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Grove reveals his strategy of focusing on a new way of measuring the nightmare moment every leader dreads -- when massive change occurs and a company must, virtually overnight, adapt or fall by the wayside.
For two little mice, they weren't surprised and knew instinctively what to do. At some level, the mice did not clever enough to over analyze things, which lead to a situation that the problem and the answer were both simple. Therefore, they looked out into the maze to find New Cheese.
I have no clue either, and I still remember that I have to be me all the time.
Andrew Stephen 'Andy' Grove (born András István Gróf; 2 September 1936 –
21 March 2016) was a Hungarian-born American businessman, engineer,
author and a pioneer in the semiconductor industry. He escaped from
Communist-controlled Hungary at the age of 20 and moved to the United
States where he finished his education. He was one of the founders and
the CEO of Intel, helping transform the company into the world's largest
manufacturer of semiconductors.
As a result of his work at Intel, along with his books and professional articles, Grove had a considerable influence on electronics manufacturing industries worldwide. He has been called the "guy who drove the growth phase" of Silicon Valley. In 1997, Time magazine chose him as "Man of the Year", for being "the person most responsible for the amazing growth in the power and the innovative potential of microchips." One source notes that by his accomplishments at Intel alone, he "merits a place alongside the great business leaders of the 20th century."
What should I do if such a thing happened to me? As for me, my job is my cheese. I think I should learn from the two mice——Sniff and Scurry, who decided to run through the maze in search of another new cheese when they found the situation had changed. In face of change, it is wise to meet the challenge and get starting to find new cheese. There is always another way God takes care of us.
Well, somehow they loved each other. That was beautiful. However people always don’t know how they can keep that way the way it used to be like time backwards. Things change like people change, they go with the flow, coasting as we usually say. They try to change the counterpart to be their own model but is it better to keep it still or being friendship in the other way around?
|in vivo||The first represents a kind of in vivo lesson about managing change|
|in vitro||the second, its in vitro counterpart|
|moat||But every day, technology narrows that moat inch by inch|
|mammoth||companies we used to consider mammoth and gigantic compared to us just a few years ago|
|gingerly||turbulent rapids that even professional rafters approach gingerly|
|tsunami||There’s wind and then there’s a typhoon, there are waves and then there’s a tsunami|
|equilibrium||Eventually, a new equilibrium in the industry will be reached|
Until one unusual morning, they found no cheese at Station C. The mice and little people presented different response.
作者：Andrew S. Grove
发行时间：May 5th 二〇〇九 by Crown Business (first published April 1st 一九八七)
来源：下载的 epub 版本
I’m often credited with the motto, “Only the paranoid survive.” I have no idea when I first said this, but the fact remains that, when it comes to business, I believe in the value of paranoia. Business success contains the seeds of its own destruction.
全书围绕作者提议的「计策转折点（strategic inflection points）」那些定义实行，作者认为小编这么随意的用一本书去演讲这一个其实却非那么困难的定义，真的是有一点点杀鸡用牛刀，可是以为那几个定义并从未在后来得到丰富的影响力，作者觉着那几个定义被新兴的「破坏性立异」取代了
If we can't change everything. Might be we can change ourselves attitude and accept that change. Finally you realized everything will getting better than before.
But in capitalist reality, as distinguished from its textbook picture,
it is not (price) competition which counts but the competition from the
new commodity, the new technology, the source of supply, the new type of
organization … competition which … strikes not at the margins … of the
existing firms but at their foundations and their very lives.
—Joseph A. Schumpeter,
Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy, 1942
Sooner or later something fundamental in your business world will change.
I’m often credited with the motto, “Only the paranoid survive.” I have no idea when I first said this, but the fact remains that, when it comes to business, I believe in the value of paranoia. Business success contains the seeds of its own destruction. The more successful you are, the more people want a chunk of your business and then another chunk and then another until there is nothing left. I believe that the prime responsibility of a manager is to guard constantly against other people’s attacks and to inculcate this guardian attitude in the people under his or her management.
