24 December 2005

Good (if breathless) advice from Tom Peters.

I can deal with Peters's overuse of exclamation points. I can deal with his overuse of massively-hyphenated-word-strings. Unlike, say, Tom Wolfe, Peters does it to grab your attention with a certain dose of humility about his own zaniness. Anyway, here he offers a classic dose of good advice. It meshes well with my own experiences in the world of business.

Half the companies in the country (not to mention my own Democratic Party, etc.) could improve themselves hugely just by following the first part of point (A): 'Bedrock #1 for corporate success is a "culture of execution." ' My own gloss:

1. Find the people who don't execute.
2. Give them a short period to get it turned around -- maybe a month. (This saves organizations from getting rid of employees, like my younger self, who coast so long as execution is secondary, but who will put up good performance if it's demanded of them.)
3. Flush out the unreformed, quickly and without any further compunction.

That's it. That's the key to turning a business around, so long as you're willing to do it in every single area -- product, marketing, sales, HR (Peters is right -- especially HR), finances, provisioning the break room, whatever. It has to apply to everything.

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