Introducing Onboarding For Managers, Why SME Firms Fail & Is Organisational Hierarchy Getting in the Way of Innovation?
17 September 2023 Newsletter
“I never lose. I either win or I learn.” – Nelson Mandela
Hope you’re Thriving!
I’ve enjoyed a productive week with meetings and preparations for my new book Onboarded for Managers which is set for release on October 1st.
More about that in a moment, but first, I heard a fascinating statistic this week about people’s ability to keep commitments.
“In a study of 2,500 people who were asked to keep one promise for 21 days, only 58 succeeded (2%). (Get a coach or accountability partner!).”
Onboarded for Managers Introduction
In the lead-up to the launch of my new book Onboarded for Managers on October 1st, I will be including a few short excerpts from the book over the coming weeks.
Today, I include a small part of the introduction.
For managers, it can sometimes feel like responsible humans are an endangered species. It seems so very hard to find people who take responsibility for the desired results. To be a manager is to manage people. And people are complicated, unlike the more technical or task-based work that many managers had experienced in previous roles. But managers must also understand that management is an entirely different job, and rather than your personal productivity, the key to success in previous roles, management is about your team’s productivity. The success you experience, is in fact, only the success your team experiences.
I believe most people want to be successful in their job, and most managers want their direct reports to succeed. I also believe misunderstanding is the greatest source of misery in the workplace today and the greatest opportunity we face.
This book, Onboarded for Managers, is an adjunct to my second book Onboarded. Onboarded was not written for HR thought leaders to pontificate about the HR process in university lecture halls. It was written for busy business owners and leaders to make a business case that onboarding debt costs more than you ever imagined.
In Onboarded, we heard the story of Nick and his boss Alex and Nick’s frustration because he didn’t understand how to succeed in his role. In this book, the roles are reversed, and we hear the story of Nick’s boss Alex, who is frustrated because his team aren’t taking responsibility and too many are quitting.
After years of mistakes, poor productivity, and resignations, Alex knew that hiring Nick Chisholm was the right move to start turning things around in his team. But only six months later, when Nick resigned, Alex found himself challenged to not only rebuild his team but also save his own job.
Why SME Firms Fail
This week I heard an interesting quote:
“95% of businesses do NOT succeed; the difference for the Top 5% is planning and execution”.
As someone who helps teams plan and execute, I was curious to examine why SME firms fail. I realise this differs from not succeeding; you can coast along without any real success yet still survive.
And, sure enough, in a survey of CEOs from medium and small companies that failed, the University of South Australia found the number one reason was insufficient leadership and management, planning and execution.
Whether it be succeeding or avoiding failure, leadership, management, planning, and execution is critical.
See the results of why SMEs fail in the image below.
A completely naked woman gets in a taxi. The driver stares her up and down several times.
The worried woman asks:
“Have you never seen a naked woman?”
The taxi driver replies to her:
“I’m not looking at you because you’re naked. I’m worried because I look, and I look, and I don’t see that you have the money to pay me”.
What lesson will we learn from this?
Be like the taxi driver.
Always remain focused on the goal.
Is Organisational Hierarchy Getting in the Way of Innovation?
This week, my good friend Kaihan Krippendorff published an HBR article about how most companies’ hierarchical tendencies negatively impact innovation and strategy.
From the article:
“Our research shows, however, that the defining design elements of a winning new organisational model are coming into focus: RenDanHeYi, or a version of it, which was introduced by Haier.
This organisational philosophy and system is composed of several innovative characteristics, including the breaking of large hierarchical units into “microenterprises” (MEs), turning support functions into profit centers that must sell into the enterprise rather than cost centers, and relating to employees as intrapreneurs.”
The article explains the four clear characteristics of these organisations, most of which replace their traditional hierarchy.
These characteristics are:
- Treat employees like intrapreneurs
- Work in smaller independent units (MEs) rather than business units
- “Manage” MEs with decentralised marketplace structures rather than centralised authority
- Let MEs choose which support services (e.g.R&D, finance, IT) to work with
Read the article here: Is Organizational Hierarchy Getting in the Way of Innovation?
AI Taking Over Your Job
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