People Stuff: The Layers in All Organizations

My last post introduced an optional fourth dimension, time span, to the notion of “capacity” in terms of making sure someone is right for a seat.  Today, I am going to share some food for thought regarding the implications of time span capacity and your Accountability Chart. If you accept the notion that every seat has a time span capacity for each of the roles associated with it, you will probably not be surprised to learn that the vast majority of us – regardless of political, economic, cultural or social systems – strongly prefer to be … [Read more...]

People Stuff and GWC: The Fourth Dimension of Capacity

During the last couple of weeks, I have been talking about the notion that to get great people for your organization, all you need to do is get the right people into the right seats. The short hand for the right people part of the equation is do they genuinely clear your core values bar, and if so, do they “GWC” it: Get the job; that is, have the skills and experience to perform its roles, Want the job, genuinely and for all the right reasons, and have the Capacity (mental, physical, and emotional) to do the job well. Today, I am … [Read more...]

Getting the “Right Seats” Part of “Right People, Right Seats”

  Last week we introduced the notion that getting right people, right seats is one of the most critical components of success in business, and we talked about how to identify the right people.  Today, I want to share what I call the “101” version of mastering the right seats part. (If you missed, last week’s blog, first go here and read it so you have the background on core values and using them to hire, fire, review, and reward.) Let’s start by defining what a “seat” is. At its simplest, a seat is a role on something we call … [Read more...]

Three Keys to Finding the Right Employees

In his bestselling book, Good to Great, Jim Collins popularized the notion that an organization’s success is highly dependent upon its ability to get the right people in the right seat. Easy, right? Well, yes… and no!  The secret to finding the right employees to work for you - and keeping them - is very straight forward; all you need to do is surround yourself with individuals who share and live by your core values. There are three keys to mastering the “right people” part of your business: Establish a set of core values that you … [Read more...]

Getting The People Thing Right

It is widely believed that the Arab Spring was sparked by a Tunisian food vendor named Mohammed Bouazizi, who set himself on fire; not because of religion, but because the powers-that-be consistently frustrated his attempts to build his business and earn a living. He didn’t die yelling, “Death to America!” or “Allahu akbar!” He is said to have died crying, “I just want to work.” People are literally dying to work all across the world. Most are not dying for money per se, but for an opportunity to engage in meaningful work. Some seek … [Read more...]

Why We Often Have to Repeat Things Seven Times

Human beings are an interesting lot.  As a young man, I was fairly idealistic, but the older I get, the more realistic I become.  Today, I guess you could say I am more in the realpolitik versus ideologue camp when it comes to human behavior.  The “Rule of Seven” is one of my favorite realpolitik philosophies because it enables me to be at peace with the fact that as leaders, we often have to repeat things seven times before they genuinely sink in. (Incidentally, Google’s Schmidt and Rosenberg say it takes 20 times according to their great, … [Read more...]

Smart + Healthy = Enduring Success: Long-Term Issues

We all have issues.  A shocking confession, I know!  By definition, an issue is an important topic for debate or discussion.   Consequently, issues aren’t just problems to be solved, threats to be thwarted, or obstacles to overcome, but they include opportunities to be grasped and challenges to be embraced. One of the major differences between weak, good, and great businesses -- and especially their senior leadership teams -- is their ability to problem-solve.  And that includes being really good at deciding what problems they aren’t going … [Read more...]

Smart + Healthy = Enduring Success: Rocks

We have been discussing how truly smart and healthy organizations have leadership teams that are 100% on the Same Page with regard to the answers to Eight Key Questions.  Previous posts covered the first six questions, and today we are talking about question #7: “What are our rocks?” “Rocks” is the term we use for the key priorities you and your colleagues will focus on for the next 90 days.  Instead of being overwhelmed with how to accomplish the “big stuff” (the goals associated with the 1-Year Plan), we live in a “90-Day World”, meaning … [Read more...]

Smart + Healthy = Enduring Success: 1-Year Plan

As you may recall, we have been exploring the notion that enduring success is achievable when one builds an organization that is both smart and healthy, and that one of the major aspects of creating a smart and healthy organization is getting every member of the senior leadership team on the “Same Page” regarding the answers to what we call the Eight Key Questions. Today’s post is about the power of a simplified one year plan. After you have infused your vision with the inspirational might of a 10-Year Target and have established a clear … [Read more...]

The “80% Rule”: Making Good Decisions Easier and Faster

More often than not, we have to make decisions with less-than-perfect information or insight.  That’s just life, especially as a leader.  The biggest common denominator of great leaders and great leadership teams is the ability to make good decisions with less-than-perfect information. But how do we make a decision when there are “gaps” in our information? One of my favorite decision-making guidelines is the 80% Rule.  The essence of the rule is that 80% solutions are usually good enough – especially in business, since we typically make … [Read more...]