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Whose hand on the tiller?

My message gives the impression that I'm dumping the entire responsibility for communicating Autodesk's strategy on you, personally. That isn't my intent. People look to senior management to chart the direction of the company. The person who needs to enunciate that strategy, whose fundamental job it is to do so, within and without, and whose doing so would most effectively put an end to the sense of stagnation is Al Green, the CEO. If he can't, or won't, then Malcolm Davies, in his role as Executive VP, and from his focus on communicating the company's message to the outside world should do it. If he can't, or won't then you should do it. It isn't enough, by a long shot, to say ``be patient...Ruth and John[Footnote] will be in touch.'' The issue isn't the plans they're developing, but rather what you, the senior management, are asking of them--and that resources you have allocated to them to achieve those goals.

If nobody can, or will, specify this then within days the impression will gel, probably irretrievably, that nothing has changed--that people can go on doing what they were doing before, working on the same diddly projects, slipping schedules and redefining specifications at will, and there is not to be an immediate and fundamental change in the way work gets done at Autodesk.

What is at risk is the entire program of renewal I called for in Information Letter 14, which was tacitly accepted by management in meetings with employees inside the company, although, based on my conversations with analysts and reporters over the last couple of weeks, largely poo-poohed in comments made outside the company.

Editor: John Walker