Protecting Value in the Customer Base
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.
Businesses come alive when I'm out with the customer and watching them interact with our products, says Thomson Reuters CEO Tom Glocer. So what else does this CEO do? Paraphrasing Albert Einstein, Glocer says he tries to make processes as simple as possible, but no simpler.
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