Thursday, August 31, 2006

Business Week "Competiton Issue"

What Makes A Winner

Great issue that should be stimulating to achievers. It so thrilling to read about excellence.

The Poll section , a survey of 2,509 Americans in middle management and above, was interesting in a number of areas, but the fact that 45% of young (ages 25-34) workers "think it's a good idea to fire the bottom tenth of the performers each year" was especially interesting to me.

I could find no explanation of why they believe that it's a good idea, but my guess is that they "get it." Educate, motivate, and appreciate your employees, but for the good of the organization (and the people that put up with their lack of performance) accept their resignation when the challenges of improving themselves prove to beyond their abilities.

As Jim Collins points out, not everyone qualifies to ride the bus.

Which part of your company has the most competitive employees? The results here were expected, but also further evidence of why "performance management" is so difficult for many businesses to do well, if at all.

Sales 38%
Operations 21%

Executive suite 15%
Marketing 9%
Human resources 3%
Accounting 3%
Legal 3%
Finance 3%
Strategy 2%
Research 2%

Customer service was not mentioned because??? No department? I'll cover that another day.

15% thought the Executive suite had the most competitive employees. A better question would have been, "Excluding sales....?" So, let's say 10% of votes that went to Sales would have been for corporate, that is still only 25% who believe top leaders are highly competitive people. In other words, few of them have the stuff found in books like "In Search of Excellence," "Built to Last," and "Good to Great."

I believe it. Super achiever arrive in corporate and immediately begin going through the motions, but not having the courage to lead. THEY DO NOT KNOW WHAT TO DO. They are still competitive, but it's hard to compete when you don't know how to win.

They are in a pickle. They had all the answers, but now they need new ones and they don't have a communication system that leads them to new strategies, solutions, and systems. They don't know how to ask for help and then listen, learn, and lead.

Performance leadership and management is driven by communication, cooperation, and competition and the will to win. If you are not in it to win it, if you lose your passion because tou are out of answers, you don't have a chance of creating something special.

So they don't. They create people and programs to blame poor performance on. Or they buy more software, take more surveys, do more team building games and exercises...

A communiaction system that allows the maintenance staff to take a crack at improving the status quo. Thank you JC Penney for teaching me the value of getting EVERYONE into The Game.

No comments: