Google’s Research on Their Own Teams Google is one of the smartest companies on earth today. They pursue excellence in both their products and their people with more determination than almost any other organization. Some while ago they recognized that teams were the foundation of their organization and culture. Sound familiar? They have just completed a thorough research effort to […]
How many times have we heard that “money is power?” It is one of those cliches that has been spoken so many times that one assumes it must be true. Perhaps it was. In both the political and the business world there is a tectonic shift that is proving that what may have been true at some time in the past, is no longer true today. Understanding the on-going shift to other forms of power is essential to successful business and political strategy, now and into the future.
We live in a world of standardization. Lean manufacturing or Toyota Production System is necessarily based on standardization, repeatable processes, identical parts, designed for ease of installation and reliability. But, what if every automobile was not the same as every other one and had its own story to tell? What if every car had a completely unique history and no two cars had the same parts? What if there were no replacement parts – no Autozone or NAPA, or dealership parts department? Welcome to Cuba!
As a student of leadership I must offer my hopes and prayers for the coming year, and to do so I will defer to the wisdom of George Washington. It will be a critical year and those of us who give serious thought to the subject of leadership have a responsibility to speak out. I will avoid becoming overtly political, but this year will be dominated by politics. The subject of leadership and how or why voters choose leaders cannot be avoided.
The principles and process of Agile Strategy Execution are derived from the proven experience of Toyota, Lean Startup, and Agile software development. Agile Strategy Execution is derived, not only from my experience in lean, but also from Lean Startup and Agile software development. I think it is worth considering the core principles that link these practices.
Research by the Conference Board and by researchers reporting in the Harvard Business Review (March 2015) report that the execution of strategy is their greatest concern. The Conference Board’s recent Survey of CEOs revealed that chief executives are so concerned about strategy execution that they rated it as both their number one and number two most challenging issue. Agile Strategy Execution is a solution to the problem.
Many organizations are not gaining the potential benefits of teams in the workplace due to misunderstandings about team autonomy and self-control. This is a critical issue in organization design and leadership today. Let’s clarify both the benefits and the determinants of team autonomy.
I suggest that both Bezos and those interviewed for the Times article are honestly and accurately portraying the culture as seen through their eyes and their experience. Amazon is straddling the Barbarian and Builder/Explorer stage of my life cycle model. This is a good place to be in an external environment that is filled with rapidly emerging competitors and changing technologies. If you aren’t conquering you are probably about to be conquered!