I have always loved the way Phil Knight responds to disruptive stages in the company, the economy and the markets Nike fearlessly navigated through. I have full confidence that the course beyond 2020 will take some of these lessons and apply them in today's situation.
After 9/11 PHK encouraged the employees to Run Across America and connect with each small town running side by side connecting with the first responders and the small communities along the way raising over a million dollars for the Families of Freedom Scholarship Fund which benefited the families of those lost that day.
Nike was bold enough to accelerate an organizational shift that resulted in the largest and most emotional layoff in Nike history. It was devastating for those that were let go and traumatic for those that were moved to new roles in the new organization. This shift in the organization helped Nike navigate the economic crisis and set up the offense for the next decade.
This was a note I took a photo of from the office of Nelson Farris when Frans Johannsen and I were meeting with him in 2014 just after I rewired from Nike and was doing some work with the Medici Group. PHK wrote this in May of 2010 at least 6 months after the layoffs and I imagine it was directed at the senior leadership at that time. They needed their leader to provide a roadmap and Phil always seemed to know what to do at the right time.
I will continue to share these nuggets of knowledge, experience and insight from the archives of my files as I continue to stay at home and build momentum working with great people, organizations and projects. Reach out to me directly if you would like to connect with me and see if I can help you and your organization navigate fearlessly together as we pull out of this moment in time. :Michael@incubatoru.com