A: “Communication and Honesty”

This paragraph was at the very end of an interview with Antonio Perez, CEO of Eastman Kodak on page 46 of the January 16th issue of Newsweek.

What lessons can you share about running a company whose core business goes into irreversible decline?
Communications and honesty. I get a lot of people coming into my office to say goodbye because they are losing their job with Kodak. And they say, “I think what you are doing is the right thing.” It’s very hard in a lot of ways. But if you do it with honesty and a lot of communication, if you are generous — and we have been — that’s all you can do. There’s an enormous capability to understanding by any human being if you talk to and listen to the person. But so far I feel very happy with the reaction of every single employee of Kodak. These are not easy times.

I’m putting this in the “Clayton Christensen” category (perhaps I should rename the category?) not because it is something Christensen would say, but rather something that is in line with his model of addressing disruptive innovations.

Are academic libraries in an “irreversible decline”? Irreversible goes too far — we have not yet seen the precipitous drop in use like Kodak has seen in its analog film line of business — but our patrons seem to be using our traditional services less and less. So I wonder if the CEO of Kodak has anything to teach us…

The text was modified to update a link from /category/christensen to http://dltj.org/category/christensen/ on September 26th, 2013.

(This post was updated on 26-Sep-2013.)