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Title: Tom Peters

Tom Peters EXCELLENCE. ALWAYS.Talent.Lea
dership.The Talent 57/13 November 2008
NOTE To appreciate this presentation and
ensure that it is not a mess, you need Microsoft
fonts Showcard Gothic, Ravie, Chiller
and Verdana
people power The talent 57
Organizations exist to serve. Period. Leaders
live to serve. Period.
This is the critical contextual point. Every
organizational entity exists only to serve. To
serve its members, who in turn do something of
use for others called customers, the community,
etc. This model applies equally to baseball
teams and accounting departments serving other
internal departments and restaurants and Girl
Scout troops. In turn, leaders only principal
role is to serve (provide growth opportunities,
etc.) those who are in turn being of service.
Why in the World did you go to Siberia?
Speech in Novosibirsk in the late Spring of
2006. The view from my Air Siberia plane as we
Enterprise (at its best) An emotional,
vital, innovative, joyful, creative,
entrepreneurial endeavor that elicits maximum
concerted human
potential in the wholehearted service of
others.Employees, Customers, Suppliers,
Communities, Owners, Temporary partners
I was among the first (the first, probably) of
the gurus to make this journeyand I felt an
immense obligation to spell out the possibilities
as I saw them. These words are meant to be taken
literallyhow, in fact, could there be any other
serious aspiration?
Organizations exist to serve. Period. Leaders
live to serve. Period. Passionate servant
leaders, determined to create a legacy of
earthshaking transformation in their domain
create/must necessarily create organizations
which are no less than Cathedrals in which
the full and awesome power of the Imagination
and Spirit and native Entrepreneurial flair of
diverse individuals is unleashed In passionate
pursuit of jointly perceived soaring purpose and
personal and community and client service
no less than Cathedrals in which the full and
awesome power of the Imagination and Spirit and
native Entrepreneurial flair of diverse
individuals is unleashed
I was flattered to be asked to keynote the first
major conference celebrating Peter Druckers life
work. It took place in Sydney, and was organized
by the Australian Institute of Management. I
fretted ceaselessly, or so it felt, for weeks.
Druckers work was more, far more, than brilliant
insights. As a refugee from totalitarianism, he
was interested in organizational arrangements
that would contribute to the stability and
progress of civilization. At any rate, it got me
thinking. And in a direction that was novel for
me. Though far more explanation is required,
suffice it to say that I am attaching as
Appendix ONE a subset of slides from the AIM
event that capture my beliefs about the high
potential of enterprises of all sorts. Yes,
cathedrals dedicated to human development
occurs/is meant to occur which contagiously
spreads to associated communities (customers,
etc). This is obvious when it is your childs
fourth grade classroom, but holds equally to the
furniture makers shop in Pawlet, Vermontor the
logistics department in the factory down the road.
"We all start out in life loving our fathers and
mothers above everything else in the world, but
that does not close the doors of love. That
prepares us to love our wives and husbands and
children and friends and to cooperate with and
show respect to all worthy individuals with whom
we come in contact or have an opportunity to
reach in other ways. We must apply that to
nations and to other businesses. "We in IBM
must not confine our thoughts just to IBM. We
must extend our cooperation to all other
businesses whether we do business with them or
not. We are one cog in the industrial wheel.
"Then as citizens we must extend our respect to
all worthy people in all nations. We are moving
along in troublesome times, but the love of these
various things of which I have spoken and of the
people in whom we are interested is going to be
the great force which will make us all appreciate
the spiritual values which constitute the only
solid foundation on which we can build."
Thomas J. Watson, Sr. address to IBM Sales and
Service Class 525 and Customer Engineers Class
528, IBM Country Club, Endicott, NY, October 30,
My goal here is to get you to read this slowly
and absorb its flavor. Watson was the legendary
leader who, principally through the provision of
peerless and unprecedented service excellence
(more than product), took IBM to Olympian and
sustaining success in the 60s through the 80s.
The construction of the ideal IBM began decades
beforeand the encompassing, almost religious
view of the firm is extraordinaryand, by the by,
uttered just 38 days before Pearl Harbor. (Mr
Watson was often criticized at the time, because,
even though IBM was relatively small, he had
taken on international markets with unusual
vigorincluding some that were quite unsavory.)
Watson's two favorite words were think and
excellence. IBM stood out from the herd in
1982, at the time of the publication of In Search
of Excellence, as much or even more than GE did
20 years later.)(To offer a flavor of IBMs
practices at the time, a salesman was fired if he
was caught in any way criticizing a competitors
product. On the service side, Watson, in a small
but symbolically important gesture, was the first
to insist that his field service people wear
Cause (worthy of commitment)Space (room
for initiative) Decency (respect,
An effort to summarize.
Cause (worthy of commitment)Space (room
for/encouragement for initiative-adventures)
Decency (respect, grace, integrity, humane)
service (worthy of our clients extended

familys continuing custom)excellence (period)
servant leadership
Cause. Space. Decency. Service.Excellence.
servant leadership.
Leaders SERVE people. Period. (inspired by
Robert Greenleaf)
I have always believed that the purpose of the
corporation is to be a blessing to the
employees. Boyd Clarke (Boyd was the
president of the Tom Peters Company for several
years until his untimely death, at age 51, in
Bonus The 5Es Credo
Another, groping effort to summarize.
Enthusiasm! Execution!Experience!Empathy!