The things I tend to be paranoid about vary. I worry about products
getting screwed up, and I worry about products getting introduced
prematurely. I worry about factories not performing well, and I worry
about having too many factories. I worry about hiring the right people,
and I worry about morale slacking off.
And, of course, I worry about competitors. I worry about other people figuring out how to do what we do better or cheaper, and displacing us with our customers.
But these worries pale in comparison to how I feel about what I call strategic inflection points.
I’ll describe what a strategic inflection point is a bit later in this book. For now, let me just say that a strategic inflection point is a time in the life of a business when its fundamentals are about to change. That change can mean an opportunity to rise to new heights. But it may just as likely signal the beginning of the end.
Strategie inflection points can be caused by technological change but they are more than technological change. They can be caused by competitors but they are more than just competition. They are full-scale changes in the way business is conducted, so that simply adopting new technology or fighting the competition as you used to may be insufficient. They build up force so insidiously that you may have a hard time even putting a finger on what has changed, yet you know that something has.
Let’s not mince words: A strategic inflection point can be deadly when unattended to. Companies that begin a decline as a result of its changes rarely recover their previous greatness.
We live in an age in which the pace of technological change is pulsating ever faster, causing waves that spread outward toward all industries. This increased rate of change will have an impact on you, no matter what you do for a living. It will bring new competition from new ways of doing things, from corners that you don’t expect.
The sad news is, nobody owes you a career. Your career is literally your business. You own it as a sole proprietor. You have one employee: yourself. You are in competition with millions of similar businesses: millions of other employees all over the world. You need to accept ownership of your career, your skills and the timing of your moves. It is your responsibility to protect this personal business of yours from harm and to position it to benefit from the changes in the environment. Nobody else can do that for you.
I teach a class strategic management at Stanford University’s business
school as a part-time departure from my job as president and CEO of
Intel Corporation. The way my co-teacher, Professor Robert Burgelman,
and I normally grade the students is to go through the class roster
right after each session and assess each student’s class performance
while it is still fresh in our memories.
The process was taking a little longer than usual on the morning of November 22, 1994, the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, and I was about to excuse myself to call my office when the phone rang. It was my office calling me. Our head of communications wanted to talk to me—urgently. She wanted to let me know that a CNN crew was coming to Intel. They had heard of the floating point flaw in the Pentium processor and the story was about to blow up.
I have to backtrack here. First, a word about Intel. Intel in 1994 was a $10 billion-plus producer of computer chips, the largest in the world. We were twenty-six years old and in that period of time we had pioneered two of the most important building blocks of modern technology, memory chips and microprocessors. In 1994, most of our business revolved around microprocessors and it revolved very well indeed. We were very profitable, growing at around 30 percent per year.
Nineteen ninety-four was a very special year for us in another way. It was the year in which we were ramping our latest-generation microprocessor, the Pentium processor, into full-scale production. This was a very major undertaking involving hundreds of our direct customers, i.e., computer manufacturers, some of whom enthusiastically endorsed the new technology and some of whom didn’t. We were fully committed to it, so we were heavily advertising the product to get the attention of computer buyers. Internally, we geared up manufacturing plants at four different sites around the world. This project was called “Job 1” so all our employees knew where our priorities lay.
In the context of all this, a troubling event happened. Several weeks earlier, some of our employees had found a string of comments on the Internet forum where people interested in Intel products congregate. The comments were under headings like, “Bug in the Pentium FPU.” (FPU stands for floating point unit, the part of the chip that does the heavy-duty math.) They were triggered by the observation of a math professor that something wasn’t quite right with the mathematical capabilities of the Pentium chip. This professor reported that he had encountered a division error while studying some complex math problems.
We were already familiar with this problem, having encountered it several months earlier. It was due to a minor design error on the chip, which caused a rounding error in division once every nine billion times. At first, we were very concerned about this, so we mounted a major study to try to understand what once every nine billion divisions would mean. We found the results reassuring. For instance, they meant that an average spreadsheet user would run into the problem only once every 27,000 years of spreadsheet use. This is a long time, much longer than it would take for other types of problems which are always encountered in semiconductors to trip up a chip. So while we created and tested ways to correct the defect, we went about our business.
