Thursday, February 01, 2007

Michael CEO @ Dell again

Michael returning to the helm is possibly the best chance for a Dell comeback, what is needed is a human face to the business and Michael has the potential to achieve that. In today’s market it’s become far more important to have customer empathy and an image of understanding that is founded on real customer experience. I know from my own experience as a Dell customer that great strides have been made on the delivery of the service and the Direct2Dell blog is a great example of what I mean by developing customer empathy.

As an ex Dell executive I had the pleasure of meeting both Kevin and Michael on a few occasions and I believe that the right leadership boils down to personality. Kevin’s obvious, abundant intellect and organisational skills were brilliant and behind the successful scaling of Dell’s business, whilst leveraging operational costs to the nth degree. But I am sorry to say I never found him inspiring or compassionate, two essential ingredients for leadership. On the other hand I found that Michael exuded these qualities and for such a seriously rich guy – he was far more “human”. My guess is he really appreciated Kevin’s skills and track record as COO and assumed that was what was the magic ingredient needed to lead the business. Now the processes and organisation are fundamentally in place it’ll be down to Michael to add the necessary humanity to win the hearts of his customers. The moral has to be “You can’t buy customers goodwill you have to win it by building their trust.”

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