Enthusiasm! (Matchless and internally and
externally contagious and visible energy and
vitality.) Execution! (A bulldog, unglamorous
effort aimed at GTD/getting things done is the
Holy Grail and principal source of pridethe
strategy bit is secondary to the do it
bit.)Experience! (The organization delivers its
productincluding accounting services from an
internal department to its customer
departmentswith panache.)Empathy! (Despite the
abiding emphasis on hustle and GTD, Character and
Care in all we do is an equal hallmark of the
enterprise.)Excellence! (Head-turning
aspirations from the world-class busboy to the
world-class chef to the world-class parking
Kevin Roberts Credo1. Ready.
Fire! Aim.2. If it aint broke ... Break it!3.
Hire crazies.4. Ask dumb questions.5. Pursue
failure.6. Lead, follow ... or get out of the
way!7. Spread confusion.8. Ditch your
office.9. Read odd stuff.10. Avoid
moderation!Roberts is the CEO of Saatchi
Saatchi Worldwide
The greatest dangerfor most of usis not that
our aim istoo highand we miss it,but that it
istoo lowand we reach it.Michelangelo
"Life is not a journey to the grave with the
intention of arriving safely in one pretty and
well preserved piece, but to skid across the line
broadside, thoroughly used up, worn out, leaking
oil, shouting GERONIMO! Bill McKenna,
professional motorcycle racer (Cycle magazine
1. people! People!
people! People!
L(21) L(-21)

Leadership(21A.D.) Leadership(21B.C.)

When it comes to Leadership Excellence, the tools
may be different, but the Principles and
Practices are decidedly timeless. (Period.)
Leaders do people. Period. Anon.
TP How to flush 500,000 down the toilet in
one easy lesson!!
I use a local example from, alas, 7-11. A big
hunk of change was spent on physical upgrading at
a store near me, but it was indeed pissed away.
The store looked much better but the staff
attitude remained, well, awful.
lt CAPEXgt People!
Attitude beats capital improvementsspend the
bucks on the people, not (or more than) the
plywood. Review your budget upon completion
(the point at which you momentarily lock it
down). Having given it your very best shot,
immediately cut the capital budget by 15--and
put the entire sum into people programs.
Container store 2x training
Faced with the current crisis, the Container
Store doubled, rather than cut, as most would do,
the training budget for front line employees. The
CEO said that now, more than ever, the employees
need to induce remaining customers to purchase!
2. The Customer is Job
And that principal customer is
You have to treat your employees like
customers. Herb Kelleher, complete answer, upon
being asked his secrets to success Source
Joe Nocera, NYT, Parting Words of an Airline
Pioneer, on the occasion of Herb Kellehers
retirement after 37 years at Southwest Airlines
(SWAs pilots union took out a full-page ad in
USA Today thanking HK for all he had done across
the way in Dallas American Airlines pilots were
picketing the Annual Meeting)
The Customer Comes Second Put Your People First
and Watch Em kick butt Hal Rosenbluth and
Diane McFerrin Peters (no relationbe delighted
if she was)
Consistent with the idea that underscoring Brand
Inside is the best way to keep the ocean deep
blue, the Sole Secret (he says) of Southwest
Airlines founder Herb Kelleher is putting his
people Firstmaking them his principal customers.
The likes of Dave Liniger (RE/MAX founder) and
Hal Rosenbluth (superstar boss of travel giant
Rosenbluth International) spout and live this
same idea, using practically the same wordse.g.,
Hals book Putting the Customer Second.
3. Soft Is Hard.
Managing By Wandering Around, the HP credo that
Bob Waterman came upon in 1978. Its literal and
metaphorical meaning came to epitomize what we
learned in our research and then tried to convey
in In Search of Excellence. Never forget the
Eternal Basics!Stay in constant touch with
realityand the people who do the work.An
explication of this obvious idea, so often
honored in the breach, is offered at Appendix
Tom, let me tell you the definition of a good
lending officer. After church on Sunday, on the
way home with his family, he takes a little
detour to drive by the factory he just lent money
to. Doesnt go in or any such thing, just drives
by and takes a look.
A bank CEO (mid-size bank) shared this insight
with me 20 years ago. A failure to practice this
obvious basic is , in the end, at the heart
of the subprime messand global financial
meltdown, circa 2008.
Excellence1982 The Bedrock Eight
Basics 1. A Bias for Action 2. Close to the
Customer 3. Autonomy and Entrepreneurship 4.
Productivity Through People 5. Hands On,
Value-Driven 6. Stick to the Knitting 7. Simple
Form, Lean Staff 8. Simultaneous Loose-Tight
The heart of In Search of Excellence.
Breakthrough 82 People! Customers! Action!
Values! In Search of Excellence
Hard Is SoftSoft Is Hard
They (McKinsey, our employer, and the B-school
hard-asses) beat us (Bob Waterman and I) up
over this contrarian assertion. We stood our
Hard Is Soft (Plans, s)Soft Is Hard (people,
customers, values, relationships)
No People. No Product. No Value to
customer. Yes Dilution, other control
and share- owning issues. Yes
Scale-as-power. Yes Market share.
Them At a luncheon that included a huge share
of ______s (country) business bosses, all the
talk was about financial manipulations and
getting bigger. Such trivia as the Product
itself was AWOL.
Yes People. Yes Product. Yes Value to
customer. No Dilution, other control
and share- owning issues. No
Scale-as-power. No Market share.
My lifes workwhich started when the Japanese
were wumping the Americans in the auto business
with nothing other than better Quality.
It suddenly occurred to me
Limited Brands founder Les Wexner, years ago, sat
next to Henry Ford (the second) at a White House
dinner. He said he, just an Ohio merchant, was
intimidated by Fords non-stop tales of visits
with Kings and Prime Ministers. But later it
It suddenly occurred to me that in the space of
two or three hours he never talked about cars.
