In the world of computing, making routers and hardware is not sexy. People are excited by the possibilities opened up by new software. They take the back room stuff for granted. So imagine what a mountain US networking and telecoms giant CISCO had to climb when it decided to rebrand itself as a market leader in The Internet of Things – the futuristic vision of total connectivity that promises to change lives. This made a perfect case study in my series of lectures on Leadership, Teambuilding and Managerial Creativity.
One of the ways in which CISCO have tackled their ‘image problem’ is to run a series of eye-catching, contemporary ‘advertorials’ in high profile magazines, running to 4 pages and aiming to explain how the Internet of Things (or pretty much everything) will work in practice, and what the advantages will be for both businesses and end users. No surprise, then, that they have attracted the attention of major players Apple, Microsoft and Google, all wanting a piece of the action. Suddenly, CISCO are hot again – but they never had to worry about their business. They just wanted to be loved, too.
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