Bill Gates, Toyota’s employee city, Japan’s smart toilet, Venterra & Employee Alumni
28th February 2021 Evolution Partners Newsletter
“The long view picks at the lock of mediocrity.” – Sam Hinkie
Hope you’re Thriving!
I’ve had quite a productive week with a couple of quarterly planning workshops, some excellent progress on my new book and helping to host the Southern Hemisphere Jim Collins event. And this weekend is a long weekend where I live, so definitely looking forward to a bit of extra time off!
Effectiveness and Bill Gates focus
Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve noticed a few leaders saying that they’re looking for something more in the next chapter of their life. That they have experienced growth previously and are looking for more from their life, and their business so that they can be more effective across many levels. And it’s something that I hear often. After all, the first words of my book Made to Thrive states “How to be effective. That’s every leader’s problem”.
Maybe it’s something to do with the pandemic, or maybe their age, but this week I also came across a really interesting interview with Bill Gates and Anderson Cooper of 60 minutes, Gates being obviously one of the world’s most successful business people. So what does he do when contemplating how to become more effective and have a more meaningful impact. After all, his BHAG was to put a computer in every home. He talks about how he is now investing to solve some of the world’s largest problems and demonstrates some of the amazing technology.
Watch the 13-minute interview here Bill Gates: The 2021 60 Minutes interview
Toyota’s employee city
As an employer, it’s often hard to compete with perks that A Player employees in your industry are offered such as gyms, parking and cafeterias. I remember visiting the Google cafeteria about 6 years ago and yes, Lunch at Google HQ is as Insanely Awesome as You Thought, and we know the reason Google provide a cafeteria is that it helps employees work longer and be more innovative. So if you’re considering hiring a person who is also applying at a place like Google, with perks like free food, it’s incredibly hard to compete.
That’s why in my book Made to Thrive I outlined the concept of the Employee Promise to help try to combat tactics like free food in the ongoing war for A players.
This week however Toyota has taken the war for talent to a completely different level.
Instead of simply offering free lunches, car parking or perhaps company cars, Toyota is building a 175-acre smart city at the base of Mount Fuji in Japan to house employees. It’s very hard for employees to go for a job interview with another employer across town when you own the whole city! Of course, it will be completely interconnected with Artificial Intelligence monitoring and robotics to help people and monitor their health. I don’t know if this sets a trend for corporate cities, but it will be incredibly hard to steal employees from there.
Japan’s new smart toilet
When Toyota mentioned that AI will monitor peoples health, I don’t know if they had this in mind, but this week I came across an amazing new development from a Japanese toilet company. When we talk about building a strategy that is unique from your competitors, this is an excellent example, where a toilet manufacturer is getting into the health care business.
Toto, a Japanese company best known for toilets with heated seats and built-in bidets, is taking its technology to a whole new level to help people better manage their health through automated monitoring and analysis of urine and stool. Toto is working on a toilet outfitted with sensors in the seat and other health-monitoring technologies that look for signs of health problems. The Wellness Toilet, which the company hopes to roll out in a few years, will scrutinize people’s daily waste output to look for various disease markers. The company plans to use its health-tracking toilet technology to offer new services, such as tips to help people improve their diets and lifestyles for better health.
Read the article here How’s your health? Toto’s smart toilet will keep tabs for you
Venterra Employee Promise example
As mentioned above the Employee Promise can be an important part of your recruiting strategy. This week I came across an Employee Promise example from Texas-based realtor Venterra realty. One of the things I like about it is that it balances what they promise, with what the employee should promise, setting out both parties obligations.
The power of Employee Alumni
An interesting article came out this week from HBR about how some industries use alumni to build a better culture that I thought you might enjoy. From the article;
“Recognizing that “nothing lasts forever” allows employers to have more honest conversations with employees about their careers. For example, in his various executive roles over the years, Quinn has tried to create a climate in which employees feel safe sharing sentiments such as “I am not sure this is the right place for me anymore.” He encourages managers to respond with this message: “You are valued and we would hate to lose you, but if you want something we cannot give, we will support your exit and help you prepare for the next steps in your career.” Quinn acknowledges that this approach is not always popular with others on his top management team. His goal, however, is not to retain every single employee but to treat people respectfully, do what’s best for them, and, in the process, keep morale and productivity high.”
Read the article Turn departing employees into loyal alumni
This week on The Growth Whisperers podcast
This week on The Growth Whispers we discuss how to decide what to do when you’re unsure about a person on your team. When should you fire a person, when should you performance manage a person? Is the person right for the role?
We go through Jim Collins 7 people questions to decide what you should do with an employee you’re worried about. We provide insights, stories and clarification about each of the 7 questions to ensure you are confident about what to do when an employee just doesn’t feel right.
Jim Collins 7 people questions are
1 – Are you beginning to lose other people by keeping this person in the seat?
2 – Do you have a values problem, a will problem or a skills problem?
3 – What’s the person’s relationship to the window and the mirror? (The right people look out the window when things go right giving credit to others, the wrong people look in the mirror assigning credit to themselves)
4 – Does the person see work as a job or a responsibility?
5 – Has your confidence in the person gone up or down in the past year?
6 – Do you have a bus problem or a seat problem?
7 – How would you feel if the person quit?
Listen to The Growth Whisperers
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