Business, Management and Leadership Ideas

20 Most Recent Ideas

  1. 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 ]

  2. 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 ]

  3. Audit Your Calendar

    Every three months, either by yourself or with your admin if you have one, audit your calendar, showing the percent of time you spent on each project, the percent of time you spent with individual leaders versus in large meetings, and the percent of time you spent recruiting versus managing versus building products (change these if not appropriate to your level and responsibilities). Then adjust … [ Read more ]

  4. Open Salaries

    Buffer has taken transparency to an extreme. The social-media management tool firm has adopted what it calls an “open salaries” system, publishing all of its salaries, as well as the standardized formulas with which those salaries were calculated: Salary = job type x seniority x experience + location. In other words, a salary is determined by a base pay based upon job type; plus, a … [ Read more ]

  5. Listen to the New Hire’s “Outsider” Ideas

    One important milestone during the first six months is to get your new hire’s perspective on your operation. It seems like an obvious thing to do, but getting information from someone less experienced can be annoying. They have all these ideas and they question everything: why you do what you do and why you do it the way you do it. So we fight it … [ Read more ]

  6. Improve Your Interviewing Process

    NerdWallet gives candidates the following materials to make their experience before and after company onsites better:

    • An interview day outline. NerdWallet sends every candidate an outline detailing their day at the office 48-hours before they arrive. It includes: the names and roles of the team members with whom they'll meet, interview times and duration, and any activities they will be participating in throughout the day. The
    [ Read more ]

  7. Great Innovators Do Not Permit the Present to Crowd Out the Future

    IBM dedicates three teams to drive the company's innovation agenda by focusing separately on innovation strategy, technology trends, and innovation operations. To ensure an emphasis on both current and future priorities, IBM organizes business opportunities across three different time frames: short-term core business opportunities, medium-term growth opportunities, and long-term emerging opportunities. IBM made a conscious decision to maintain a set portion of funding (about 10 … [ Read more ]

  8. Transparency Through Peer Conversations

    Intangibles such as culture, chemistry and follow-through play a significant role in M&A success. Business owners and CEOs are rightfully cautious and need transparency and hard evidence before selling equity in a company they built themselves. For that reason, we offer peer conversations with fellow CEOs who have already gone through the process and become leaders in the parent organization. This step is valuable not … [ Read more ]

  9. Don’t Pre-screen Job Candidates, Use a Take-home Test Insead

    For certain jobs, especially technical positions, replace pre-screening based on education and experience with a take-home test. This saves significant time and energy and allows you to engage with promising candidates faster.

    But the most important reason not to pre-screen is that it removes a huge source of initial bias. Many incredibly talented candidates won’t have the education or experience recruiters are trained to look for. … [ Read more ]

  10. The Power of Random Coffees
    One of the biggest challenges in fast-growing companies is silos. Imaginary walls spring up between departments. Before you know it, the sales team and the engineering team, for instance, feel like two totally different companies. They’re not meshing socially and — just as worrying — they’re not collaborating or exchanging information on projects. This lack of coordination inevitably hurts the final product and the customer’s experience. This is a huge … [ Read more ]

  11. GOTE Framework for Maximize Meetings
    Companies train people in their computer systems, HR policies, and more. They devote energy to optimizing production lines and supply chains. They invest in innovation workshops. Yet they seem to assume that the ability to effectively lead and participate in meetings is somehow embedded in the human genetic code. Perhaps it seems too basic a skill. However, if any organization adds up the amount of … [ Read more ]

  12. Whisper Courses
    This reminds me of something our leadership-development team launched last year with behavioral nudging. We created what we call “whisper courses,” which were based on the premise that, as leaders, we have the best intentions yet get so busy and forget to do the many little things that matter so much. I recall us talking about how nice it would be to have this invisible … [ Read more ]

  13. OKR: An Agile Goal-setting Process
    High-performing managers create simple goals, make sure they are clear and transparent, and revisit them regularly. Google, for example, uses an agile goal-setting process called OKR (objectives and key results), which was originally developed at Intel. The process is simple and effective: Each individual (from CEO down) sets ambitious and measurable objectives (like “launch Gmail version X by year end”) and are asked to define … [ Read more ]

  14. Surveying Your Employees about Your Strategy
    Involve a larger part of the organization in a discussion on how the company is doing on strategy and execution. Like the annual employee survey, organizations should take the pulse around the most important strategic topics. Such a survey provides powerful insights about how well your employees — the people who know the company best — think it is positioned for success, how well they … [ Read more ]

  15. Communications and Messaging Guidance for Your Managers
    I’m a big believer in teaching leaders to fish. That’s why we’ve rolled out a weekly(ish) email for leaders … that summarizes all the things they need to be thinking about in terms of managing and messaging to their team. We break it down into a few sections: things to know, things to do, things to share. It sounds simple, but let’s be real, leaders … [ Read more ]

  16. Upward Feedback and Culture Feedback Surveys
    Managers must be evaluated both on what they get done and how they get it done. The “how” is often overlooked and undervalued. In terms of the “how,” determine whether the person works well cross-functionally, represents the company‘s values in both word and deed, receives strong upward feedback, and whether their team of reports has a high level of satisfaction working at the company. To measure … [ Read more ]

  17. Skip-Level Meetings
    If you manage managers, it’s very powerful to set up a recurring catch up with their direct reports. These are commonly referred to as “skip-level” meetings, and they're the only way to get an accurate sense of how your direct reports are leading — and how people on their teams are feeling about the business and the strategy you've set. It's also an efficient way … [ Read more ]

  18. Assess Your Organization’s Bureaucracy Mass Index (BMI)
    An excess of bureaucracy costs the U.S. economy more than $3 trillion in lost economic output per year. When you look at all 32 countries in the OECD, the cost of excess bureaucracy rises to nearly $9 trillion. To dismantle bureaucracy, the first step is to be honest about how much it’s costing your organization. These costs fall into seven categories:

    1. Bloat: too many managers,
    [ Read more ]

  19. Identify the Current Constraints on Your Company’s Progress
    Imagine you are a new CEO, looking at your company with fresh eyes. Ask yourself: What function or resource most constrains our progress? Where would the smallest improvement yield the biggest impact on our business? In other words, you need to identify your “Herbie-group.” Are you limited by how well field staff in sales, operations, or customer support translate new offerings, new markets, or improved … [ Read more ]

  20. Create a Sales War Room for Better Post-Merger Integration
    After a merger, it is a mistake to expect sales reps on their own to address all of the inevitable questions from customers and tactics of competitors. Unfortunately, sales managers are often too preoccupied with integration issues, so the front line is left to its own devices. To resolve this problem, successful acquirers create a temporary sales war room, or interim leadership group. Led by two … [ Read more ]