Meanwhile, this Internet discussion came to the attention of the trade press and was described thoroughly and accurately in afront-page article in one of the trade weeklies. The next week it was picked up as a smaller item in other trade papers. And that seemed to be it. That is, until that Tuesday morning before Thanksgiving.
That’s when CNN showed up wanting to talk to us, and they seemed all fired up. The producer had opened his preliminary discussion with our public relations people in an aggressive and accusatory tone. As I listened to our head of communications on the phone, it didn’t sound good. I picked up my papers and headed back to the office. In fact, it wasn’t good. CNN produced a very unpleasant piece, which aired the next day.
In the days after that, every major newspaper started reporting on the story with headlines ranging from “Flaw Undermines Accuracy of Pentium Chips” to “The Pentium Proposition: To Buy or Not to Buy.” Television reporters camped outside our headquarters. The Internet message traffic skyrocketed. It seemed that everyone in the United States keyed into this, followed shortly by countries around the world.
Users started to call us asking for replacement chips. Our replacement policy was based on our assessment of the problem. People whose use pattern suggested that they might do a lot of divisions got their chips replaced. Other users we tried to reassure by walking them through our studies and our analyses, offering to send them a white paper that we wrote on this subject. After the first week or so, this dual approach seemed to be working reasonably well. The daily call volumes were decreasing, we were gearing up to refine our replacement procedures and, although the press was still pillorying us, all tangible indicators—from computer sales to replacement requests—showed that we were managing to work our way through this problem.
Then came Monday, December 12. I walked into my office at eight o’clock that morning and in the little clip where my assistant leaves phone messages there was a folded computer printout. Itwas a wire service report. And as often happens with breaking news it consisted only of the title. It said something to this effect: IBM stops shipments of all Pentium-based computers.
All hell broke loose again. IBM’s action was significant because, well, they are IBM. Although in recent years IBM has not been the power they once were in the PC business, they did originate the “IBM PC” and by choosing to base it on Intel’s technology, they made Intel’s microprocessors preeminent. For most of the thirteen years since the PC’s inception, IBM has been the most important player in the industry. So their action got a lot of attention.
The phones started ringing furiously from all quarters. The call volume to our hotline skyrocketed. Our other customers wanted to know what was going on. And their tone, which had been quite constructive the week before, became confused and anxious. We were back on the defensive again in a major way.
A lot of the people involved in handling this stuff had only joined Intel in the last ten years or so, during which time our business had grown steadily. Their experience had been that working hard, putting one foot in front of the other, was what it took to get a good outcome. Now, all of a sudden, instead of predictable success, nothing was predictable. Our people, while they were busting their butts, were also perturbed and even scared.
And there was another dimension to this problem. It didn’t stop at the doors of Intel. When they went home, our employees had to face their friends and their families, who gave them strange looks, sort of accusing, sort of wondering, sort of like, “What are you all doing? I saw such and such on TV and they said your company is greedy and arrogant.” Our employees were used to hearing nothing but positive remarks when they said that they worked at Intel. Now they were hearing deprecating jokes like, “What do you get when you cross a mathematician with a Pentium? A mad scientist.” And you couldn’t get away from it. At every family dinner, at every holiday party, this was the subject of discussion. This change was hard on them, and it scarcely helped their spirits when they had to go back the next morning to answer telephone hotlines, turn production lines on their heads and the like.
I wasn’t having a wonderful time either. I’ve been around this industry for thirty years and at Intel since its inception, and I have survived some very difficult business situations, but this was different. It was much harsher than the others. In fact, it was unlike any of the others at every step. It was unfamiliar and rough territory. I worked hard during the day but when I headed home I got instantly depressed. I felt we were under siege—under unrelenting bombardment. Why was this happening?!
Conference room 528, which is located twenty feet from my office, became the Intel war room. The oval table there is meant to seat about twelve people, but at several times each day more than thirty people were jammed in the room, sitting on the credenza, standing against the wall, coming and going, bringing missives from the front and leaving to execute agreed-upon courses of action.
