The Secret to Stable Leadership? It’s All About Planning

By: Russell Peacock, president, North America, Xerox Corporation

As I watched Monday’s CNBC clip featuring former Xerox chairman and CEO Anne Mulcahy and current chairman and CEO Ursula Burns, it reminded me just how much our stable leadership, commitment to the channel and focused growth strategy means to this company – and more importantly, what it means to our clients.

It’s no secret that some big name competitors are struggling with displacement at the top, ill-defined sets of offerings and uncertain futures fueled by questionable acquisitions. That type of instability from a partner often has long-term ramifications for customers.

How has Xerox managed to not only survive, but excel during a leadership change, major acquisition and challenging economic climate?  As Ursula and Anne pointed out on CNBC – we planned for it. We knew our core strengths and knew how to leverage them. And the results speak for themselves. Earnings are up, and our services-led approach is giving us a competitive advantage in the market.

When I meet with current and prospective clients I like to expand on that thought and point out Xerox differentiation in three critical areas:

Successful succession / consistent culture
The seamless passing of the baton between Mulcahy and Burns is the most high-profile example of consistency within the company but is just one of many. In any organization regular turnover – especially at the top – leads to confusion about strategy. Our customers recognize that our stable leadership and deep-seated commitment to the IT market manifests in innovative, relevant technology and service offerings.

Unwavering channel support
We enjoy a mutually beneficial relationship with our channel partners. Together, we offer a solid product set that adapts with end-user needs. But channel partners demand more than a strong product and service portfolio. They want stability – an ally they can stick with over the long haul. A partner that gives them the flexibility to offer their customers what they want and need in today’s marketplace to grow revenue.

An eye on the future
We invest heavily in R&D, with leading research facilities across the globe. The aforementioned 2010 acquisition of Affiliated Computer Services (ACS) is driving revenue growth and opening doors with key sales prospects. Xerox takes a sustainable, strategic view in terms of growth and expanding our base of offerings and our stakeholders take notice.

The new services-led Xerox is in full stride. While uncertainty can be found among our competition we offer a stable, committed option for clients to improve their business today and well into the future. And the reason why? As Ursula pointed out – we planned for it.

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