September 25, 2017

Apple, Google, and Amazon

September 25, 2017

By Steve Denning via   Article

Apple, Google And Amazon: How To Understand Capitalism’s Future

“… Apple and Google, have adopted different approaches in deciding what to do with the huge amounts of cash they have generated over the last decade. … the possibility of a third way: plowing gains back into new, market-creating innovation.

Although Apple built its fortune under Steve Jobs as a design-based customer-focused firm, in recent years it has gone along with Wall Street’s demands to extract value for shareholders, while losing ground to competitors in fields it once dominated, such as high-end PCs, voice-operated hardware, video software.

By contrast, Google has opted to keep control by its founders and executives. Yet despite vast expenditure on a host of initiatives, Google remains a one-trick pony. Its combination of search and ads generates vast amount of money. But since then, none of its other experiments have had a comparable impact. …

Yet neither Apple’s shareholder-centric approach nor Google’s founder-centric approach offers a coherent way forward. Both Apple and Google are living off their former glory.

The true future of the economy is the customer-centric approach. It’s not new. It was propounded by Peter Drucker back in 1954: ‘There is only one valid purpose of a firm, to create a customer.’ If you want a single exemplar to the customer-centric approach, you need look no further than Amazon.

Thus the central issue for the future of the economy is not who should be deciding what to do with profits —Wall Street or the founders — and rather what they should be trying to accomplish, and how they should be trying to accomplish it. It is Amazon that is showing the way with a series of market-creating innovations. Instead of living off and improving its existing businesses, it is systematically creating new businesses that are more important than its original business.”

He tore her review into small pieces

September 25, 2017

By Steve Keating via  Article

It’s About Time

“I remember a former colleague telling me about a performance review she once had. She was working as an assistant manager at a nationally known restaurant chain. It was kind of an upscale chain and as an assistant manager you would have been pretty well paid.

The day of her performance review arrived and she anticipated receiving high marks because she was in fact an excellent assistant manager. Almost.

As she expected her review went well; her manager pointed out several key areas where she outperformed expectations. She was equally as great with the staff as she was with customers. She understood the business and executed against the company objectives extremely well. Her manager offered abundant praise for her skills, abilities, and overall performance.

Then, right in front of her and with great fanfare he tore her review into small pieces and tossed it in the trash. She sat there in shock for a moment before asking what he was doing. He replied that he threw it away because it didn’t really matter, it didn’t matter because there was one major flaw that made her skills and abilities far less valuable to the organization.

She had a problem, apparently a major problem, with punctuality. She was always running late, sometimes a few minutes and sometimes longer, sometimes much longer.

He told her that all the skills and ability in the world didn’t matter if she couldn’t be counted on to be at work to use them. As an assistant manager she was setting a terrible example for the people she was supposed to be leading. …

No matter what profession you happen to be in you must know that skills don’t matter as much if your organization can’t count on you to be there when they need you.

Punctuality matters. Your ability to be on time affects people’s perception of you as a professional. Calling from your cell phone to say ‘you’re running late’ is not a substitute for being on time.

Research shows that most people are terminated from jobs because of some sort of attitude problem. Chronic tardiness is not a time management problem, it isn’t a traffic problem, it isn’t a lack of sleep problem. It IS an attitude problem. Chronic tardiness projects either a ‘just don’t care’ attitude or a ‘the rules don’t apply to me’ attitude but either way it’s an attitude that you don’t want to be known for.

If you can be a few minutes late everyday then you can also be a few minutes early everyday.”

Always, every time, no exceptions and no excuses

September 25, 2017

By  via   Article

Invest in Trust

“All leadership is based on trust. If someone doesn’t trust you they simply will not be committed to truly following you. They might comply with you, they may do what you tell them to do, they may even kind of like you but they will not commit to you. … People don’t trust titles, they don’t trust positions, and they don’t trust names. People trust people.

Trust building must be intentional. It should happen every day. If you’re a leader, or someone in a leadership position, (of course you know that holding a leading position doesn’t mean you’re actually a leader) then you should be aware that your people are watching you. They want to see if your actions match your words. They want to see if you honor your commitments, and not just to them but to others as well. If they are going to trust you then they expect you to honor your commitments, period. …

Take tons of notes about the commitments you’ve made, block time on your calendar to honor those commitments. Return phone calls, answer emails, if you say you’ll do something then by any and all means possible, do it! Always, every time, no exceptions and no excuses.”


Time makes elephants fat

September 18, 2017

By Dan Rockwell via  Article

How To Confront Situations You Should Have Dealt With Sooner

“If you think it’s difficult to have a tough conversation today, waiting makes it worse. Time makes elephants fat, complacent, and harder to confront.

Patience: It’s not patient to tolerate poor performance. It’s neglect.  Poor performance, bad behaviors, and difficult situations continue until leaders speak up. Be patient after you bring up issues.