After a number of days of struggling against the tide of public opinion, of dealing with the phone calls and the abusive editorials, it became clear that we had to make a major change.
The next Monday, December 19, we changed our policy completely. We decided to replace anybody’s part who wanted it replaced, whether they were doing statistical analysis or playing computer games. This was no minor decision. We had shipped millions of these chips by now and none of us could even guess how many of them would come back—maybe just a few, or maybe all of them.
In a matter of days, we built up a major organization practically from scratch to answer the flood of phone calls. We had not been in the consumer business in any big way before, so dealing with consumer questions was not something we had ever had to do.Now, suddenly, we did from one day to another and on a fairly major scale. Our staffing first came from volunteers, from people who worked in different areas of Intel—designers, marketing people, software engineers. They all dropped what they were doing, sat at makeshift desks, answered phones and took down names and addresses. We began to systematically oversee the business of replacing people’s chips by the hundreds of thousands. We developed a logistics system to track these hundreds of thousands of chips coming and going. We created a service network to handle the physical replacement for people who didn’t want to do it themselves.
Back in the summer when we had first found the floating point flaw, we had corrected the chip design, checked it out very thoroughly to make sure the change didn’t produce any new problems, and had already started to phase the corrected version into manufacturing by the time these events took place. We now accelerated this conversion by canceling the usual Christmas shutdown in our factories, and speeded things up even further by pulling the old material off the line and junking it all.
Ultimately, we took a huge write-off—to the tune of $475 million. The write-off consisted of the estimates of the replacement parts plus the value of the materials we pulled off the line. It was the equivalent of half a year’s R&D budget or five years’ worth of the Pentium processor’s advertising spending.
And we embarked on a whole new way of doing business.
In the three months following the Pentium floating point incident,
Microsoft’s new operating system, Windows 95, was delayed; Apple delayed
the release of their new software, Copland; long-standing bugs in both
the Windows calculator and Word for Macintosh were highlighted with
substantial publicity in trade newspapers; and difficulties associated
with Disney’s Lion King CD-ROM game and Intuit’s tax programs all became
subjects of daily newspaper coverage. Something changed, not just for
Intel but for others in the high-tech business as well.
I don’t think this kind of change is a high-tech phenomenon. Examples from industries of all different kinds stare at me from daily newspapers. All the turbulent actions of investments, takeovers and write-offs in the media and telecommunications companies, as well as in banking and healthcare, seem to point to industries in which “something has changed.” Technology has something to do with most of these changes only because technology gives companies in each of these industries the power to alter the order around them.
If you work in one of these industries and you are in middle management, you may very well sense the shifting winds on your face before the company as a whole and sometimes before your senior management does. Middle managers—especially those who deal with the outside world, like people in sales—are often the first to realize that what worked before doesn’t quite work anymore; that the rules are changing. They usually don’t have an easy time explaining it to senior management, so the senior management in a company is sometimes late to realize that the world is changing on them—and the leader is often the last of all to know.
Here’s an example: I recently listened to evaluations of a certain highly touted new software from a company whose other products we already use. Our head of Information Technology told of unanticipated obstacles we were running into by trying to adopt this new software and therefore said that she was inclined to wait until the following generation of software was ready. Our marketing manager had heard of the same situation at other companies as well.
I called up the software company’s CEO to tell him what I was hearing and asked, “Are you considering changing your strategy and going directly to the new generation?” He said, “No way.” They were going to stay the course, they had heard of no one having any problems with their strategy.
When I reported this to the individuals who brought me the news, our IT manager said, “Well, that guy is always the last to know.” He, like most CEOs, is in the center of a fortified palace, and news from the outside has to percolate through layers of people from the periphery where the action is. Our IT manager isthe periphery. Our marketing manager also experiences the skirmishes there.
