donderdag, oktober 27, 2005

where is your company going today??

the microsoft insider 'mini-msft' seems to be frustrated with largely the same as many of my european acquaintances are:
I want those who have screwed up to be shown the door. I want those who have done an excellent job this past week to be told, "Hey, that's a great job!" vs. their manager holding their tongue, aware that the curve might trend their report downward. I want folks to speak their mind and help start putting forth proactive change. I want VPs and GMs to go without the new big pay-raise incentive bonus until after everyone else have been given reasonable compensation. I want less VPs and GMs. I want a flattening of all organizations with a goal, within the next few months, to remove one layer of management cross-company. I want a corporate efficiency-cop that people can bring in to help streamline their org.

this post on where microsoft should be going reminds me of initiatives launched at a random broekseele employer.. effective spending, working together, client focus,... all sound nice.. however, it is my personal feeling that persons cannot be made to spend effectively, to work together, to be client focused if it's not in their mindset from day 1.. sure, you can steer it a little bit, improve and optimize, but if your not a believer at the bottom of your heart, you won't become one after having followed some expensive courses..
ranting again, sorry.. i'll continue anyway, selecting some preferred examples randomly..

effective spending..
is about shutting down your screens and killing the lights when going home, it is about respecting meeting starting and ending times, having a meeting agenda and sticking to it, it's about having the right tools and accesses for the right people at the right time.. it's not about sharing a server between three or four applications, ordering less pens and pencils, and certainly should not translate into cutting back on the social spending allowance or training budgets..

working together..
is about respecting everyone's input, understanding reciprocal constraints and procedures, about caring about personal problems and making sure colleagues feel at their best when being at work.. about freely sharing ideas and laughs, not wanting to score in other people's domains just because 'it was your idea in the first place'.. unfortunately for some, it is not just another project to get yourselves in the spotlight, be it through brochures and newsletters, games and expensive lunches, or simply a footer at the bottom of your emails..

client focus ..
is about picking up a ringing phone (indeed, not just YOUR ringing phone), leaving updated voice messages or out-of-office messages for foreseen absences, and arranging such messages for your colleagues for unforeseen absences, it's about knowing where the limits are, so that you do not create expectations you know cannot be met.. alas, it is not about telling your client that he is indeed the most important client in the world, but it is behaving like he is.. it is not just about external clients, but also about internal clients..

for normal people, this may all be obvious.. for many colleagues, however, this must be quite a shock.. read the microsoft-man post above, to find many more examples from microsoft world..


PS: how can you make sure your own staff cares about your clients, and about effective spending, and about working together? make sure it is treated like the most important customer in the world by your own HR division, make that the compensation is right (not simply 'market benchmarked', but also in line with management's compensation), and appreciate all feedback you get, rather than punishing employees for it, and you shouldn't do too bad..