9 Tips to Transform the Way You Do Business
Start 2014 off right with these ideas from Scaling Up Excellence
In Scaling Up Excellence, bestselling author Robert Sutton and Stanford colleague Huggy Rao tackle a challenge that determines every organization’s success: scaling up farther, faster, and more effectively as a program or an organization creates a larger footprint. Sutton and Rao have devoted much of the last decade to uncovering what it takes to build and uncover pockets of exemplary performance, to help spread them, and to keep recharging organizations with ever better work practices.
1. Grown too big for those old britches? Take a page from IDEO’s founder David Kelley, who realized that an all hands meeting that worked great for 50 people didn’t work with 100.
2. If you had only five rules, what would they be? During a large technology rollout, medical giant Kaiser Permanente insisted that regional leaders follow five “non negotiable” rules, or “guardrails.”
3. Choking on jargon monoxide? Is the local lingo and biz buzz so dense that your own people can’t even understand it? As Procter & Gamble CEO AG Lafley says: “keep it Sesame Street simple.”
4. Teams busting at the seams? Four or five members are usually just right: McKinsey and the U.S. Navy Seals both rely on four-person teams.
5. Check your ego at the door. A CEO at a thriving start-up created a little ritual where his top team used the coat rack to hang their jackets and symbolically leave their egos at the door.
6. Stop doing dumb things just because everyone else does. Adobe got rid of yearly performance evaluations and now they use a system that requires regular feedback. And it’s working.
7. Cancel half your meetings. At some companies, overwhelmed managers are expected to attend “informal” pre-meetings before the “official” pre-meeting to prepare for the “real” meeting.
8. Get rid of bad apples. Removing incompetent, unethical, and lazy people is a hallmark of organizational turnarounds.
Subtract yourself! Learn to “manage by walking out of the room.” Convene some smart people, get them rolling, and leave.