Les Wexner            
To me business isnt about wearing suits or
pleasing stockholders. Its about being true to
yourself, your ideas and focusing on the
essentials. Richard Branson
4. Brand Inside Rules!
Internal organizational excellence Deepest
Blue Ocean
Blue ocean from the popular book, Blue Ocean
A Blue ocean is by definition very profitable
and will be quickly copied. sustainable blue
(Internal organizational excellence) is far more
difficult to copy.
Internal organizational excellence Brand
B(I) gt B(O)
Brand Inside, the internal strength of our
enterprise, ultimately drives Brand Outside,
the projection of that inner strength to the
marketplace. What do I think makes the world
turnwith sustaining Excellence? A good
strategyor Walkabout? I try to answer that
question at Appendix Three.
5. P.O.T./ Pursuit Of
The leaders of Great Groups love talent and
know where to find it. They revel in the talent
of others. Warren Bennis Patricia Ward
Biederman, Organizing Genius
PARCs Bob Taylor, as seen by one of his
admirers Connoisseur of Talent Taylor
was founding boss of Xeroxs fabled Palo Alto
Research Center he was said to be a genius at
attracting brilliant peoplenot automatic in the
early days when Silicon Valley was a puny youth. T
6. The Find it
obsession Biz Strategic Priority 1 ?!.
Consider it, and the implications 1
Busy Executives Fail To Give Recruiting
Attention It Deserves Headline, WSJ,
In short, hiring is the most important aspect
of business and yet remains woefully
misunderstood. Source Wall Street Journal,
10.29.08, review of Who The A Method for
Hiring, Geoff Smart and Randy Street
Development can help great people be even
better but if I had a dollar to spend, Id spend
70 cents getting the right person in the door.
Paul Russell, Director, Leadership
Development, Google
Who? The screening
interview The Topgrading Interview (story
and patterns) Focused interview Reference
interview Detailed rituals, goals,
follow-up Source Who The A Method for Hiring,
Geoff Smart and Randy Street
The book Who is far from perfect, but it provides
a systematic framework for hiring. And implies
that we can think as systematically about the
topic as we would about concocting, say, an
inventory system. We may currently spend a lot
of time on recruiting, but the authors suggest,
with a dumptruck load of corroborating evidence,
that the process is rarely exactingly thought out.
The most important decisions businesspeople make
are not what decisions but who decisions.
Jim Collins, Good to Great
CtaOChief talent acquisition Officer
Yes, damn it, a C-level job, reporting directly
to the CEO, solely devoted to recruiting! (Do it
or be labeled by me as a fool!) (This is not a
job or department that is subjecteverto
7. Focus on the 1
Motivational Discriminator Selection (
Training) of the First Line Supervisor!
1 cause ofDis-satisfaction?
Employee retention satisfaction
Overwhelmingly, based on their immediate
manager!Source Marcus Buckingham Curt
Coffman, First, Break All the Rules What the
Worlds Greatest Managers Do Differently
Yes, Sure, you worry about the First Line
Supervisor job. But is it a Strategic Obsession?
(I doubt it. I know it.)
The Big Three Transitions Marriage Parenthood 1
st Line Supervisor Accomplishment through
8. Legacy 10!
2/year legacy.
Your legacy, almost in full (?!), flows from
the, on average, two annual promotions you will
make. Those ten people, in the course of a
five-year assignment, will be your real mark on
the enterprise. I learned this years ago from
Bill Creech, an Air Force 4-star general. The
cadre of Generals he developed reshaped the USAF
in the decade after he retired.
Ask Your Calendar Hiring-1st Line Supervisor
promo-Promotion decisions in GeneralCalendars
do not lie!
The Big Three. The epicenter of the
organizations strategic accomplishment. (Thought
in most places as importantbut not as
paramount to success.)
9. Talent Excellence in
Every Part of Every Organization.
1/100 Best Companies to Work for/2005
Wegmans 2008 3 of Top 5 retail Wegmans,
Container Store, Whole Foods
When one thinks of best companies to work for,
ones thoughts instinctively turn to Genentech or
Apple or Google or Johns Hopkins or GE. Not a
mere retailerand a grocer at that. Yet the
regional (HQ in Rochester NY) grocer Wegmans
topped the list in 05, and remains, along with
two other mere retailers in mundane industries,
in the Top Five this year. Yes, a grocery shop
can be tops!! Damn it!! (So whats your damned
10. Talent Excellence
Stretches Far Beyond Our Borders.
We are the company we keep
Obvious. But underestimated by a mile when it
comes to its power at shaping behavior. We are
what we eat. We are the friends we make.
(Research, for instance, now shows that the
friend cohort far outstrips parental actions in
terms of influence on a childs behavior. Ill go
so far as to say that the who we hang out with
is the most powerful force in inducing or
suppressing innovation. In short, hang out with
interesting folksand become more interesting.
Hang out with dullards or same-samesand become
more dull or stay where you are.
Measure Strangeness/Portfolio
Partners (, Quality)Innovation Alliance
PartnersCustomersCompetitors (who we
benchmark against) Strategic Initiatives
Product Portfolio (LineEx v. Leap)IS/IT
ProjectsHQ LocationLunch MatesLanguageBoard
In short, the who we hang out with idea applies
to everything we do. And the Degree of
Strangeness in our various portfolios (customers,
vendors, board members, etc) should be measured.
The Hang Out Axiom At its core, every (!!!)
relationship-partnership decision (employee,
vendor, customer, etc) is a strategic decision
about Innovate, Yes or No
11. Expand the definition of
our talent pool Master Crowd-sourcing,
The newfound power of the crowd cannot be
overestimatede.g. it just determined the outcome
of the presidential elections in the USA. Make no
mistake, Crowds are part, and a big part, of
our Talent Base-Extended Family.
