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BMC turnaround a lesson in corporate leadership

Rob Enderle | Oct. 20, 2014
Company turnarounds are a big part of what I cover. There's clearly a process that seems to work far better than others. Based on what I saw at BMC Engage, the first BMC conference this decade, and have learned over the last year of executive meetings, Bob Beauchamp and his team have done an impressive job. If it weren't for the fact that BMC plans to go public again – I can hear Michael Dell in my head, screaming, "Don't do it!" – I could easily say this turnaround is complete.

EMC had a similar position, and Jim Bampos did amazing things for customer loyalty, retention and advocacy all critical to EMC's continued success. This is a new job at BMC, but it's part of a larger trend in many industries (though not yet in technology), complete with a Chief Customer Officer Council and advocates for the job to not just report to the CEO but be a board-level positon as well. In effect, the CCO truly makes customer satisfaction, loyalty and advocacy every executives' job. Avenant could be the most important executive in BMC after its CEO.  

It's Time to Make the Right Choices

Clearly, there are other parts to a turnaround, from creating a strong command-and-control structure to making sure you actually have viable vision tied to potentially successful strategy. In BMC's case, though, the elements I've listed here stand out. (The same was true with Apple, where Jobs himself was the Chief Customer Officer.)

Let's look at this way: Dr. A really cares for patients and Dr. B does well selling patient organs to other people. As a patient, you'd pick Dr. A. As an investor, though, you might pick Dr. B. This would create a whole class of practices selling organs, as behavior often follows the money. Suddenly, your odds as a patient of getting Dr. B would go up exponentially.

CEOs who mistreat their people or bleed their companies and customers set an example for the CEOs who run the firms we work for and that work for us. It's in our best interest to support behavior that's nurturing in who we work for, invest in and buy from. Put a different way, we should favor firms that prioritize the quality of the job and our satisfaction over firms overly interested in milking us and their companies for perks and money.

I walked away realizing BMC is a new company with an old brand, one that showcases how a firm should be run along with an impressive enterprise software product portfolio. It's an excellent example of how to turn a company around.


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