Tactical, Operational & Strategic Analysis of Markets, Competitors & Industries
News arrived today that Bob Galvin, founder of the Galvin Electricity Initiative, died on Tuesday, October 11th. Galvin had been the CEO and Chairman of Motorola for over 30 years. The Galvin Electricity Initiative was a visionary attempt to transform our obsolete electricity system. Those who knew him would not be surprised to find he was involved in a visionary effort.
I didn't know Mr. Galvin. I just saw him give the keynote speech at SCIP a few years ago, and ran across his electricity initiative because of my consulting in that industry.
At Motorola, Galvin had been a strong proponent, sponsor, and early adopter of formal competitive intelligence as a strategic component. Galvin's keynote speech, he described adopting the framework of national intelligence into a corporate environment, and adapting Key Intelligence Topics into a corporate setting.
Galvin also pioneered the adoption of 6 Sigma quality efforts at Motorola.
The corporate environment has lost a giant.
Competitive Intelligence has also lost an important advocate and friend.
I saw Bob at the 1995 SCIP conference. It was the only interaction I ever had with him, but it was quite memorable. I was being presented with the SCIP Meritorious Award that morning, and my recently departed friend, Vernon Prior, was one of three people receiving the SCIP Fellows Award. I just happened to be sitting next to Bob, not because I chose to, but because I arrived a bit late and those were the only open seats. My wife and 3 year old son were with me. My 3 year old was being an absolute terror that morning, and I was extremely embarrassed. (It wasn't until later that we learned he had ADHD.) Anyway, when Jan Herring called Bob to the podium, he took five steps toward the stage, did an about face, came back to where we were sitting and said, "I think it's great that you brought your son today. My father used to take me to conferences all the time. We're never quite sure what small children will get out of these events, but they get something out of it, and it's important for their development, So, thank you for bringing your son today." He then made his way to the podium to speak. I don't think I had ever experienced such kindness. I will always remember Bob Galvin.
And, just for the record, Bob Galvin was also a SCIP Meritorious Award winner -- in 1997.
Through the comments and this post I came to know about Bob Galvin. It seems he was a valued asset to the companies he had work for. I am sure he had left many things like his speeches, writings etc. a permanent & authenticated source for CI learners and professionals.
I am very thankful to Arik Johnson who invited me to this post to learn and share more. Thank you Arik!
My first SCIP conference was 1996 where Bob Galvin was the keynote speaker. I have used a key quote of his from that speech many, many times over the years because of its powerful simplicity. Speaking as a consumer of competitive intelligence, he said:
"My job is to deliver value to customers and to be fairly compensated as a result. And that's all."
Mind you, he was saying that to a room full of people fixated on the competitors, not the customers. I have kept that fundamental CI principle in mind for the last 15 years and in many industries. CI is all about enabling our clients to deliver value to their customers. The competition are merely the weeds through which we have to navigate so that we can get at the ultimate goal.
Because that speech left such a powerful message with me, I recently sought a copy from SCIP's archives as well as Motorola's Marketing Communication's archives. Neither, it seems, has it - either video or transcript. Alas.
Our profession has indeed lost a power advocate and motivator.
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