After reading the WSJ article “Michael Dell Looks Beyond PC Business,” you may wonder where is the soul of Dell. In the excerpts of the WSJ interview with Michael Dell, no clear company Purpose or set of defining principles–a Philosophy–stand out. Where is the soul of Dell?
Leadership is the dominant driver of culture and strategy; therefore, in all communications, the CEO must share the Purpose of the company and its defining Philosophy. These core attributes must be at the heart of each conversation. These defining principles serve the company internally as a glue to unite and a compass to guide. But they also must be consistently communicated to the public so that everyone has a sense of the heart and soul of the company and its distinctive contribution. The energy of the company’s essence can be a powerful tool–when it is genuine and shared.
But in the interview with Michael Dell–the founder–the conversation centered more on the company’s move from consumer to enterprise, the importance of acquisitions and the push to supporting cloud computing. These are conversations that are important but not distinguishing.
If Dell wants to stand out and achieve, the company must look inside and unite again around a Purpose and Philosophy that every employee connects to and that the public understands. To be a leader, a company must know itself and its distinguishing attributes and then build on that internal strength and devoted mindset. Understanding your markets and strategy is essential, but you must also understand and communicate your Core Culture–the essence of who you are–so that you stand out and succeed because of your distinctive ability to make a contribution.