Business, Management and Leadership Ideas

20 Most Recent Ideas

  1. Hiring Tips

    Because you may have a long list of candidates, you should batch calls as often as possible. For example, set aside 15 minute segments in a 3 hour block daily. In a first-pass, I always ask:

    1. “Walk me through your resume”, to understand if the candidate is actually interested in a startup via a clear story, or just shotgunning their resume;
    2. “If you left a
    [ Read more ]

  2. Stay Interviews

    There are many ways to invest in employees you fear may be looking to leave: pay increases, promotions, special projects, etc.  One technique is to use what are called “stay interviews.”  Instead of conducting only exit interviews to learn what caused good employees to quit, hold regular one-on-one interviews with current high-performing employees to learn what keeps them working in your organization and what could … [ Read more ]

  3. Salary Bands

    As you think about building out a team, you’ll want market data to ensure you’re making hires within the right salary bands. It’s much easier to have a conversation with a candidate when you have market data vs. what you’ve just heard from your peers. Creating salary bands with multiple seniority or experience levels early on will help navigate tricky internal equity discussions down the … [ Read more ]

  4. A Compensation Philosophy

    Why is it so important to have a philosophy around compensation early on? As a company is growing and establishing its culture and values, it needs to make sure that its compensation philosophy is aligned with the company’s overall mission and values. For example, a company that identifies with “transparency” as a value, needs to make sure that its compensations practices are transparent. Anyone involved … [ Read more ]

  5. External Talent Needs Management, Too

    The corporate use of external talent across sectors and geographies is more common than ever. Talent can provide companies with access to new capabilities and technologies; it can enable faster and more agile response to markets; it can be used to test new opportunities before making major investments; it can be used to respond to demand peaks and to attain scale quickly; and, perhaps most … [ Read more ]

  6. Have Senior Management Work in Customer Service at Least One Day a Year

    Kaizen and the whole process of continuous improvement was, and continues to be, a powerful tool at Amazon. That’s partly because for a long time Jeff Bezos has had all of senior management work in customer service at least one day a year. This allowed executives to see events on the front line, to understand the problems that came up, and to help find solutions. … [ Read more ]

  7. Identifying and Bounding Innovation Opportunity Spaces

    Fresh, creative insights are invaluable, but in our experience many companies run into difficulty less from a scarcity of new ideas than from the struggle to determine which ideas to support and scale. At bigger companies, this can be particularly problematic during market discontinuities, when supporting the next wave of growth may seem too risky, at least until competitive dynamics force painful changes.

    Innovation is inherently … [ Read more ]

  8. Find Your Product’s Optimal Price

    To determine the optimal price of FitBark, Davide Rossi put plugins on the FitBark website that asked customers two simple questions. These questions were: “At what price does this product become too expensive?” and “At what price does this product feel like a steal?” People who answered the questions got a $10 discount and FitBark got tons of valuable data that helped it choose the … [ Read more ]

  9. Analyze Your Firm’s Jobs and Activities

    McKinsey has been investigating the future impact of automation on the workplace. The firm structures its analysis around roughly 2,000 individual work activities and assesses the requirements for each of these activities against 18 different capabilities (see below) that potentially could be automated. Analyzing your own firm's jobs and activities with a similar framework would not only help plan for future disruptions, but also could … [ Read more ]

  10. Ban Email

    The pursuit of full transparency is behind one of GitLab’s most countercultural rules: a total ban on internal emails. For example, employees seeking information or help are required to request it through the appropriate Slack channel, which may eventually trigger changes to the employee handbook or another key document. The intent is to crystallize and capture the pooled expertise of the collective, rather than letting … [ Read more ]

  11. The Energy Audit

    Behavior changes, even those that represent clear benefits for employees, require active reinforcement — including accountability mechanisms and human champions. A management consulting team leader, worried about exhaustion on her teams, began encouraging more rest. But when the sincere urging hardly affected the entrenched behavior, she established “the energy audit.” Every workday she asked members of her team to email or text one item they were … [ Read more ]

  12. Apply Principles of Customer Experience Design to HR Practices

    Applying customer experience strategy to employee experience begins with needs-based segmentation, grouping employees into clusters based on their wants and needs.  Most companies organize employees in standard groupings like job title, rank, department, business unit, or geography. But just as customer experience design requires a more nuanced understanding of customers than simple demographics or economic value, employee experience design should be based on employees’ drivers … [ Read more ]

  13. Understanding Your Product-Market Fit
    Interview Last 5–10 Lost Sales Prospects

    Ask your sales reps to give you a list of customers that fit your target profile, but for some reason the deal was lost. Send a quick email and ask them to spend 15 min of their time to understand why they went the other way. If needed, give them a $20 Starbucks gift card. The goal here is to … [ Read more ]

  14. How Effective Is Your Current Message?

    Product-market fit is all about finding a product that solves a problem and a message that resonates with your target customers. Evaluate internally and externally whether your current message is consistent and effective.

    Internal Evaluation: How consistent is your sales team in communicating product value?

    The following exercise is a great way to get a quick understanding where your sales team stands. Send each of your sales … [ Read more ]

  15. Make Job Descriptions More Inclusive

    You can attract more diverse applicants if you avoid using male pronouns and stereotypically masculine words or attributes when outlining desired qualifications. Tools like Textio can help identify if language in job descriptions is potentially disqualifying.

  16. Nurture Your Talent Pool With Drip Email Marketing

    Most of the time we can only hire one person for a position. That means we may have to turn down some really talented people. Don't let the work you did finding that talent go to waste. They can become a stable of potential employees ready to fill your next position.

    One easy way to make this work is through drip email marketing. Once you've made … [ Read more ]

  17. Assign New Employees an Early Win

    Consider giving new recruits a small project they can accomplish during their first month on the job. Have them all spend five minutes presenting whatever it is they did at the next All Hands following their first day. It's an opportunity to make immediate impact and introduce themselves to everyone in a positive light. It'll also build camaraderie between folks who started within the same … [ Read more ]

  18. Develop a Feedback River and System of Record

    One of the first things I always do when joining a product team is to setup a feedback river — an open channel for anyone who is interested to get direct access to primary feedback on the product from across various channels. This has typically taken the form of an internal company mailing list in Gmail or Outlook, but I’ve also seen it as a feedback channel … [ Read more ]

  19. Build an “Event Loop”

    An event loop is a management checklist to run through periodically — every day, week and month. “The objective is to ensure you’re making time for the important activities that can get lost in the noise. The weekly and monthly ones are particularly tough because you cycle through less frequently, but they’re as important to make a habit.” Here’s an example of an event loop … [ Read more ]

  20. Find — and Slash — Your Failure Rates

    A failure rate is the number of times your company is unable to deliver on its promise. A failure rate is a shared operational metric for all businesses — not just security. “To get the failure rates for your company, find them in each department first. Every function will have a different failure rate to assess their work. For customer experience it’s how many times … [ Read more ]