- Making the simple, complex.
- Being reactive in a world which requires us to be proactive.
- Mistaking Human Resources for sheer undiluted passion, inspiration and 'I love what I do'.
- Thinking a stream of electrons is thinking.
- Aiming for anything less than excellence in everything and anything it touches.
- Stalking the competitor/s.
- Believing you can ignore making the world a better place.
The detail, here...
Keep your business simple. Not simplistic. But simple to run. At board meetings, ask:
- what can we simplify?
- how can we make it easier for our people to do a great job?
- what admin need to be eliminated to give more client contact time?
With processes e.g. how sales people earn a bonus, don't keep 'adding' to an over-worked system. Re-build it from square 1.
And finally ask for polite but straight talking to avoid weasel words, politics and empire-building.
Keep everything so simple that:
- It's a no-brainer how to execute a process.
- The highest performances can be noted and replicated.
- Confusion is avoided.
- Hiding places are eliminated.
In more detail: (2) Being reactive in a world which requires us to be proactive.
Have fewer meetings which are concerned about what has gone wrong ('sales figures down') and more fast, furious best-brain gatherings of what do we need to anticipate? E.g. where will our sales figures be in 2012? Why? Who will our competitors be in 2011? How can we get better staff? And keep them?
In more detail (3) Mistaking Human Resources for sheer undiluted passion, inspiration and 'I love what we do'.
It's a fine balance the one between necessary rules, compliance and 'that's the way we do things' vs.trusting people to act as adults and believing they will do of their best for the organisation. How's that balance achieved?
- stay close to your people: they are not 'resources' but people with fears, mortgages and hopes
- act as you wish them to act
- remember all the simple courtesies: say good morning
- keep all processes very simple: simple is replicable, simple avoids errors, simple is quick to learn
- focuse on successes
- review and learn from all errors
- remember that the deepest motivator is feeling valued.
In more detail (4) Thinking a stream of electrons is thinking.
Shooting a stream of electrons from one Blackberry to another is very efficient. But it isn't always effective. Why not? Because it leaves out the discussion which comes from two brains getting together face to face or on the phone. Through that respectful conversation better ideas evolve. The sorts of ideas which make firms great places rather than ones drowning in un-read e-mail.
In more detail (5) Aiming for anything less than excellence in everything and anything it touches.
It's remarkably simple. You will have noticed that there are never enough excellent people nor organisations around. So if you and/or your firm is excellent, you'll be in demand. Raise your standards. From welcomes to washrooms, from presentations to payrolls, from training to T&Cs, be excellent in all you do.
In more detail (6) Stalking the Competitors.
Notice, observe and copy from (legally) your competitors. But then use that to innovate, to break barriers, to delight the customer. Becoming fixated on the competitor causes paranoia and reduces the ability to create the genuine profit creating opportunities. The companies you admire? They keep creating their own market so that effectively their is no real competitor.
In more detail (7) Believing you can ignore making the world a better place.
Forget morals (for a moment). Forget 'feel-good' for a moment. Any organisation which forgets there is a world out there beyond its shiny new product, its wizzy new service, its cool up-grade will find it increasingly difficult to find a place in an increasingly fussy, sensitive and aware market.