Theres a fundamental shift in power happening.
Everywhere, people are getting together and,
using the Internet, disrupting whatever
activities theyre involved in. Pierre Omidyar,
founder, eBay
Technology massively multiplies soft
powerparticularly video technology, and
particularly in the hands of non-state actors.
The power and distinction of a governments voice
is lost in the competing chatter, and in some
ways it becomes the least compelling simply
because its the least novel. Its not just words
competing against words. Images are now competing
against images. People are visual creatures, and
they tend to respond to videos and pictures on a
much less rational and much more visceral level.
YouTube (and whatever follows it) will soon
have greater global influence over narratives
about international events (if it doesnt
already) than any government information source
could hope to have. Foreign Policy, Nov-Dec
The Billion-man Research Team Companies
offering work to online communities are reaping
the benefits of crowdsourcing. Headline,
FT, 0110.07
WikinomicsWikiWorldWeapons of Mass
mobsLinuxHuman genome projectInnoCentiveYouTub
eSecond LifeWikipediaMyspace
Wikinomics How Mass Collaboration Changes
Everything Don Tapscott Anthony Williams
A New C-Level?C Ww OChief WikiWorld
The boss of our Wikiworld activities is another
(very) (senior) member of our Talent Team.
12. Stock up on
Issue 1 To get the best you need a critical
massand a rep as a first-rate Playground for Top
13. Talent Masters Focus on Talents Intangibles.
A Few Lessons from the ArtsEach hired and
developed and evaluated in unique ways (23
contributors 23 unique contributions 23
pathways 23 personalities 23 sets of
paramountRe-lent-less!Practice is cool (G
Leonard/Mastery)Team and individual Aspire to
EXCELLENCE ObviousEx-e-cu-tionTalent Brand
DuhThe Project rulesEmotional languageBit
players. No.B.I.W. (everything)Delta events
Delta rosters (incl leader/s)
Think this is a strange idea? Its an automatic
in the arts, sports, etc.
14. Hire enthusiasm!
The point of all this is making the implicit
explicit. Enthusiasm? We know it when we see
itand know that it might well be the 1
employability factor. So lets formalize itput
it atop the must have traits list.
(Incidentally, it seems obvious to me that
enthusiasts of the sort we want are enthusiastic
about everythingthey cant help themselves.)
I am a dispenser of enthusiasm. Ben Zander
Nothing is so contagious as enthusiasm.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Enthusiasm, the ultimate virus.
Charles Handy on the Alchemists Passion was
what drove these people, passion for their
product, passion for their cause. If you care
enough, you will find out what you need to know.
Or you will experiment and not worry if the
experiment goes wrong. Passion as the secret to
learning is an odd secret to propose, but I
believe that it works at all levels and at all
ages. Sadly, passion is not a word often heard
in the elephant organizations, nor in schools,
where it can seem disruptive.
15. Hire for _____!
Time had a cover story on Nelson Mandela on the
occasion of his 90th birthday. At the end they
extracted his top leadership traits. On this
short list, one of them was his smile! Hooray!
A Great Smile can move mountains, disarm
adversaries, etc.etc. (Hiring the Smilers has
long been an explicit Starbucks Strategy.) Again,
the idea is great-smile-as-formal-hiring-criterion
A man without a smiling face must not open a
shop. Chinese Proverb
Half-full Cups Ronald Reagan radiated an
almost transcendent happiness. Lou Cannon
Success or Failure/Try Instead Optimism or
Failure/From Martin Seligmans Learned Optimism
I believe the traditional wisdom is incomplete.
A composer can have all the talent of a Mozart
and a passionate desire to succeed, but if he
believes he cannot compose music, he will come to
nothing. He will not try hard enough. He will
give up too soon when the elusive right melody
takes too long to materialize. Success requires
persistence, the ability to not give up in the
face of failure. I believe that OPTIMISTIC
EXPLANATORY STYLE is the key to persistence.
The optimistic-explanatory-style theory of
success says that in order to choose people for
success in a challenging job, you need to select
for three characteristics (1) Aptitude. (2)
Motivation. (3) Optimism. All three determine
Like it or not, optimism makes all the
difference. Please pay attention to this.
16. Hire Staffers with a
Professional Service firm psf Mentality
Answer to prayers small and largePSF
I am a nut on the topic of PSFsprofessional
service firms. I contend that companies of all
stripes need to race up the value-added ladder
simply to survive. They will do so by offering
more encompassing and more intertwined services
to those clients. The sort of things that they
will do have long been done (theres little or
nothing under the sun) by my beloved PSFs! What
follows immediately are a tiny hand full of
Monster Firms who are, in effect, betting the
farm on PSF-ization!!
M 0
IBM more or less has ceased to make machines.
IBM 55BAlso, among others in the same
ballpark, the recent linkup of HP and EDS
IBM Global Services, earths largest PSF, is IBM
to a large degree. So, too, the Global Service
look alikes within the world of the giants that
Rewriting the Rules of the Energy Game. IPM
Integrated Project Management strays from
Schlumbergers traditional role as a service
provider and moves deeper into areas once
dominated by the majors. Source BusinessWeek
cover story, January 2008
A January 2008 BusinessWeek cover story informed
us that Schlumberger may well take over the
Schlumberger Is Rewriting the Rules of the Energy
Game. In short, Schlumberger knows how to
create and run oilfields, anywhere, from drilling
to fullscale production to distribution. And the
nugget is hardcore, relatively small, technically
accomplished, highly autonomous teams. As China
and Russia, among others, make their move in
energy, state run companies are eclipsing the
major independents. (Chinas state oil company
just surpassed Exxon in market value.) At the
center of it all, abetting these new players who
are edging out the Exxons and BPs, the Kings of
Large-scale, Long-term Project Management wear
Schlumberger overalls. (The pictures in the
article from Siberia alone are worth the cover
price.) At the center of the center of the
Schlumberger empire is a relatively newly
configured outfit, reminiscent of IBMs Global
Services and UPS integrated logistics experts
and even Best Buys now ubiquitous Geek Squads.
