How do I do it?
The Components of the Transformation from Good to Great
There are two types of GTG transition processes that exist. Great companies are those who rise to a high level of performance that sets them apart from EVERYBODY else and then who SUSTAIN that high level of performance for an extended period of years. The companies highlighted in the book Good to Great, were good performers for a long time and then, made a leap and transitioned to a high level of performance and effectiveness, then sustained it.
The other group who makes the transition is the START-UP. For example it will be interesting to see if Amazon, Yahoo, and Google can attain high profitability and sustain it at a high level the way Microsoft, and Intel have. Making the transition from good to great is, in all cases a process, because nobody starts out great. Greatness takes time, it is a maturation process. Everything about the process requires a certain amount of ‘graduation” especially in start-ups. Jim Collins in the Book “Good to Great, Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don’t”, gives short shift to small companies’ or start up transition, but he does express the view that these principles are just as valid for small or large companies. I agree.
Here’s the difference as I see it as one “in the trenches” every day. The closer you are to the “beginning” point of your company the easier it is to re-tool, to re-orient. At start-up you can write the blue-print. If you are a year or two in, there’s time to start over. But if you’ve ”hit the wall” and need to go the “next level” as entrepreneurs are fond of saying, basically you are re-building the plane as you fly it. But in either case the components are the same, but the process is different. We want to get to three circles- The famous Hedgehog Concept–We want to identify the one BIG thing. So we continuously ask the three questions. What are you passionate about? What can you be the best in the world at (see how passion fuels this?) and how do measure economically, what is that simple core ratio that defines success financially. This is the outcome we want to arrive at, evdentually. It won’t happen at a weekend retreat, it will happen with a commitment, about which you do NOT waiver. Here are the key components of the nuts and bolts process:
The RIGHT People in the Right Jobs.
Specific Expectations – Short Term Goals, Well-Defined Outcomes,
Ever improving Systems and Processes
A Big Hairy Audacious Goal- will emerge as we work these other components
A vivid Vision of that goal realized. An
As you read these components you’ll be tempted to see them sequentially. While there is a sequential “flow” it is also true that we will work on them out of sequence, because that’s just how real life works. A lot will depend on you, and your capacity, your patience, your commitment to the process. I will ebb and flow and help you fit it together, helping you work on all the parts. The BIG PICTURE, the Vision will EMERGE.
For example, we will work on the Outcome-Based Job Descriptions needed to find the Right people, and we will focus on the business part that needs the most improvement first. As I said before, I will work really hard to help you determine what your values really are, and of course why your business exists. Purpose and Values, (core ideology) are essential and foundational.
At the same time we will work on process improvement in the business part with the best people. The whole time we will contemplate what you are truly passionate about, what you can be the best in the world at, and how to measure that. These three are your Hedgehog Concept, and where they intersect is the genesis of your Vision.Does it sound confusing? It isn’t really if you know what you’re doing, which I do. And don’t forget your rebuilding the plane while you’re flying it.
That’s why you need a little help. Me.
Here’s the big picture:
How we impact
SYSTEMS AND PROCESSES
Ever improving methods and execution
Goals, Outcomes, Results, Targets
THE RIGHT PEOPLE
Possessing the skills and character needed for the job.
PURPOSE AND VALUES
Why we exist What we believe
Let’s look at the parts:
Core Ideology is all about WHY (Core Purpose) and helps you with passion, so we begin there. . It is your reason, your motivation, that gets you out of bed to work everyday, and it’s why you show up. If I listen to you talk and watch you work, after about 4 hours of cumulative conversation, and observation, I’ll hbegin to have an idea what you’re passionate about and why you show up every day. Once we’ve determined those two, we will articulate that as succinctly as possible. We will bring in people who know you whom you trust to make this happen.
Values take a little time. But the heated dialogue that will come and the stories you tell, will work together and we will define the “hills you’re willing to die on”, those non-negotiables that drive your decision-making. Core Purpose and Values are the FOUNDATION of your company. They are NOT marketing phrases they ARE the essence of who you ARE and they NEVER change.
Right People- Right Seats
In the book Jim Collins says, “People are not the most important aspect of your business, the RIGHT people are.” And just let me get this off my chest, “ THEY ARE NOT HUMAN CAPITAL!!!!!!! Whoever invented that label was having a very bad day and those who perpetuate it do people no good service whatsoever. The “right people” in the right jobs are the key. What we will do is construct a very specific targeted system of recruiting and interviewing that is customized based on your PURPOSE and VALUES and we TARGET our efforts to find and SELECT people who already agree and believe in them, and who live-out the same or closely aligned Core Ideology as you. Iwill also interview key people at all levels and produce an organization report. We need to get a grasp of the values of the current people and I will assess the EXISTING Culture. Our goal with people is true empowerment which comes when a person can DO the job and has the same work “paradigm” as you. Aligned people are those whom you can TRUST and when you have people you can TRUST, you are exponentially more effective and the synergy it creates is more than can be described here. So selecting the RIGHT people, like living out YOUR values is NOT negotiable.
I have created a process of creating Outcome Based Job Descriptions©. This instrument helps to “set the bar” for peformance. People are naturally teleological, goal oriented, WANTING to know what is expected of them. By creating these types job descriptions we begin the process of identifying the outcomes that are important in each job and we ALIGN the jobs with company’s goals. (I know, I know, it sound simple but it just isn’t done in most organization.) Outcome Based Job Descriptions also give GREAT people the grace to be constantly improving themselves as to HOW they achieve these outcomes. By defining and measuring outcomes based on the Vision and the Core Ideology we give credibility to the Core Ideology and create “empowerment” opportunity. When we hire people who “fit” they are EXCITED by the job description. I have had people say they have found their DREAM job. One woman worked 10 hours at home the weekend before she started and showed up with immediate plans and action steps! Shouldn’t this be
Systems and Processes
Is LEAN a program or imbedded in the culture? You might already be knee deep in Six Sigma or Lean Manufacturing, in which case we will focus on anything we can do to determine what needs to be done to focus those efforts for maximum return. (I’ll bet people play a HUGE part in that process.) If you have this system in place in production we’ll see if other parts of the business can improve. Do you measure the sales process? Do processes produce desired outcomes? I know of companies knee-deep in Lean and not making a dime more. Is the essence of Lean part of your Core Ideology? Values?
Big Hairy Audacious Goal
When you identify what you are passionate about and what you can be the best in the world, (your core competency), the idea of “impacting the world” begins to emerge. You start to see, as better and better people come on board, as systems fall into place, as you consider what you’re really great at and what you’re passionate about, a way you can make the world better. You realize that you can achieve something really big and really meaningful. Just as JFK who, in 1962 said, “Our Goal, before this decade is out, is to send a man to the moon, and return him safely to the Earth.” Or like Sony in 1954, “we will change the way people view the word’s -made in
The BHAG or Vision will be as vivid as we can possibly make it. Once we have CLARITY, people’s teleological nature kicks in. Great strides are imminent. A “flow” will emerge, success, because it is so well defined, will “happen”. Sustained success will be normal as the consistency of the people and the way they FIT together, their shared values and skills will cause such a high level of performance that it will take on “magical” components.
Jeffrey A Pelletier 651-492-8540