Now serving as chairman of Perot Systems’ consulting practice, Champy is recognized throughout the world for his work on leadership and management issues and on organizational change and business reengineering. He is the author of several books that include Reengineering the Corporation co-authored with Michael Hammer, Reengineering Management, The Arc of Ambition co-authored with Nitin Nohria, Fast Forward, and then the first two volumes in a new series, OUTSMART! and INSPIRE! At Perot Systems, Champy provides strategic guidance to the company’s team of business and management consultants and plays a pivotal role in furthering the firm’s goal to create an approach to services design and delivery unlike any in the industry. He consults extensively with senior executives of multinational companies seeking to improve business performance. His approach centers on helping leaders achieve business results through four distinct, yet overlapping areas—business strategy, management and operations, organizational development and change, and information technology
Here is a brief excerpt from my interview of Champy. The complete interview is also available.
Morris: An economy such as the current one seems to create both unusual perils and unusual opportunities. Two separate but related questions. Which peril do you consider to be the most serious? Which opportunity excites you most?
Champy: It is a time of both challenge and opportunity. I worry most about the actions of government and whether government actions will, inadvertently, dampen the entrepreneurial spirit in this country. We are a great capitalist society, that works most of the time. We do need to take better care of our people and fix the access, cost, and quality of healthcare. But we need to act intelligently. We needed the intervention of government to keep the economy from falling into an abyss, but we must now encourage the creation of business – not burden it.
Even during these times, there is great opportunity – especially for young companies that invent new ways of doing things. We are going to see new, dramatically lower price points for products and services in many industries – just think about information and software and what’s available free today. There is opportunity here for companies that are not burdened with high costs and old operating models.
Morris: In your opinion, what is the one issue that most business leaders do not take into full account when making decisions?
Champy: Most business leaders don’t consider their own causality in the creation of problems. They fail to see that their company could have avoided breakdowns if they had acted differently. We tend to see problems as having been created by someone else or by the “economy”. It’s good to be a little introspective from time to time. Think about how your own behavior might have gotten your company into a problem, and how it may help to get you out.
Morris: Looking ahead (let’s say) 3-5 years, what do you think will be the greatest challenge that business leaders will face and most somehow overcome?
Champy: In 3-5 years, most companies will need to have a global operating model – even if you only sell locally. Even mid-sized companies will source globally. Knowing how to operate in this environment will be critical. We need to train managers and leaders to become citizens of the world.
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If you wish to read the complete interview, please contact me at email@example.com.
To learn more about Jim Champy, please visit www.jimchampy.com.