Friday Buzz: BlackBerry’s Plan to Stay Alive

The struggling mobile device maker's CEO, John Chen, says the company will redouble its enterprise efforts in the years to come. Also: why "Friends" is actually a wellspring of association advice. Really.

Does BlackBerry still have some life in it?

The mobile device maker, which has struggled in recent years as Android and iPhone have usurped its former position in the enterprise, says it’s ready to redouble its focus on business consumers—and take a step back from its consumer-market plays.

“We’re going back to our enterprise roots,” BlackBerry CEO John Chen said at the Code Conference this week. “I don’t really want to comment on past management decisions, but we cast our net a little too broad. At the same time, we haven’t really added value to the enterprise space.”

The company, which has been dogged by rumors of a potential shutdown or selloff in the past year, promises an effort to make things work. Chen says part of that is to expand its offerings beyond devices—and work with the BYOD trend, rather than against it.

Will BlackBerry survive? A while back, Chen gave the company a 50-50 chance. Now he says it’s closer to 80-20.

Lessons from “Friends”

No one told you life was gonna be this way. But that doesn’t mean your association has to be stuck in second gear.

Over at Partners Preceptors, Lauren Millard highlights how one of her favorite shows—the 1990s sitcom stalwart “Friends”—actually has proved relevant to her career as an association exec.

“It does not matter how many times I watch it, it always makes me laugh. I quote it on a regular basis, causing myself to crack up laughing,” she writes. “What I didn’t know was that reflecting on past episodes of ‘Friends’ would completely relate to association management and careers in general.”

Among the points she highlights: You shouldn’t be afraid to start over when something’s going wrong, a lesson the characters learn repeatedly throughout the series.

“Sometimes when there is already a process in place it helps you figure out where the issues are,” Millard says. “It helps knowing what exactly needs to be fixed.”

Who knew an old-school sitcom could offer such useful advice?

Other Good Reads

“Budget what can really be done, not what you ‘hope’ really will be done.” David M. Patt dumps a bucket of cold water on optimistic budgeting practices.

What keeps nonprofit pros up at night? This Network for Good poll has a not-so-surprising result.

iPhone users may want to keep abreast of a recent spate of “ransomware” hitting Australian iCloud users. Gizmodo has the scoop.

Want to see an example of a corporate culture that isn’t afraid of experimenting in the name of potential success? Take a gander at how Taco Bell does it over at Bloomberg Businessweek.

(Scott Olson/Getty Images News/Thinkstock)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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