Work is going well. You are good at what you do, and so is your team and maybe even the whole company. Deadlines and expectations are met and even exceeded; people are not just competent but inquisitive and innovative; and if the culture’s not perfect, it’s at least one that most speak highly of. Of all the things you, your team or company could be doing well, you’re probably achieving 95% of them. And that’s where the worry begins.
Getting 95% of the way to something can be a good thing. It’s an A in school; if you’re running a marathon, you’ve run nearly 25 miles. A lot has been accomplished, and what remains pales by comparison. But 95% can also bring forth intense worry and frustration: If you’re aiming for the $10 million X Prize for a car that can go 100 miles on one gallon, 95% of the way there is a nothing but a talented loser. (read more…)
Getting rid of managers seems like a drastic — and to some, very unwise — idea, but innovative companies like Valve and W.L. Gore & Associates (the makers of Gore-Tex) have made the move to flat organizational structures to much success.
Yet it’s difficult to imagine a workplace without managers when you haven’t experienced it yourself. What’s it like? How does anything even get done?
First let’s examine what it means to be a bossless organization.
Defining the bossless organization
Consider the traditionally hierarchical structure in the workplace, which looks like a pyramid with lots of layers. Your manager has a manager has a manager, and orders and directives trickle from the top down.
Bosslessness means smushing those layers together so that : 1. people aren’t always telling you what to do from on high; and 2. you also get a meaningful say. Companies take this repositioning quite literally, with no more cushy corner offices. (read more…)
It’s unlikely that you’ll ever have to apologize for a debacle that’s anything like the Affordable Care Act’s glitch-glutted computer-system rollout. But looking at the way President Barack Obama has responded can provide valuable lessons for whenever you might fail to meet the expectations of your boss, your staff, a valued customer or any other party. Here’s how you can lessen the fallout from a fiasco.
- Deliver the bad news quickly because unless you do resentment will grow and you’ll look like you’re unable to handle the situation. Describe the scope of the problem fully, concisely and without evasive Dilbert-speak. “There’s no sugar-coating it. The website has been too slow. People are getting stuck during the application process,” Obama said.
- Take personal responsibility. The problem may have had many causes, but excessive attention to them might imply you’re ducking responsibility.
- Explain your personal feelings about the issue. If you feel angry, say so.
If you believe the stats, then most startups are doomed to fail. And depending on who you ask, there are a lot of reasons why most don’t make it. So, what’s the best way for a startup to measure its progress during those pivotal first couple of years?
Simple: customer growth and satisfaction.
To me, what’s always exciting about startups like Instagram for example is how many new customers they’re onboarding and how much users like the platform. And let’s face it, no one can argue with their stats.
So, how many customers is your startup onboarding per quarter? And how much do they like you? If you don’t know, then figure it out. And while you’re at it, consider these points as you develop your own goals to measure corporate success.
Customer growth through advocacy
It goes without saying, but customers that champion your brand are worth their weight in gold. (read more…)
The Edelman Trust Barometer is a highly-regarded, reliable survey that assesses the degree of trust and credibility in global organizations and government entities. The 2013 executive summary is now available.
This year’s survey, Edelman Berman‘s 13th annual barometer, shows that trust is taking a beating in our organizations.
Some “highlights” (they’re really lowlights) include only 18% of 26,000 respondents around the globe believe that business leaders tell the truth, regardless of how complex or unpopular it is. Only 19% believe business leaders make ethical and moral decisions; 20% believe business leaders correct issues within industries that are experiencing problems.
Ratings for government leaders is even worse. Only 13% of respondents believe government leaders will tell the truth; 14% believe government leaders make ethical and moral decisions; 15% believe government leaders correct issues within industries that are experiencing problems.
Globally, the two least-trusted businesses are banks and financial institutions, each with only 50% of respondents scoring those businesses as trustworthy. (read more…)