The letter below was "leaked" and published on another site. I think it's content is so important that it deserved to be republished here.
October 19, 26
To qualified Diamonds, LOA Heads, and Business Managers
During the first week of October, the Board of the Independent Business Owners Association International met with Quixtar leadership to discuss the future of our businesses. One important result was reaching a consensus about our shared priorities and strategic direction, which is summarized below.
The Tactics May Change but the Values Remain the Same: Helping IBOs Succeed
Quixtar's purpose is to help IBOs in their Quixtar businesses, to help people live better lives through independent business ownership. Everything we do is designed to help improve and create a better Quixtar business opportunity for IBOs at all levels. Our relationship with the Independent Business Owners Association International should be built on the shared commitment to improve the business opportunity that connects all of us.
Our Strategic Direction
We want to dramatically grow this business and improve IBO profitability. While our business could continue as it has with modest, incremental growth, we are committed to improving the business for every IBO, growing it to a new level. We are confident that Quixtar and IBO businesses can double in size in the next five to seven years.
To achieve unprecedented growth, we all need to do things differently. We've worked with McKinsey & Co., a leading business-consulting firm, to identify the strengths and barriers within our organization. We have passion and commitment but need to take more risks and expand our thinking. To grow this business, we need to unleash the potential of Quixtar and IBOs and create new growth through innovative products and categories.
We must make IBOs profitable sooner so they stay longer and keep the business growing. We need to create expectations for the IBO experience and then make them a reality. That's how we'll double our business. There are three components to our strategic direction: Implementing First Circle, Enhancing Reputation, and Improving Our Relationships.
First Circle isn't a passing fad, promotion, product, or initiative … it's a transformation critical to the future of our business. If we don't fulfill the potential and promise of First Circle, we will settle for incremental growth. We need to make good and follow through on what we need to do to help more IBOs become profitable sooner. We need more products IBOs want to sell, not just products IBOs want to buy. And that's where acquisitions come in to help us create the products and develop the marketing expertise to bring more retailable products to market faster.
Acquisitions are a tactic, not a strategy. They're designed to help us find resources, capabilities, talents, and solutions to accelerate the pace of innovation. To quickly gain the expertise we don't have, we need to buy it. We need to find out what customers want and bring the talent, products, energy, expertise, and, in some cases, companies into the fold to augment what we already have in place.
Acquisitions are a risk and may occasionally create some conflict. But the risk of not acting to improve IBO businesses is much greater. First and foremost, acquisitions are designed to support and grow the Quixtar business, either directly or indirectly. The Laura Mercier/Gurwitch acquisition was designed to help our beauty business become as strong as our health business. The recent Alan James Group acquisition through Interleukin was to bring a product pipeline and access to marketing expertise to the
health business. The Interleukin relationship already has brought the Gensona tests and Nutrilite heart-health product to IBO businesses.
We will communicate the reasons for and details of acquisitions more fully in the future, including scheduling conference calls with Founders Council and IBOAI Board Members periodically to discuss overall progress on First Circle and the evolving role of acquisitions.
For many years, we allowed our critics to define our business, because we felt if we acknowledged them we would give them credibility. That, in hindsight, was a mistake. Today, we know we need to tell our story and create an accurate perception of our business, based on the new reality we'll create through First Circle.
Our visibility campaign featuring national advertising is a first step to protect the business and help create an understanding of what it is and isn't. "The Facts About Quixtar" DVD, a joint project of the IBOAI and Quixtar, helps IBOs defend their businesses against criticism by providing the facts about critic allegations.
But improving reputation is a responsibility we all share. All our research shows that the greatest impact on reputation is what we do and say. We must be transparent so we're understood. We must all walk our talk, because personal experience will trump all the advertising in the world.
No single individual, program, or action will fix our reputation issues. We must all be working together as a team and wearing the same jersey. We may have different roles, but we're all on the same team to improve the reputation of this business.
The IBOAI and Quixtar both exist to improve the business opportunity for all IBOs. That shared commitment is the foundation for our relationship and all we do. While Quixtar may work with a large number of IBOs and organizations individually, we value the IBOAI representation of all organizations and all IBOs. We respect the foundations of the IBOAI and its contributions over time.
We must continue to refine the working relationships between the company and the IBOAI. To ensure we're focusing on key strategic issues that affect all IBOs. To better define roles and responsibilities. To align our efforts and keep our focus on making this business better for every IBO. To respect the
experience and commitment of the IBO leaders who give their time to serve others through the IBOAI as well as the corporate leaders and staff who are dedicated to serving all IBOs in what they do every day.
And we need to be mutually accountable. Quixtar must be accountable to every IBO, from the person just signing up to those who lead the business today, to provide a business opportunity that will be stronger tomorrow than it is today. The IBOAI must be accountable to its members and to represent the interests of IBOs at all levels, working with Quixtar to improve the business for all IBOs. Together, we will build the foundation for growth and for a more responsible and respected business in the future. And every IBO, through their contract with Quixtar, is accountable to abide by the Rules of Conduct and to build their business in a responsible manner that enhances the reputation of the business.
Steve Van Andel
Chairman, Executive Committee
IBOAI Board of Directors
With Quixtar Accreditation, the new Quixtar Advertisements and the new DVD, amongst other initiatives, there is a true sense that Quixtar and Alticor are undergoing a sea-change in attitude. For many years it has been "business as usual" with tweaks along the way to improve things. Sometimes however, a leap is necessary, and it appears to me that this is what is occurring.
I would make one plea to Alticor however. Do not forget that the majority of your business, and the majority of your Independent Business Owner's, are not in North America. They are throughout the globe. The Internet too is global, and every single month I personally show this business to people and they are interested in investigating it further. The do so, as you would reasonably expect, on the Internet. And what they find inevitably leads many of them to decide very quickly, and without the real facts, to even investigate further. How many IBO's do we lose, not because the products aren't good, not being of the prices, not because the opportunity doesn't work – but they are simply sick of putting in the effort to show this opportunity and products to people, and those efforts are destroyed in a few moments by the misleading and often outright false information spread by a few folk on the internet?
But we International IBOs have no amwayfacts.com to match quixtarfacts.com, we have no ibofacts.com, we don't even have, despite the name, an iboai.com. We certainly don't have The Land of Will or Nutrilite Plant Tours and we don't have an Amway Facts DVDs either.
I've had enough of the lies on the internet, so I'm doing my part with this site. The emails I get from IBOs tell me I'm making a difference. It would be nice to see Amway doing what Quixtar says it is doing – helping IBOs succeed.
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