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Sunday, December 16, 2007

ChangeThis - Seduced by Success

The Changethis manifesto titled Seduced by Success is very interesting. Robert J. Herbold has studied 44 successful companies and came out with principles that keep the successful companies retain their success in a changing world.

On top of the 44 companies comes two of my personal favourites - Toyota and Proctor and Gamble (P&G). The reasons articulated by Herbold for their success are as reproduced below

"Look at how Toyota has prospered for 30 years with its culture of continuous improvement. Look at how Procter & gamble continually thrives with its constant focus on finding unarticulated consumer needs. "

Well - is there anything more to say - Yes the manifesto articulates 9 seduction traps and solutions to them as well: (I am reproducing below)


For each of the 9 traps, there are various actions that can help avoid these problems. Below, for each of these traps, we outline one of these approaches:

1 ~ Business Model: Avoid committees and consensus in developing big, distinctive business
model advantages. Individuals have big, distinctive ideas; committees and consensus turn big,
distinctive ideas into mundane ideas.

2 ~ Product: Pick your top performers, charge them to get your products out in front of important technology, industry, and customer trends, and then get out of their way.

3 ~ Branding: Always be fresh and relevant, but most of all, always be distinctive.

4 ~ Processes: Continually demand new approaches to “proven” processes, and for each process there should be a czar that is personally accountable to make sure their process is always super lean and industry leading.

5 ~ Agility: The key to speed and agility is leadership. Be sure you have strong, action-oriented leaders in the key jobs.

6 ~ People: You need a top notch performance appraisal system to spot the stars and confront
the bottom 5–7%, and you need a “key people development program” to continually stretch and
grow the future leaders of the company.

7 ~ Culture: The focus should be on excellence in continually finding and solving problems
and jumping on opportunities, not on basking in prior glory.

8 ~ Turf Wars and Fiefdoms: Break up the fiefdoms by re-organizing around your key
initiatives for improvement.

9 ~ Communications: Every employee should always know where the organization is going
and how it is doing.
--------------------------- The author has a book on the same subject as well

I personally like the 9th point and the strategy - let every employee know where we are going and how we are going there!

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