EXCELLENCE 2019 THRIVING* (*NOT “SURVIVING”) AMIDST THE TECH TSUNAMI:EXTREME EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT/EXTREME HUMANIZATIONTom PetersAustralian Institute of ManagementWestern Australia Perth/14 March 2019(This presentation/10+ years of presentation slides at tompeters.com; also see our annotated 23-part Monster-Master at excellencenow.com)
Dr. D.A. Henderson, who led the international effort to eradicatesmallpox, was asked what he wanted to eradicate next. His answer …Source: Sabin Vaccine Institute
Dr. D.A. Henderson, who led the international effort to eradicate smallpox, was asked what he wanted to eradicate next. His answer:“BAD MANAGEMENT.”Source: Sabin Vaccine Institute
GOOD MANAGEMENT: THE HUMAN ELEMENT “Business has to give people enriching, rewarding lives … or it’s simply not worth doing.” —Richard Branson (#1/4,096) “[Business has the]responsibility to increase the sum of human well-being.”—Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Good Business “Business was originated to produce happiness, not pile up millions.” —B.C. FORBES, 1917/first issue/Forbes
CONRADHILTON, at a gala celebrating his career, was called to the podium and asked,“What were the most important lessons you learned in your long and distinguished career?”His answer …
THE ALL-IMPORTANT “LAST 95%” “Amateurs talk about strategy. Professionals talk about logistics.” —General Omar Bradley, Commander of American troops on D-Day
FIRST THINGS BEFORE FIRST THINGS II 37 YEARS/6 WORDS“HARD IS SOFT. SOFT IS HARD.”
Hard (numbers, plans)is Soft. Soft (people/relationships)is Hard.
GOOGLE GETS A [SOFT] SURPRISE I“Project Oxygen [data from founding in 1998 to 2013] shocked everyone by concluding that, among the eight most important qualities of Google’s top employees, STEM[Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics]expertise comes in dead last. The seven top characteristics of success at Google are all SOFT SKILLS: being a good coach; communicating and listening well; possessing insights into others (including others’ different values and points of view); having empathy toward and being supportive of one’s colleagues; being a good critical thinker and problem solver; and being able to make connections across complex ideas. Those traits sound more like what one gets as an English or theater major than as a programmer. …”Source: Valerie Strauss, “The surprising thing Google learned about its employees—and what it means for today’s students” (Washington Post, 20 December 2017)
GOOGLE GETS (SOFT) A SURPRISE II“Project Aristotle further supports the importance of soft skills even in high-tech environments. Project Aristotle analyzes data on inventive and productive teams. Google takes pride in it’s A-teams, assembled with top scientists, each with the most specialized knowledge and able to throw down one cutting-edge idea after another. Its data analysis revealed, however, that the company’s most important and productive ideas come from B-teams comprised of employees that don’t always have to be the smartest people in the room. Project Aristotle shows that that the best teams at Google exhibit a range of soft skills: equality, generosity, curiosity toward the ideas of your teammates, empathy and emotional intelligence. And topping the list: emotional safety. No bullying. …”Source: Valerie Strauss, “The surprising thing Google learned about its employees—and what it means for today’s students” (Washington Post, 20 December 2017)
The “Hard-Edge-First” Logic “Far too many companies invest too little time and money in their soft-edge excellence. … The three main reasons for this mistake are: 1. The hard edge is easier to quantify. 2. Successful hard-edge investment provides a faster return on investment 3. CEOs, CFOs, chief operating officers, boards of directors, and shareholders speak the language of finance.” Source: The Soft Edge: Where Great Companies Find Lasting Success , Rich Karlgaard
Soft-Edge Advantages “1. Soft-edge strengths lead to greater brand recognition, higher profit margins, … [It] is the ticket out of Commodityville. 2. Companies strong in the soft edge are better prepared to survive a big strategic mistake or cataclysmic disruption … 3. Hard-edge strength is absolutely necessary to compete, but it provides only a fleeting advantage.” Source: The Soft Edge, Rich Karlgaard
My first book, In Search of Excellence, can be summarized in six words: Hard is soft. Soft is hard. My next fifteen books can be summarized in six words: Hard is soft. Soft is hard. My seventeenth book, The Excellence Dividend, published in April 2018, can be summarized in six words: Hard is soft. Soft is hard.
