the world within Thomson Reuters.
What I am trying to do internally is to streamline as much as possible all of the worthy internal projects that are there. I'm constantly asking the question, if there is a meeting and people are sending out a fifty-page slide pack, why not a ten page, why do you need it at all? If there is pre-reading and there are three articles that would be brilliant for some offsite, how about just one? The knock-on effect in the big company of de-layering, and having everybody ask the question, "Can I make this simple as possible, but no simpler," to steal a favorite Einstein line, I think that's especially powerful when you're going through a difficult period and your customers really need you and need your help.
I try and learn also from other people's mistakes by just watching and talking to them.