Going from Good to Great

In Jim Collin's new book, Good to Great-a study of 14 companies that went from good performance to great performance, he describes one of the first steps as "First who, then what." By "first who" he means "getting the right people on the bus, the wrong people off the bus, and the right people in the right seats." Once you have the right people on the bus (your business), in the right seats (jobs), then you can decide where to drive it.

Profiling Employees: In November's issue of this ezine, we looked at how to use the tools of Motivate Everyone to "profile" employees, interviewees, and jobs. Using the five motivation styles: achiever-problem solver, leader-follower, innovator-processor, doer-thinker, evolutionary-revolutionary, you can begin to hire the right people for your bus, get the right people in the right seats (jobs), AND get the wrong people off your bus (mismatch of business or job).

Core Values: Later in Good to Great, the author ties his new book back to his previous book, Built to Last, and the concept of "core ideology." He says: "Practicing 'first who' means selecting people more on their fit with core values and purpose than on their skills and knowledge." Using Motivate Everyone, you can ask the question: "What's important about your work/job?" to discover a person's core values. Do they match or mismatch the core ideology of your business? How well will they complement or conflict with your vision and direction?

Accelerating Corporate Evolution: Collins also found that Good-to-Great companies had an unwavering dream for their company-to become the best at what they could be best at. The comparison companies were more reactive, "lurching back and forth and straying far outside" their passion, profitability, and ability (what he calls the Hedgehog concept.) All of the Good-to-Great companies mentioned "evolution" to describe their journey to greatness. "There was no one magical event, no one turning point." The comparison companies initiated "radical change efforts…always looking for the magical moment or new savior." Collins says: "the word that keeps coming to mind is consistency." Good-to-Great companies create a culture of "discipline,"-not bureaucracy, but rigorous, systematic attention to achieving the dream. Collins found that every Good-to-Great company followed a "build-up, then breakthrough" strategy: constant evolutionary improvement leads to revolutionary results.

Using the lens of Motivate Everyone, the Good-to-Great companies focus on achievement, process, and evolution; while the comparison companies focus on revolution and problem solving. While Good-to-Great gives you the "what to do," The simple tools of Motivate Everyone gives you the "how to." So ask yourself:

  • What core values and motivation styles are essential to our transformation?
  • Do I have the right people on the bus?
  • Are they in the right seats?
  • Who shouldn't be on the bus?
  • Are we clear about what we can be the best in the world at doing?
  • Are we focused on the latest management fad, or consistent evolution leading to breakthrough?

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