The Schlumberger version is simply called IPM,
for Integrated Project Management. It lives in a
nondescript building near Gatwick Airport, and
its chief says it will do just about anything an
oilfield owner would want, from drilling to
productionthat is, as BusinessWeek put it,
IPM strays from Schlumbergers traditional
role as a service provider and moves deeper into
areas once dominated by the majors. (My old pal
was solo on remote offshore platforms
interpreting geophysical logs and the like.)
Big Browns New Bag UPS Aims to Be the Traffic
Manager for Corporate America Headline/BW
UPS wants to take over the sweet spot in the
endless loop of goods, information and capital
that all the packages it moves represent. (E.g., UPS Logistics manages the
logistics of 4.5M Ford vehicles, from 21 mfg.
sites to 6,000 NA dealers)
GE Enterprise Solutions GE Enterprise
Solutions delivers high-impact, integrated
solutions that improve customers productivity
and profitability. Enterprise Solutions helps
customers compete and win in a changing global
environment by combining the power of GEs
intelligent technologies with its multi-industry
experience and expertise. Enterprise Solutions
comprises high-tech, high-growth businesses
including Sensing Inspection Technologies,
Security, GE Fanuc Intelligent Platforms, and
Digital Energy. The business has 17,000
customer-focused associates in more than 60
countries around the world. from
The Value-added Ladder/TRANSFORMATION Customer
Success/ Gamechanging SolutionsServicesGoods
Raw Materials
Climbing the ladder.
Department Head to Managing Partner, IS
HR, RD, etc. Inc.
In Toms world, more or less every
unit-department would take on the characteristics
of a PSF. Said departments would clearly
understand and be obsessed by the value they
addand like a person from IBM Global Services,
they could readily explain it to others. See
Appendix FOUR for more.
HealthCare CIO Technology Executive (workin
in a hospital) Or/to Full-scale, Accountable
(life or death) Member-Partner of XYZ Hospitals
Senior Healing-Services Team (who happens to be a
Every staff job, senior to senior (e.g.
C-level included), is transformedan obsession
for value added is the universal norm. This is
the new economy.
Ideal finance staffer Full-scale business
partner CFO? to the/each department she
serves. Not copobsessed instead with
value-added Integration first, stovepipe
secondary MBWA/bigtime Networker to the rest
of Finance
Everybody! Relatively junior staffers in a
finance department, serving their internal
department customer, become mini-IBM Global
Service types, acting as full-fledged business
partners to their internal customer department.
PSF/Professional Service Firm/BeliefsProfes
sion Calling/Passion to make a
(always)point of view know exactly what we
stand for/
DifferenceClient enduring, test-the-limits
advisorSolution Rock His-her World/ wow/
implemented Culture
change/ gtgtgtgtgtgt
Bottom line re Talent World We need a boatload
of folks who understand and aspire to whats on
this slide. The hiring criteria mimic McKinsey
within reasonable limits. (FYI, such a job
prospect should be compelling to the
candidateoffering help developing a very
marketing skill package.)
17. Hire Design-Mindedness!
The Value-added Imperative is decidedly marked
by the provision of something else that goes
beyond the service transaction idea. It is, in
part, the addition of an aesthetic sense. I have
long called it design mindedness, an awkward
but perhaps accurate moniker. At any rate, the
idea here is that we need a lot of folks, perhaps
most folks, to have some sort of aesthetic
sensibility. I think this is not pie-in-sky. At
the very least, this attribute is necessary, to
some extent, in every manager.
Design is treated like a religion at BMW.
You know a design is good when you want to lick
it. Steve Jobs Source Design Intelligence
Made Visible, Stephen Bayley Terence Conran
Business people dont need to understand
designers better. Businesspeople need to be
designers. Roger Martin/Dean/Rotman
Management School/University of Toronto
18. Embrace the action
A line I use in pretty much all of my
presentations goes like this Truth be told, I
have only learned one thing for sure in the 40
years Ive been doin what Ive been doin. And
that is, He-she who tries the most stuff usually
wins. In fact this idea, cemented during my two
years in Vietnam as a Seabee/combat engineer,
became, with a ton of supporting evidence, our
first of Eight Basics in In Search of Excellence
We called it A Bias for Action. Whats my
point in a presentation on talent? In short, we
need to figure out who belongs to the action
factionand who doesnt. What follows is not
fair I feel that especially as an engineer. But
it does give flavor to what Ive just said
Andrew Higgins , who built landing craft in
WWII, refused to hire graduates of engineering
schools. He believed that they only teach you
what you cant do in engineering school. He
started off with 20 employees, and by the middle
of the war had 30,000 working for him. He turned
out 20,000 landing craft. D.D. Eisenhower told
me, Andrew Higgins won the war for us. He did it
without engineers. Stephen Ambrose/Fast
Company. I say Win the commercial warhire
members of the Action Faction.
We have a strategic plan. Its called doing
things. Herb Kelleher
This is so simple it sounds stupid, but it is
amazing how few oil people really understand that
you only find oil if you drill wells. You may
think youre finding it when youre drawing maps
and studying logs, but you have to drill.
Source The Hunters, by John Masters, Canadian
O G wildcatter
We made mistakes, of course. Most of them were
omissions we didnt think of when we initially
wrote the software. We fixed them by doing it
over and over, again and again. We do the same
today. While our competitors are still sucking
their thumbs trying to make the design perfect,
were already on prototype version 5. By the
time our rivals are ready with wires and screws,
we are on version 10. It gets back to planning
versus acting We act from day one others plan
how to planfor months. Bloomberg by Bloomberg
try it. Try it. Try it. Try it. Try it. Try it.
Try it. Try it. Screw it up. Try it. Try it. Try
it. Try it. Try it. Try it. Try it. Screw it up.
it. Try it. Try it. try it. Try it. Screw it up.
Try it. Try it. Try it.
19. Cheer and promote for!
the worthy failures!
In business, you reward people for taking risks.
When it doesnt work out you promote them-because
they were willing to try new things. If people
tell me they skied all day and never fell down,
I tell them to try a different mountain.
Michael Bloomberg (BW/0625.07)
If you claim that the only thing youve learned
for sure in 40 years is, She or he who tries the
most stuff winswell, then, you are also a
champion of failures as Mike Bloomberg says in
the prior slide. It is axiomatic that if you try
a lot at a very high tempo youll screw up a lot.
Not only is that necessarily the case, but if
there are no, or only a few, cock-ups you arent
making progress. Read onPhil Daniels takes us
even farther!
Fail . Forward. Fast.High Tech CEO,
Reward excellent failures. Punish mediocre
successes.Phil Daniels, Sydney exec
The secret of fast progress is inefficiency,
fast and furious and numerous failures.Kevin
20. Exalt the dull Doers!!
Conrad Hilton, at a gala celebrating his life,
was asked, What was the most important lesson
youve learned in your long and distinguished
career? His immediate answer
Conrad Hilton, at a gala celebrating his life,
was asked, What was the most important lesson
youve learned in your long and distinguished
career? His immediate answer remember to
tuck the shower curtain inside the bathtub
Execution is strategy. Fred Malek fffffii
Amen. This is what Bob Waterman and I went after
in In Search of Excellence at the start of the
80iesmuch to the chagrin of our McKinsey
partners, who put The Plan first. Plan? Sure! But
give me the Doersand watch me romp to the finish
line ahead by many a length.
almost inhuman disinterestedness in strategy
Josiah Bunting on U.S. Grant (from Ulysses S.
Dont get me startedI could go for hours on the
exalted topic of Ulysses Grant. His signature was
Action Action Action. And as the assessment of
Grant on the prior slide suggests, he was
dismissive (contemptuous!) of too much planning.
Virtually all agree about his mastery of the
battlefield, and some go so far as to call him
the best general in history.
In the recruiting process, perform a microscopic
analysis of the candidates proclivity for
action. Look for a ton of supporting specifics.
Judge by body language what sorts of riffs turn
him-her on and off. If the turn ons invariably
come from conceptual discussionswatch out. If
the eyes gleam while on the topic of
implementation you may have a winner on your
21. Hire Relentless!
This adolescent incident of getting from
point A to point B is notable not only because
it underlines Grants fearless horsemanship and
his determination, but also it is the first known
example of a very important peculiarity of his
character Grant had an extreme, almost phobic
dislike of turning back and retracing his steps.
If he set out for somewhere, he would get there
somehow, whatever the difficulties that lay in
his way. This idiosyncrasy would turn out to be
one the factors that made him such a formidable
general. Grant would always, always press
onturning back was not an option for him.
Michael Korda, Ulysses Grant
Relentless One of my superstitions had always
been when I started to go anywhere or to do
anything, not to turn back , or stop, until the
thing intended was accomplished. Grant
Thanks to Grant, again, I became enamored with
the word relentless. The problem is that its
the answer to everything! Nonetheless, in the
context of this presentation, I believe we can
identify those with a history of relentlessness
with some accuracyif we follow the earlier
dictum of relentless structured interviewing of
eighty percent of success is showing up.
Woody Allen
See How Simple What You Cannot Do Is The 320
Factor! Woody Allen/Eighty percent of success
is showing up was the topic of a recent Post.
Rob (Comment, And I reckon a
large part of the remaining 20 is Refusing to Go
Away Again. Ernest Hemmingways The Garden of
Eden Finishing is what you have to do. If
you dont finish, nothing is worth a damn.
Write the hardest story there is to write that
you know. Start it tomorrow. The hell with
tomorrow. Go and start it now. He sat down and
wrote the first paragraph of the new story that
he had always put off writing. The very
beginning was written and all he had to do was go
on. Thats all, he said. See how simple what you
cannot do is? Message-Lesson/s The first 80
of success is showing up! The second 80 is
starting now. The third 80 is sticking around
and refusing to leave! The final 80 is
finishing! (See how simple what you cannot do
Delaware was the smallest state in the Union in
1787 as the process of writing the Constitution
got underway. For a number of reasons, some
states, such as New Hampshire, were absent from
the Convention, members of various delegations
were away as much as present (e.g., Alexander
Hamilton). In any event, about thirty Delegates
were present and at work at any point in
time. States could decide on the size of their
delegations, and Delaware chose fivea very large
number. Moreover, wee Delawares five never
missed a days work and were in their seats gavel
to gavel. Needless to say, wee Delaware had a
wildly disproportionate impact on the Convention
and the document itself. In a nutshell,
Delawares secret Show up! (I like this example
because it illustrates the impact of this
trivial idea-tactic-strategy, available to all
of us all of the time, in the most Monumental of
Thanks to Grant, again, I became enamored with
the word relentless. The problem is that its
the answer to everything! Nonetheless, in the
context of this presentation, I believe we can
identify those with a history of relentlessness
with some accuracyif we follow the earlier
dictum of relentless structured interviewing of
22. Hire and Promote for relationship
R.O.I.R. Rules!
