Sunday, April 19, 2015

Please pass the keys

The "greatest generation" never wanted to give the Woodstock generation the keys.

The boomers don't want to give Gen X the keys.

The same will be true for Gen Y and all that follow each generation seems to believe the next has slightly off views and perspectives.  This is expected given that each successive generation has different social, racial, technical and global experiences during their formative years.

Is the same thing true with companies themselves?  It is easy to see the difference between legacy companies like Ford and AT&T compared to Apple and Dell. The same is true between Apple and Dell, compared to Facebook and Twitter.

But what about new compared to legacy companies in the same industry?  General Motors to Tesla? Lockheed Martin to Space X? 

Do the legacy companies have a chance or will the start-ups take over like each generation does?


Tuesday, February 17, 2015

"The Theory of Everything"

Am I demanding? Do I have high expectations? Do I require quality? Is timing important?

I don't know, but I have found that a leader must make a decision along the way to be consistent.  People around me know exactly what to expect.  Sometimes it is hard to describe.  The 2006 book by John Guaspari, "I Know It When I See It - A Modern Fable About Quality" sums it up well.  We all know what "quality" is within the context of the environment we live in.

BUT - what happens when the environment one day shifts and a new expectation arises?  An example of this would be the establishment of an aerospace industry in the outskirts of Hyderabad India.  One day the housekeeping expectations are at one level and the next it is at aerospace levels.  It is a simpler task to educate and change behavior with the technical staff, mechanics and management, but what about everyone else?  Before the recent movie release, I often referred to this as the theory of everything.  When you have a ground shifting event of this type, leaders must set a standard that everything must be perfect - housekeeping, documents, signs, landscaping and maintenance, etc.  This is the only way I have found people to understand the message.  The leaders must pick up any trash, submit repair requests and be the role model for the team.

Have you had success changing culture in another way?



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