I was one of the last to understand the implications of the Pentium crisis. It took a barrage of relentless criticism to make me realize that something had changed—and that we needed to adapt to the new environment. We could change our ways and embrace the fact that we had become a household name and a consumer giant, or we could keep our old ways and not only miss an opportunity to nurture new customer relationships but also suffer damage to our corporate reputation and well-being.
The lesson is, we all need to expose ourselves to the winds of change. We need to expose ourselves to our customers, both the ones who are staying with us as well as those that we may lose by sticking to the past. We need to expose ourselves to lower-level employees, who, when encouraged, will tell us a lot that we need to know. We must invite comments even from people whose job it is to constantly evaluate and critique us, such as journalists and members of the financial community. Turn the tables and ask them some questions: about competitors, trends in the industry and what they think we should be most concerned with. As we throw ourselves into raw action, our senses and instincts will rapidly be honed again.
What is an inflection point? Mathematically, we encounter an inflection point when the rate of change of the slope of the curve (referred to as its “second derivative”) changes sign, for instance, going from negative to positive. In physical terms, it’s where a curve changes from convex to concave, or vice versa. As shown in the diagram, it’s the point at which a curve stops curving one way and starts curving the other way.
So it is with strategic business matters, too. An inflection point occurs where the old strategic picture dissolves and gives way tothe new, allowing the business to ascend to new heights. However, if you don’t navigate your way through an inflection point, you go through a peak and after the peak the business declines. It is around such inflection points that managers puzzle and observe, “Things are different. Something has changed.”
The arguments in the midst of an inflection point can be ferocious. “If
our product worked a little better or it cost a little less, we would
have no problems,” one person will say. And he’s probably partially
right. “It’s just a downturn in the economy. Once capital spending
rebounds, we’ll resume our growth,” another will say. And he’s
probably partially right. Yet another person comes back from a trade
show confused and perturbed, and says, “The industry has gone nuts. It’s
crazy what people use computers for today.” He hardly gets a lot of
So how do we know that a set of circumstances is a strategic inflection point?
Most of the time, recognition takes place in stages.
First, there is a troubling sense that something is different. Things don’t work the way they used to. Customers’ attitudes toward you are different. The development groups that have had a history of successes no longer seem to be able to come up with the right product. Competitors that you wrote off or hardly knew existed are stealing business from you. The trade shows seem weird.
Then there is a growing dissonance between what your company thinks it is doing and what is actually happening inside the bowels of the organization. Such misalignment between corporate statements and operational actions hints at more than the normal chaos that you have learned to live with.
Eventually, a new framework, a new set of understandings, a new set of actions emerges. It’s as if the group that was lost finds its bearings again. (This could take a year—or a decade.) Last of all, a new set of corporate statements is generated, often by a new set of senior managers.
No one could fail to notice how stupid and ridiculous were the littlepeople's first response to the loss of cheese. How come the smarter littlepeople can't see things as clearly as the mice with rodent brains. If I were them would I make a wise and quick decision as the mice did? Perhaps not.
Last class I just thought “The story after story” mean that author depicted the humanity society behavior through carton story. Today after I read “A gathering Chicago”, I found another meaning that author leads to the story of “who moved my cheeses” through the story “A gathering Chicago”.Let reader know this story in the book had been spread and used in the society. It is not only a story written in the book. Of course, if you just simply think it is a story,you cloudn’t understand why so many people were benefitting from it.
Eventually the four characters found the fomer cheese wasn't there any longer and they have different reactions to the unexpected change.
For two little people, with the disappearance of cheese, Hem lost control of their emotions at first and kept hollering ‘Who Moved my cheese’ and Haw instinctively felt a desire to turn everything out and chose to get away.
Life is a maze rather then a straight corridor where we can roam easily in,everyone of us should have to find an exit.We may lost in confusion sometimes and seeked in a blind alley.
In our modern life, we should adapt to this constantly changing age, or we will fall behind. We must learn everything which can improve ourselves no matter what time, that is, never too old to learn.
But if we persist the original will,there'll be an opening door for our own finally.Maybe the door is not the one we ever want to,but it will be a salutary door.
