Business, Management and Leadership Ideas

20 Most Recent Ideas

  1. 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 ]

  2. 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.

  3. 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 ]

  4. 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 ]

  5. 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 ]

  6. 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 ]

  7. 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 ]

  8. Pick Up the Phone and Call Outliers

    Every time Lloyd Tabb finds an outlier in Looker’s user base he looks up the customer’s contact information and calls. During the early years, he did this daily. “I call people because I want to know how they feel using our software. If they aren’t using Looker, I want to know why. Is there something wrong? Are they stuck? If they are active users, I … [ Read more ]

  9. Test Drive New Employees

    Not sure if an employee can "hack" the startup environment? Try freelancing first or do what companies like Automattic do - figure it out by having potential employees do real (paid) tasks with the team before making it official.

  10. Reverse Mentoring: Putting Personal Advantage to Collective Good Use

    To address inequality of opportunity, we need to acknowledge and address the systemic advantages and disadvantages that people experience daily. For leaders, recognizing their advantage blindness can help to reduce the impact of bias and create a more level playing field for everyone. Being advantaged through race and gender come with a responsibility to do something about changing a system that unfairly disadvantages others.

    [...]

    Use … [ Read more ]

  11. Build Greater Agility Into Your Investment System

    One multinational company built greater agility into its incentive system by keeping some investment funds in reserve until the middle of the year, then releasing them for successful initiatives requiring more resources in order to grow. In return for the funding, initiative leaders had to agree to raise their performance targets.

  12. The Company that Eats Together, Stays Together

    Food is a natural bridge builder. But company dinners, especially when you grow to a certain size, can get prohibitively expensive. Not to mention, when you’re stuck at a table it can be a challenge to mix and mingle, which kind of defeats the purpose. We overcame this early on with a pot-luck style strategy that brought together the joys of eating with the thrill … [ Read more ]

  13. Increase Motivation and Productivity by Showing Your Employees the Positive Difference Their Work Makes

    When clients, customers and other end users express feedback and appreciation, employees develop stronger beliefs in the impact and value of their work. Interaction also increases empathy for customers, even when the interaction is virtual.

    Action Steps:

    1. Identify groups of people who benefit from your team’s work but have never shared their feedback, such as clients, customers, suppliers, or coworkers and managers from different divisions and departments.
    2. Arrange
    [ Read more ]

  14. Quickly Build Trust and Understanding on a Team

    One hurdle to people doing and saying any of these [relationship enhancing] things is that they don’t feel comfortable enough with their colleagues to even start. Scott Crabtree ran into this at Intel when his division reorganized and he suddenly had to work with people he didn’t know very well. Things got competitive and confrontational fast, and he felt his happiness and productivity drop in … [ Read more ]

  15. Expressing Gratitude

    When you say thank you, you increase your own happiness. I know of one executive who puts 10 pennies in his left pocket every morning. Every time he thanks someone or expresses gratitude, he moves a penny to his right pocket. He won’t go home until his left pocket is empty. Whatever you need to do to remind yourself to say positive things at work, … [ Read more ]

  16. Hire to Train

    Here’s the good news: The new, bigger role of learning allows you to save money in hiring. When I launched my first company in 2008, one of my first hires was a CTO. I chose an experienced developer who was in huge demand and was an expensive hire.

    I also hired an entry-level employee who demonstrated enormous potential and ambition, although he had only rudimentary development … [ Read more ]

  17. Identifying the Ideal Employee

    Claire Hughes Johnson, COO of Stripe, occasionally finds it helpful to plot members of the team on a Venn Diagram with three circles: People who are good at their work, people who are making great impact, and people who love what they do. The ideal employee fits into all three circles. Make a list of all the people who fall into this bucket. What other … [ Read more ]

  18. Getting Delegation Right

    To get delegation right, begin by scheduling one-on-one conversations with each of your direct reports. Ask each direct report to list his or her key areas of responsibility. Then ask them, “Within this area of responsibility…

    • Are there areas where I need to ‘let go’ or delegate more to you?
    • Are there areas where I need to get more involved or provide more help to you?”

    If you … [ Read more ]

  19. Improve Your Hiring Process

    In hiring, what most leaders do is they have a set of criteria, they evaluate a bunch of candidates through interviews and resumes and other information available, and then they make decisions based on their gut. You could actually turn that process into a much more scientific approach, where you lose none of your experience but you add a lot of data.

    The way I would … [ Read more ]

  20. Entry Interviews

    Too often, managers don’t know enough about what work people enjoy. It spills out in exit interviews — a standard practice in every HR department to find out why talented people are leaving and what would have convinced them to stick around. But why wait until they’re on their way out the door? Instead, use entry interviews. In the first week on the job, managers … [ Read more ]