Winningby Jack Welch, Richard Poe
Winning is destined to become the bible of business for generations to come. It clearly and succinctly lays out the answers to the most difficult, important questions people face both on and off the job. Welch's objective is to speak to people at every level of the organization, in companies large and small. His audience is everyone from/i>… See more details below
Winning is destined to become the bible of business for generations to come. It clearly and succinctly lays out the answers to the most difficult, important questions people face both on and off the job. Welch's objective is to speak to people at every level of the organization, in companies large and small. His audience is everyone from line workers to college students and MBAs, from project managers to senior executives. He describes his core business principles and devotes most of Winning to the real "stuff" of work--how to lead, hire, get ahead, even write a budget. Welch's optimistic, no excuses, get-it-done mind set is riveting. His goal is to help anyone and everyone who has a passion for success.
What does it take to win? According to Jack Welch, winning in business is great because when companies win, people thrive and grow. There are more jobs and more opportunities everywhere and for everyone. But even the most talented businessperson with the best intentions will get nowhere unless he or she knows HOW to win in today’s complex business world. Business is a game, and winning that game is a total blast!
Mission and Values
Mission and values are two terms that have got to be among the most abstract, overused, misunderstood words in business. By contrast, a good mission statement and a good set of values are so real they smack you in the face with their concreteness. The mission announces exactly where you are going, and the values describe the behaviors that will get you there.
Effective mission statements balance the possible and the impossible. They give people a clear sense of the direction to profitability and the inspiration to feel they are part of something big and important. A mission cannot, and must not, be delegated to anyone except the people ultimately held accountable for it.
In contrast to the creation of a mission, everyone in a company should have something to say about values. You can use company-wide meetings, training sessions, and the like, for as much personal discussion as possible, and the intranet for broader input. The executive team has to go out of their way to be sure they’ve created an atmosphere where people feel it is their obligation to contribute.
Candor: The Biggest Dirty Little Secret in Business
Lack of candor blocks smart ideas, fast action and good people contributing all the stuff they’ve got. It’s a killer. When you’ve got candor, everything just operates faster and better.
First you get idea-rich. Second, candor generates speed. Third, candor cuts costs. Put all of its benefits and efficiencies together and you realize you just can’t afford not to have candor. Given the advantages of candor, you have to wonder why we don’t have more of it.
To get candor, you reward it, praise it and talk about it. You make public heroes out of people who demonstrate it. Most of all, you yourself demonstrate it in an exuberant and even exaggerated way - even when you’re not the boss.
Differentiation: Cruel and Darwinian? Try Fair and Effective
Companies win when their managers make a clear and meaningful distinction between top- and bottom-performing businesses and people, when they cultivate the strong and cull the weak. Companies suffer when every business and person is treated equally.
Differentiation is just resource allocation. Along with being the most efficient and most effective way to run your company, differentiation also happens to be the fairest and the kindest. Ultimately, it makes winners out of everyone. However, differentiation cannot - and must not - be implemented quickly. At GE, it took about a decade to install the kind of candor and trust that makes differentiation possible.
Hiring: What Winners Are Made Of
Hiring good people is hard. Hiring great people is brutally hard. Nothing matters more in winning than getting the right people on the field. However, before you think about assessing people for a job, they have to pass through three screens.
The first test is for integrity. People with integrity tell the truth, and they keep their word. They take responsibility for past actions, admit mistakes, and fix them. The second test is for intelligence. The candidate has a strong dose of intellectual curiosity, with a breadth of knowledge to work with or lead other smart people in today’s complex world. The third ticket to the game is maturity. Mature individuals can withstand heat, handle stress and setbacks, and alternatively - when those moments arise - enjoy success with equal parts of joy and humility.
Change: Mountains Do Move
Change is a critical part of business. You need to change, preferably before you have to. Most people hate it; they love familiarity and patterns, and cling to them. But attributing a behavior to human nature doesn’t mean you have to be controlled by it. Instead, it comes down to embracing four practices:
- Attach every change initiative to a clear purpose or goal. Change for change’s sake is stupid and enervating.
- Hire and promote only true believers and get-on-with-it types.
- Remove the resisters, even if their performance is satisfactory.
- Look at car wrecks.
As long as companies are made up of human beings, there will be mistakes, controversies and blowups. The cold truth is that some degree of unwanted and unacceptable behavior is inevitable.
You can be proactive in preventing some crisis in three main ways: tight controls, good internal processes and a culture of integrity.
Strategy: It’s All in the Sauce
In real life, strategy is actually very straightforward. You pick a general direction and implement like hell. Strategy means making clear-cut choices about how to compete. You cannot be everything to everybody.
Six Sigma: Better than a Trip to the Dentist
Nothing compares to the effectiveness of Six Sigma when it comes to improving a company’s operational efficiency, raising its productivity and lowering its costs. Six Sigma has two primary applications. First, it can be used to remove the variation in routine, relatively simple, repetitive tasks. And second, it can be used to make sure large, complex projects go right the first time.
Six Sigma is meant for and has its most meaningful impact on repetitive internal processes and complex product designs. Once you understand the simple maxim "variation is evil," you’re 60 percent of the way to becoming a Six Sigma expert. The other 40 percent is getting the evil out. Copyright © 2006 Soundview Executive Book Summaries
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