Return on investment in relationships
Give good tea!
The ragtag and victory-less Continental Army was
retreating, George Washington notwithstanding.
For the Americans, finding an ally was a life or
death proposition. Short, fat old Benjamin
Franklin was our man in Paris. Short, fat and old
though he may have been, he was a Charmer. He won
the hearts and devotion of the ladies of high
society with his mastery of Tea Flattery. The
Americans eked out a success at Saratoga which
Franklin turned into an epic victoryand the
besotted ladies convinced their mighty husbands
to get behind the Americans. The rest, as they
say, is history. The launchpad for Gulf War I
was Saudi Arabia. Despite the Saudis need to have
Iraqs Kuwaiti incursion reversed, the Kingdom
was touchy about the massive American military
presence on their Holy soil. Allied supreme
commander Norm Schwarzkopf says, tongue only half
in cheek, that his principal contribution to the
war effort was nightly marathon sessions sipping
tea with the Crown Prince. The point No
matter how weighty the cause, giving good
teaan incredible and expensive (in terms of
time) investment in key relationships is
typically invaluable and of decisive strategic
importance. Message Master the Art of
Teametaphorically at leastand make it in to the
history books.
Allied commands depend on mutual confidence
and this confidence is gained, above all
through the development of friendships.
General D.D. Eisenhower, Armchair General
(05.08)Perhaps his most outstanding ability
at West Point was the ease with which he made
friends and earned the trust of fellow cadets
who came from widely varied backgrounds it was
a quality that would pay great dividends during
his future coalition command.
Do tea. Make friends. Could it be that
simple? At some level, the answer is yes. You
need the troops. And you need the guns. But as
D-Day approached in 1944, you mostly needed to
have a modicum of peace among Churchill,
Montgomery, Patton, Bradley and Roosevelt. As
Schwarzkopf kept the Saudis on board through tea,
Ikes affability, for which he was often
criticized or dismissed or disdained, kept the
British and Americans from killing each other
long enough to kill the Germans.
X XFXExcellence Cross-functional
A 2007 letter from John Hennessy, president of
(1) Stanford University, to alumni laid out his
long-term vision for that esteemed institution.
The core of the visions promise was more
multi-disciplinary research, aimed at solving
some of the worlds complex systemic problems.
(2) The chief of GlaxoSmithKline, a few years
ago, announced a revolutionary new drug
discovery processhuman-scale centers of
interdisciplinary excellence, called Centers of
Excellence in Drug Discovery. (It worked.) (3)
Likewise, amidst a study of organization
effectiveness in the oil industrys exploration
sector, I came across a particularly successful
firmone key to that success was their physical
and organizational mingling of formerly warring
(two sets of prima donnas) geologists and
(4) The cover story in Dartmouth Medicine, the
Dartmouth med school magazine, featured a
revolutionary approach, microsystems, as the
big idea that might save U.S. healthcare. The
nub is providing successful patient outcomes in
hospitals by forming multi-function patient-care
teams, including docs, nurses, labtechs and
others. (Co-operating doc may top the oxymoron
scale.) (5) One of the central responses to 911
is an effort to get intelligence services, home
to some of the worlds most viscous turf wars,
talking to one anotherwe may have seen some of
the fruits of that effort in the recently
released National Intelligence Estimate. And in
the military, inter-service co-operation has
increased by an order of magnitude since Gulf War
Onesome of the services communication systems
can actually be linked to those of other
services, a miracle almost the equal of the
Christmas miracle in my book!
The XF-50 50 Ways to Enhance Cross-Functional
Effectiveness and Deliver Speed, Service
Excellence and Value-added Customer
SolutionsEntire XF-50 List is at
Appendix FIVE
Never waste a lunch!
???? XF lunches Measure!
To enhance cross-functional communication and
cooperation we spend millions on software fro SAP
or Oracle. Fine! But I vote for the true
software. Lunch!Want to grease the XF
friction away? Take a member of another function
to lunch! Youll find, in 10 cases out of 10,
that you have lots in commonand lots to teach
each other. In fact, do such lunches, say, once
a weekand if youre boss insist that your team
members keep track of those XFLs,
cross-functional lunches.Trust me, with no
disrespect to SAP or Oracle, this is the truly
powerful stuff!
C(I) gt C(E)
???????Success doesnt depend on the number of
people you know it depends on the number of
people you know in high places!or Success
doesnt depend on the number of people you know
it depends on the number of people you know in
low places!
Loser Hes such a suck-up!Winner
Hes such a suck-down.
In GTD Getting Things Done world, its the
Internal customers who, collectively, allow you
to perform miracles for your external
customersthis is so true that I more or less
contend that the Internal Customers C(I) are
more important than the externals. Moreover, its
the Internal Customers who inhabit the bowels of
the organization where most of the real staffing
takes place.
You can make more friends in two months by
becoming interested in other people than you can
in two years by trying to get other people
interested in you. Dale Carnegie
Bottom line Little is more important in
selection-development-promotion that Excellence
in Relationship Building Maintenanceas
rigorously measured (!!) by the likes of time
spent and EQ/Emotional Intelligence.
23. HR Is Cool.
support function / cost center /
bureaucratic dragor
Are you Rock Stars of the Age of Talent
In I spoke at HRMAC Human Resource Management
Association of Chicago a while back. It was the
opening shot of a major campaign. In the age of
the likes of outsourcing, I asserted, staffers of
any flavor could not allow themselves as cost
centers or overhead, the long time pejoratives
used to describe most staff activities. They
needed, to survive, to become the primary sources
of value added. To my HR friends, in this
unmistakable age of talent-as-ultimate-competitive
-advantage, my HR pals might ought to transform
themselves individually and collectively into the
Rock Stars of the Age of Talent.Why not?!
24. HR Sits at The Head
A review of Jack and Suzy Welchs Winning claims
there are but two key differentiators that set GE
culture apart from the herd First Separating
financial forecasting and performance
measurement. Performance measurement based, as it
usually is, on budgeting leads to an epidemic of
gaming the system. GEs performance measurement
is divorced from budgetingand instead reflects
how you do relative to your past performance and
relative to competitors performance i.e., its
about how you actually do in the context of what
happened in the real world, not as compared to a
gamed-abstract plan developed last year.
Second Putting HR on a par with finance and
Most dont do this.Most should do this.Of
course HR must earn the front-row seatsee the
prior discussion.
25. Re-name HR.
Talent Department
People DepartmentCenter for Talent
ExcellenceSeriously Cool People Who Recruit
Develop Seriously Cool PeopleEtc.
Maybe its just me. I hate hate hate the HR
moniker. How about something a bit sexier, and a
bit more descriptive of the centrality of the
26. There Is an HR
Strategy/ HR Vision
Most likely, the company has a vision, and one
that constitutes a Towering Aspiration. Should
that not be specifically mirrored and locally
interpreted for each department? Shouldnt there
be an HR Vision?My old McKinsey pal, Ed
Michaels, called it the Employee Value
Proposition. I call it the Internal Brand
Promise. The idea is not the exact language, but
the importance of the idea.Per me, importance
rating A-
Whats your companys EVP/IBP?Employee
Value Proposition, per Ed Michaels et al., The
War for Talent IBP/Internal Brand Promise per TP
EVP/IBP Remarkable challenge, rapid
professional growth, respect, satisfaction, fun,
stunning opportunity, exceptional reward, amazing
peer group, full membership in Club Adventure,
maximized future employabilitySource Ed
Michaels, The War for Talent TP
27. Acquire for Talent!
Omnicom's acquisitions not for size per se
buying talent deepen a relationship with a
client.Source Advertising Age
I have a long and intemperate record of opposing
Big Mergers. But I am very supportive of the
small, targeted ones that are in fact Talent
Acquisition Ventures. The culture meld issues are
still thorny, and most in fact dont fully pan
out. But the likes of Omnicom and Cisco have
developed a formula that offers the best of both
worldssubstantial freedom for the acquiree with
instant access to larger markets.
28. There Is a FORMAL
Leadership Development Strategy.
I have a The leadership development process at
the likes of GE (Crotonville on Hudson NY) and
PepsiCo (Purchase NY) is the Major Leagues. Time
and money are plentiful. Students come,
periodIm busy, the normal refrain, is not on.
And the staff is top-of-the-line. To be involved
in exec development is a big feather in ones
career-enhancement hat. Alas, this state of
affairs is hardly the norm.
29. There Is a FORMAL
STRATEGIC HR Review Process.
In most companies, the Talent Review Process is
a farce. At GE, Jack Welch and his two top HR
people visited each division for a day. They
reviewed the top 20 to 50 people by name. They
talked about Talent Pool strengthening issues.
The Talent Review Process is a contact sport at
GE it has the intensity and the importance of
the budget process at most companies.Ed Michaels
Millikens War RoomTop 200
At Milliken Co, there is a little Talent war
room on the exec floor. Inside, under lock and
key, youll find a couple of hundred names
attached to jobsdisplayed in charts on the wall.
It allows and encourages an ongoing conversation
about this Top Talent Roster.
30. People/ Talent
Reviews Are the FIRST Reviews.
Top of the agenda.Without fail.Top-of-the-mind.
Period.It matters.Big time.
31. HR Strategy
BUSINESS Strategy.
Wegmans 1/100 Best Companies to Work for84
Grocery stores are all alike46 additional
spend if customers have an emotional connection
to a grocery store rather than are satisfied
(Gallup)Going to Wegmans is not just shopping,
its an event. Christopher Hoyt, grocery
consultantYou cannot separate their strategy
as a retailer from their strategy as an
employer. Darrell Rigby, Bain Co.
HR affairs should be the lead issue in the
business strategy. (It rarely is.)(This is
particularly true in fast-growth businesses.)
32. Make it a Cause
Worth Signing Up For.
People want to be part of something larger than
themselves. They want to be part of something
theyre really proud of, that theyll fight for,
sacrifice for , trust. Howard Schultz,
Starbucks (IBD/09.05)
33. Goal Amazing quests!
Life Success! Dreams Come true! for everyone
Is this stuff that follows practical? Can it
be acted upon? Or is it motivational B.S.?There
was a time when I would have come down on the
motivational B.S. side. But Ive drunk the
kool-aid. I think this isprecisely and
operationallythe business of management!To
make people successful.To assist them as they
construct and proceed toward a better future for
themselves and their family. And by doing these
things, the business leaders practical reward is
a growth oriented, engaged employeelikely to
positively engage his mates and the customer
alike.This aint bullshit. This is the point
of any organization.
The role of the Director is to create a space
where the actors and actresses can become more
than theyve ever been before, more than theyve
dreamed of being. Robert Altman, Oscar
acceptance speech
We are a Life Success Company.Dave Liniger,
founder, RE/MAX
The organization would ultimately win not
because it gave agents more money, but because it
gave them a chance for better lives.
Everybody Wins, Phil Harkins Keith Hollihan,
No matter what the situation, the excellent
managers first response is always to think
about the individual concerned and how things can
be arranged to help that individual experience