April 23, 2014

Leadership, Culture and the Situation of Marissa Mayer

marissa_new4
Share via email

Marissa Mayer, CEO of Yahoo, sent a shock wave across the internet and the blogosphere last weekend when she announced that Yahoo’s policy of allowing people to work remotely would be ended, and that remote-working employees would need to begin reporting to the office by June 2013.

The debate has raged over the wisdom of the move, with a heaping ton of criticism coming from culture-change advocates who point to research indicating that remote work programs are beneficial, while the other side of the coin points to lost engagement and productivity.

Mayer is attempting to benchmark against other organizations and believes that worked over there will also work at Yahoo. That’s a bit short-sighted, however, it’s also the exact same dynamic being offered by her critics – finding the best case example of a situation just like your preferred alternative, and then using that as evidence that the alternative is the right one. [Read more]

Did you like this post?

Sign up to receive email updates directly to your inbox:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Netflix culture and the Core of Operational Excellence

netflix_defeats_blockbuster_by_plaidklaus
Share via email

A presentation from Netflix describes the core concepts that define the culture at the company. First released in 2009, it provides insight into what co-founder and CEO Reed Hastings calls the “Freedom and Responsibility Culture”

There are several elements of the document that sound just like the ROWE movement that I discussed quite a bit on this blog last year. Just as I found with ROWE, however, the Netflix culture manifesto fails to deliver a significant “Wow!” factor. Why? Because Lean and Operational Excellence provide a much deeper management philosophy that takes into account every aspect of either the ROWE or Netflix schools of thought, and then some. [Read more]

Did you like this post?

Sign up to receive email updates directly to your inbox:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Raising awareness of ROWE and Lean, redux

Upon_Reflection_by_Cynnalia
Share via email

Where ROWE is cool, and I mean really, really cool – is when it acknowledges the people side of things – that there are concerns outside of work that might keep me from being in the office, and if you let me take care of those things when I need to, I will pay you back with interest. THAT is a good thing. But when the people that do the work are left entirely on their own to organize themselves, without anyone to oversee the process, that is not good management – that is the acceptance of bad management as some kind of innate, inevitable truth. Yes, we need to be much more centered on allowing people the freedom to perform without paternalistic, demeaning oversight. Even the best of flocks need shepherds to guide and direct the herd, though. When the humanistic approach gets elevated, everyone wins. When it gets glorified, everyone loses.
[Read more]

Did you like this post?

Sign up to receive email updates directly to your inbox:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Quick thoughts on the definition of excellence, and the weekly rewind

Excellence
Share via email

It’s one of those days where what should be, and what is, are at odds with each other again…..

“Excellence” is something that ought to be defined objectively. There ought ot be agree-upon standards for excellence. In some cases there are, such as in sports where Excellence is defined as a team championship. Even then, however, excellence has a subjective interpretation – you might be a batting champion in baseball (meaning you have the highest individual batting average of any player), yet play for a last place team. A super star player might have sub-par statistics due to the poor team that surrounds him or her.

I think, if you ask almost any person, in any role, in any company what excellent means and they will tell you about their experience – and not necessarily about the standards within their profession. This may mean that, in reality, “excellence” becomes a locally-defined phenomenon, which is a mistake. [Read more]

Did you like this post?

Sign up to receive email updates directly to your inbox:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Unlimited vacation, unlimited responsibility….for management

working outdoors
Share via email

The true burden for making unlimited vacation work rests not on the workers for knowing what’s coming down the pipe and, therefore, which days they can take off. The burden rests on low-level managers who are aware of not just the workflow – but also have an emotional connection to the individuals placed within their area of control. The role of management in an environment that supports unlimited vacation is a crucial one. It necessitates that managers have a handle on the value stream and the ability to establish multiple workaround paths and redundancies to ensure work continues no matter who is in the office or on the shop floor. [Read more]

Did you like this post?

Sign up to receive email updates directly to your inbox:

Delivered by FeedBurner

A ROWE & Lean chat on business901.com, and the weekly rewind

Share via email

I had a chat with Joe Dager on the business901.com podcast a couple weeks back, and we discussed ROWE and Lean,and where the two approaches line up, and where they differ. Click the link to hear me discuss how what ROWE’s creators advocate might help to expose what Bob Emiliani calls “Fake Lean” or what Mark Graban calls “L.A.M.E” and create better focus for those whose Lean aspiration have gone astray. [Read more]

Did you like this post?

Sign up to receive email updates directly to your inbox:

Delivered by FeedBurner

ROWE: An attempt at achieving the Lean Ideal?

Share via email

In the past few months that I’ve been blogging about ROWE, I have been poking at how the two concepts might help to reinforce each other, with the premise that ROWE-thinking could help to enable Lean-thinking by overcoming the tools-based focus that is so prevalent in Lean implementations and, instead, returning the focus to the culture where I believe it belongs. fter stirring the pot and looking for the common ground between the two, I am now wondering if my original theory – that ROWE could enable Lean – was a bit backwards. [Read more]

Did you like this post?

Sign up to receive email updates directly to your inbox:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Results-Only Live: ROWE & Lean discussion today

Share via email

TODAY AT 1:00 EASTERN

Lean author, consultant, speaker, practitioner and all-around guru Mark Graban has been a significant part of the discussion on how ROWE and LEAN fit together…or don’t. As a Lean expert with background in large-scale manufacturing at General Motors, and the application of Lean principles in healthcare settings, I thought Mark could offer a lot of perspective on Lean and ROWE. I introduced him to the folks at CultureRX, the company created by ROWE’s founders, and they invited him to be a part of their radio show. Hear Mark today on Results-Only Radio.

[Read more]

Did you like this post?

Sign up to receive email updates directly to your inbox:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Guest post on GoROWE.com, Lean & ROWE radio show, plus the weekly rewind

Share via email

Tweet  Guest Post on GoROWE.com: My on-going discussion looking for the common ground between ROWE and Lean continues today, with a guest post right at Ground Zero of the Results-Only movement.  I have a post discussing where ROWE and Lean tend to differ, and where to find some reinforcing attributes.  Clearly, there is a single [...]

Did you like this post?

Sign up to receive email updates directly to your inbox:

Delivered by FeedBurner

The state of the blog (and the blogger). Or, how did I get here & what am I going to do now?!

Share via email

March is the 2 year anniversary of this blog. It has had a lot of ups and downs, gone through some periods where I did very few updates and considered killing the site altogether, but I am proud to say that I’m still here. To be honest, I couldn’t image NOT writing this blog. It’s one of the most gratifying things I’ve undertaken and continues to be a terrific learning experience as well. [Read more]

Did you like this post?

Sign up to receive email updates directly to your inbox:

Delivered by FeedBurner