FIRST THINGS BEFORE FIRST THINGS IIIMANAGEMENT: THE PINNACLE OF HUMAN ACHIEVEMENT
MANAGING: AS A PAIN IN THE ASS. Somebody’s got to do it; punching bag for higher ups on one end, grouchy employees on the other; blame magnet if things go wrong, big bosses abscond with the credit if things go right. MANAGING: AS THE PINNACLE OF HUMAN ACHIEVEMENT. The greatest life opportunity one can have (literally); mid- to long-term success is no more and no less than a function of one’s dedication to and effectiveness at helping team members grow and flourish as individuals and as contributing members to an energetic, self-renewing organization dedicated to the relentless pursuit of Excellence.
“The role of the Director is to create a space where the actors and actresses canbecome more than they have ever been before, more than they have ever dreamed of being.” —Robert Altman, Oscar acceptance speech
Les Wexner:FROM FASHION TRENDS GURU TO JOY FROM PICKING/ DEVELOPING PEOPLE!* *Limited Brands founder Les Wexner queried on astounding (>>JackWelch) longterm growth & profitability: It happened, he said, because “I got as excited about developing people”as he had been about predicting fashion trends in his early years.
“In a way, the world is a great liar. It shows you it worships and admires money, but at the end of the day it doesn’t. It says it adores fame and celebrity, but it doesn’t, not really. The world admires, and wants to hold on to, and not lose, goodness. It admires virtue. At the end it gives its greatest tributes to generosity, honesty, courage, mercy, talents well used, talents that, brought into the world, make it better. That’s what it really admires. That’s what we talk about in eulogies, because that’s what’s important. We don’t say, ‘The thing about Joe was he was rich!’ We say, if we can … —Peggy Noonan, “A Life’s Lesson,” on the astounding response to the passing of journalist Tim Russert, The Wall Street Journal
“ … We say, if we can … ‘The thing about Joe was he took good care of people.’”
FIRST THINGS BEFORE FIRST THINGS IV“COST CUTTING IS A DEATH SPIRAL”:THE COMMERCE BANK/ METRO BANK SAGA
Commerce Bank/Metro Bank Dogma“WE WANT THEM IN OUR STORES.”Source: Vernon Hill, Fans! Not Customers. How to Create Growth Companies in a No Growth World
Commerce Bank/Metro Bank:Get ’Em Away From the ATM and Smart Phone and Into the Branches (Stores):7X. 7:30A-8:00P. Fri/12A.7:30AM = 7:15AM.8:00PM = 8:15PM.Source: Vernon Hill, Fans! Not Customers
“YESBANK”: “When we had a processing problem with MasterCard, it came to our attention that a customer couldn’t pay for their airline flights. A front-line Metro Bank team member stepped in.SHE PUT THE CUSTOMER’S FLIGHTS ON HER PERSONAL CREDIT CARD SO THAT THE CUSTOMER COULD STILL TAKE ADVANTAGE OF A[time-sensitive]GOOD DEAL, and later—with their permission, of course—transferred the money from their account.” Source: Fans! Not Customers. How to Create Growth Companies in a No Growth World, Vernon Hill
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Commerce Bank/Metro Bank Dogma(Coda for The Excellence Dividend)“COST CUTTING IS A DEATH SPIRAL. OUR WHOLE STORY IS GROWING REVENUE.”“ARE YOU GOING TO COSTCUT YOUR WAY TO PROSPERITY?or …ARE YOU GOING TO SPEND YOUR WAY TO PROSPERITY?” “OVER-INVEST IN OUR PEOPLE, OVER-INVEST IN OUR FACILITIES.”Source: Vernon Hill, Fans! Not Customers. How to Create Growth Companies in a No Growth World
Michael Raynor and Mumtaz Ahmed: THE THREE RULES: How Exceptional Companies Think* … 1.BETTER BEFORE CHEAPER. 2.REVENUE BEFORE COST. 3.THERE ARE NO OTHER RULES. (*5-year study/Deloitte: From a database of over 25,000 companies from hundreds of industries covering 45 years, the authors uncovered 344 companies that qualified as statistically “exceptional,” and finally winnowed the list to 27 firms, including Thomas & Betts, Weis Markets, Hartland Express.) Jeff Colvin, Fortune: “The Economy Is Scary … But Smart Companies Can Dominate” … They manage for VALUE—not for EPS. They get RADICALLY CUSTOMER-CENTRIC. They keep DEVELOPING HUMAN CAPITAL.
