1. Clarity on the End Game.
The Vision, Mission, and Values of the company are clear and enjoy universal commitment from the workforce. The real end game is what culture are you trying to create?
What is meant by company culture? Just like a country or region there are distinct variations in dialect, dress, and habits, etc. Anybody who travels between Birmingham Alabama and Chicago Illinois or Lagos and Jos Nigeria has experienced this directly. There are many reasons for it which are not critical for this conversation. The real question is “does it exist inside of companies”, “does it matter?”, and as the owner “can I do anything about it”? The answer to all 3 is yes – the only question is what part the owner plays in its development.
Because culture is usually not felt until the organization has matured, most leaders are dealing with it after the fact and trying to fix what they didn't create. So let's make the short term case – it has an impact on the bottom line and act on it early; create it on purpose or live with it defacto.
2. Line of Sight to Business Objectives. The yearly business Plan
This is where your use of MBO is critical. Managing By Objectives requires everyone has a piece of the action, an expressed part of this periods business objectives.
3. Ongoing Feedback on Performance and Results
Although on occasion this is feedback delivered by an immediate supervisor, to make this work feedback on their performance (progress and/or results) needs to be delivered by the system. Consider the 80/20 rule as a great place to start.
4. Scheduling and Performance Autonomy
By emphasizing skill mastery and providing real time data, we expect people to act before being told. Because we know the individual or work group is competence and has accurate data to react on, we have minimize risk of uncoordinated activities.
The only true measure of business performance is profitability, not revenue. It doesn’t matter how much money flows in; it is all about what is left in the cigar box. If it is true about you as the owner why should it be different with anybody else. Tie all of your compensation to how people impacted the amount of money left in the bank.
6. Share the load
Get everybody into the game, the great game of business. Most people work in environments where they are forced to bowl with a sheet over the lanes. Imagine the only feedback you receive is noise without knowing how many pins were knocked down or where? And where do you throw the second ball? Why are you the only person losing sleep at night because the company is not performing?
How Does the Owner/CEO Create and Manage It?
7. Who Should Work There?
I will make the case that an organization that has self-management as a goal taps into the natural yearnings of people; there is nothing unnatural here. Everybody, well almost everybody, wants to be successful and perceived as competent. This is driven by a hierarchy of needs that once met (not completely satisfied - just enough) the individual moves to a higher level - exactly what we are trying to do with the business.
8. What Is The Payoff
The payoff is simple, to create the systems and processes to make self-management possible forces extreme levels of clarity and executives who can focus on their role - the long term health of the business.
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