In fact, just like Hem or Haw, most of us can not deal with the sudden changes well, because we don’t want to step out of the comfort zone we have created. However, we can not always stay in the same place, because we need to develop ourselves in different ways at different stage of our life and the environment we live is changing every day whether we like it or not. Maybe, we should learn from Sniff and Scurry and stop complaining the changes. Most of time, it is a better way to move on for us and find another Cheese.
How to better adapt the changing life and seek a good way to handle them was discussed by a group of former classmates,at once leading to a story called “Who Moved My Cheese”.In this story,there were two mice possessing only simple rodent brains and two littlepeople having very complicated brains with many beliefs,the simple and the complex generated not only the defferent ways of finding cheese but also the defferent lifestyles.
This part began with a gathering in which several former classmates talked about the changes in their lives and the ways to deal with them. Then One of the classmates called Michael who used to be afraid of change told the story that had altered his way of looking at change. In this story there were four characters, two mice and two Littlepeople. They had different personalities, and they all found their own kind of cheese in their own ways and enjoyed it.
From very beginning the littlepeople regarded themselves as the most intelligent creatures in the world so they took their success of finding cheese as granted and believed they deserved them forever. It was arrogance that blinded their mind. When change finally comes the only thing they do is complaining. I'm afraid I'm no better than them.
When it comes to the two little people, things were different. They were shocked because they had taken it for granted that the cheese was theirs, which they had took great pains to get. They yelled"Who moved my cheese? It's unfair!…" Their brains were complicated and so they felt extremely painful.
Many people don't want to change their life . Life can be simple also can be complex . It's depend on how to choose your own life . Life seems like "maze", we are all of us inside the maze and look for "cheese " - cheese being a metaphor for what we want to have in life, whether it's a job, a relationship, money, a big house, freedom, health, recognition, spiritual peace, or even an activity like jogging or golf. So many people just want to how to get it and keep it, they don't want anybody touch it. If we lost it or someone remove it , it can be confused. Don't know how to find right direction and follow.
In the Part III, two little people satisfied with the place they're living and were immersed in happiness that cheese bought. After a while, Hem's and Haw's confidence grew into arrogance of success. Soon they became so comfortable and they didn't even notice what was happening.
Hem and Haw regarded the Cheese they found at Cheese Station C as their cheese. After a while, their confidence grew into arrogance of success and they became so comfortable that they didn’t even notice what was happening. Hem and Haw took it for granted that their Cheese would be there, consequently, they could not accept the fact that the cheese was no longer at Cheese Station C.
The two mice were not surprised, because they had noticed the supply of cheese had been getting smaller and they were prepared for its final disappearance. They didn't waste time over analysing the situation but just take action to start off and work together, searching for new cheese.
We also should ready to encounter some changes which may give us a "surprise", which can help us deal with the changes better.
As we all know, life turned out more differently than we thought it would when we were young. In our life, there are always many unexpected changes happening to us. As master Wugui said in KUNG FU PANDA, one often meets his destiny on the road he takes to avoid it. If we allow our minds to settle just like the water under the draggon scroll, the answer will be clear. I think keeping inner peace in our mind when facing changes can help a lot. I haven't read who moved my cheese before. Now I'm looking forward to reading the next part. I hope things quickly improved for me---at work and in my life.
As a result, it took them a long time to believe the cheese had really gone.How could this have happened? No one had warned them. They thought it was not the way things were supposed to be. They wanted to hold on to it and now the cheese was't there and they didn't know what to do.
However, finding cheese wasn’t easy ,and it meant a great deal more to the little people than just solving the problem of food. Finally, after a period of moral suffering, they decide to figure this problem out, stop analyzing the situation and turn to finding new cheese.
After all, Changes are everywhere. If we want to get something we need, we should prepare ourselves and can not be negligent.
In comparison, Sniff and Scurry would inspect the area to see if there had been any changes from the day before, so they weren’t surprised when they discovered there was no cheese at Cheese Station C. As a result, Sniff and Scurry were quickly off in search of New Cheese without wasting time on analyzing who moved the cheese.