Joseph Bower (and Lynn Paine) on the failure to manage for the long term: “The Error at the Heart of Corporate Leadership”“Managing for the long term”:Long>>>ShortRevenueEarnings per shareProfitMarket capitalizationJob creationSource: HBR/May-June 2017/COVER
The Excellence DividendBook Tour 2018* *Time & Time [& Time] [& Time] Again …Interviewer: “Tom, you always talk a lot about people.”Me: “What the f*** else is there to talk about?”
The Business of Business Is PEOPLE Serving PEOPLEServingPEOPLE
The Business of Business Is … PEOPLE/LEADERS Serving PEOPLE/FRONT-LINESTAFFServing PEOPLE/CUSTOMERS
“You have to treat your employees like customers.” —Herb Kelleher, Southwest Airlines, asked what was his #1 secret to success “If you want staff to give great service, give great service to staff.” —Ari Weinzweig, Zingerman’s (from Bo Burlingham, Small Giants: Companies That Chose to Be Great Instead of Big) “What employees experience, customers will. The best marketing is happy, engaged employees.Your customers will never be any happier than your employees.” —John DiJulius, The Customer Service Revolution
EXCELLENT customer experience depends … entirely … onEXCELLENT employee experience! If you want to WOW your customers, FIRST you must WOW those who WOW the customers!
HIRING: Listening. Caring. Smiling. Saying “Thank you.” Being Warm. Nice. Empathetic. “Better people.” “We.”
1/7,500 “May I help you down the jetway …”
“We look for ...listening, caring, smiling, saying ‘Thank you,’ being warm.”— Colleen Barrett, former President, Southwest Airlines
“The ultimate filter we use[in the hiring process]is that we only hire NICE people.… When we finish assessing skills, we do something called ‘running the gauntlet.’ We have them interact with 15 or 20 people, and everyone of them have what I call a ‘blackball vote,’ which means they can say if we should not hire that person. I believe in culture so strongly and that one bad apple can spoil the bunch. There are enough really talented people out there who are nice, you don’t really need to put up with people who act like jerks.” —Peter Miller, CEO Optinose (pharmaceuticals) “When we talk about the qualities we want in people, EMPATHY is a big one.… If you can empathize with people, then you can do a good job. If you have no ability to empathize, then it’s difficult to help people improve. Everything becomes harder.—Stewart Butterfield, founder/CEO Slack, Flickr
“I can’t tell you how many times we passed up hotshots for guys we thought were better people… and watched our guys do a lot better than the big names, not just in the classroom, but on the field—and, naturally, after they graduated, too. Again and again, the blue chips faded out, and our little up-and-comers clawed their way to all-conference and All-America teams.” —Bo Schembechler (& John Bacon), “Recruit for Character,” Bo’s Lasting Lessons
Observed closely during Mayo Clinic employment interviews (for renown surgeons as well as others): The frequency of use of“I”or“We.” Source: Leonard Berry & Kent Seltman, chapter 6, “Hiring for Values,”Management Lessons From Mayo Clinic
HIRING: USETHESEWORDS! Listening. Caring. Smiling. Saying “Thank you.” Being Warm. Nice. Empathetic. “We.”
QUIET: THE POWER OF INTROVERTS IN A WORLD THAT CAN’T STOP TALKING —Susan Cain
“If you are a manager, remember that one third to one half of your workforce is probably introverted, whether they appear that way or not. Think twice about how you design your organization’s office space. Don’t expect introverts to get jazzed up about open office plans or, for that matter, lunchtime birthday parties or teambuilding retreats. Make the most of introverts’ strengths— these are the people who can help you think deeply, strategize, solve complex problems, and spot canaries in your coal mine. “Also remember the dangers of the new groupthink. If it’s creativity you’re after, ask your employees to solve problems alone before sharing their ideas … Don’t mistake assertiveness or elegance for good ideas. If you have a proactive workforce (and I hope you do), remember that they may perform better under an introverted leader than under an extroverted or charismatic one.” —Susan Cain, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking
If you don't believe that training is “INVESTMENT #1,” ask anadmiral, general, policechief, firechief, orchestraconductor, footballcoach, archery coach, moviedirector, actor (age 22 or 62), primaballerina, surgeon, ER or ICUchief or nurse,nuclear power plantoperator ... (or me).