The conversation you should have had:

Kind candor and courageous vulnerability chart the path forward, when you should have said something sooner.

#1. Don’t lay the law down. Delay elevates frustration. Anger fuels courage. You end up sharing a piece of your mind you can’t afford to lose.

#2. Don’t speak to the whole team when there’s one offender. One person habitually leaves early, arrives late to meetings, or misses deadlines. Have a one-on-one, even though group comments feel safer.

#3. Meet resistance with courageous vulnerability. Tom habitually misses deadlines, for example. When you bring it up, he protests. ‘Why didn’t you say something sooner?’

Tom is right. Don’t defend or explain. Apologize. ‘You’re right Tom. I apologize for not bringing this up sooner. Tolerating this wasn’t fair to you or the team. I’m dealing with it now. Can we fix this?’ Wait for Tom to say, ‘Yes.’

Resistance turns to participation with “Yes”.

4 Tips:

  1. Build positive relationships. Have lots of positive conversations.
  2. Bring up issues when issues are small. ‘I notice you missed your last deadline.’
    1. What are you learning?
    2. What will you do next time?
    3. How can I help?
  3. Take excuses seriously. When Tom says, ‘I’m terrible with time management,’ ask, ‘What would you like to do about that?’
  4. Develop a plan to solve issues. Don’t simply declare that you expect things to change.

Patience with poor performance eventually becomes permission to perform poorly. Approval becomes abuse.”

The single most important question

September 18, 2017

By Todd Ordal via   Article

Wells Fargo ignored the single most important question

“Regulators recently pinched Wells Fargo, the country’s largest bank, for ‘scamming’ some customers — signing them up for services they didn’t order. Management fired 5,300 people over a five-year period …

The activity that caused the dustup was ‘cross selling’ products, e.g., ‘Would you like fries with that burger?’ If I were in management at Wells or any other bank, I’d promote the same thing. Customers have multiple needs, and addressing them profitably and to their benefit is good business. Ever bought a new suit and not have the salesperson ask if you needed a tie to match?

The challenge is the voracity with which Wells went after this objective, with some managers holding several meetings a day to review goals.

When you pay people for an activity, it works. When you push people for activity, it works. When you push people too hard and tie their pay to certain activity, it often produces an unintentional, unwanted variety of creativity.

It’s easy to fault Wells Fargo’s management folks, and they deserve it. However, it’s not easy to draw the line between effective compensation and goal-setting and pressure that causes cheating. The pressure, of course, can be internally as well as externally imposed. Remember Lance Armstrong?

Unintended consequences are by definition hard to plan for because they’re unintended! However, if you push too hard for certain behavior or tie compensation (and continued employment) extremely tightly to behavior, you’d better have thought through all the ways that someone can achieve the objective, whether legitimate or not!

In the bank’s case, the question the scammers and management intentionally ignored is, ‘Is this the right thing for the customer?’

Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf said that those who were fired had violated the culture. My definition of culture is the ‘accumulation of the behaviors that you reward and allow.’ It has little to do with posters and platitudes.

What you do is more important than what you say. Senior management owns culture because they set the tone. Firing 5,300 people for violating the culture should indicate to senior leadership that the ‘real’ culture is screwed up.

Grey areas are fascinating! Compensation, goal-setting and performance management are critically important to think through as a leader. Even the right programs and policies when pushed too far become dangerous.”


Yes, and… vs. No, but…

September 18, 2017

By Pascal Finette via   Article

“Yesterday I had the great fortune to sit in on one of Google’s internal Design Thinking workshops where the participants were reminded of the incredible power of saying ‘yes, and… as opposed to ‘no, but…’

It goes a little like this: Highly trained, intelligent creatures we are, we often instinctively go into ‘let me point out the flaws in your idea’–mode when presented with an idea. What sadly happens in this way is that we shut down ideas instead of building on them and making them bigger, bolder and better. We say ‘No, but…’ — which might feel good at the moment (as it demonstrates our intellectual capacity) and sadly does little to the idea and person presenting said idea.

Instead train yourself to use ‘Yes, and…’ as your instinctive answer. ‘Yes, and…’ acknowledges the idea and builds on it — enabling and fostering an environment teeming with creativity.

Try it out for yourself: Have someone come up with an idea or suggestion, say for example an idea for a summer team outing. Answer with ‘No, but…’. Let the other person come up with another plan and repeat the ‘No, but…’ rebuttal. Repeat this a few more times and see how frustrating the process becomes. Now switch it around and respond with ‘Yes, and…’ to the same idea — building on the notion you heard and let the other person react to it, upon you respond again with ‘Yes, and…’ You will quickly sense how empowering, creative and powerful this process is.

‘Yes, and…’ is one of the most powerful tools in your portfolio to foster creativity and breakthrough ideas in your team and environment.”