When you’re in a startup, the first ten people will determine whether the company succeeds or not. Each is ten percent of the company. So why wouldn’t you take as much time as necessary to find all the A-players?.… A small company depends on great people much more than a big company does. — Steve Jobs
Identifying, recruiting, and retaining the right employees are among the most important tasks in the formative stages of a new business — and among the most challenging. To paraphrase Jobs, the first employees are almost as [...]
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William Osler, often called the father of modern medicine, famously advised his students: “Just listen to your patient; he is telling you the diagnosis.” A century later, clinicians and health system leaders started tuning out the patient’s voice, turning instead to electronic health records and the latest care protocols to manage their most complicated and high-need patients. We believe it’s time for an urgent and strategic reset. The factors that lead people to become our nation’s costliest are complex. But they call for, at the start [...]
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“What’s wrong — is the company going bankrupt? Are we being sold?”
For Charlie, who had joined his family’s bakery business two years after getting his MBA and earning his stripes at another company, this question from the plant manager came out of the blue.
He was eager to earn his colleagues’ respect, rather than relying on his family name to provide it. So he went to great lengths to be just “one of the gang” in every possible way. This included parking in the back of the building and walking through the production p [...]
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“We found the perfect strategy” ranks with “And they lived happily ever after” as a perpetual myth. A strategy is never excellent in and of itself; it is shaped, enhanced, or limited by implementation. Top leaders can provide the framework and tools for a team, but the game is won on the playing field. When a strategy looks brilliant, it’s because of the quality of execution. A dumb idea is the one you fumble in the field by missing critical details, like how customers would react or what competitors might change while you’re still [...]
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Almost everyone who’s ever gone to work has had to deal with an office manipulator. Unfortunately, most employees hesitate to go public with their concerns. And with good reason: Even if they do, typical corporate responses range from wary or dismissive to actually retaliating against the victim, rather than the wrongdoer.
Unfortunately, many workplaces promote manipulators because they appear to be effective at getting things done, despite the significant costs their abuse can inflict on productivity and people over time. Particularly when you can̵ [...]
Every CEO or leader knows that strategy design, coupled with excellence in the implementation of that strategy, is central to an organization’s sustainable growth and prosperity.
Yet most strategic initiatives fail to deliver, and they do so at great cost in time and resources. In a new global survey by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), 90 percent of respondents said their organizations failed to reach all of their strategic goals because of flawed implementation. More than half admitted that ineffective implementation of strategic initiatives has a profound impact on the organizat [...]
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Nancy started her day feeling prepared to brief her executive team on a high-stakes project she had been working on for the past two months. She had rehearsed her slide deck repeatedly, to the point where she had every level of content practically memorized. She arrived at the meeting early and waited patiently, yet anxiously, for her part of the agenda. The meeting began, and within a few minutes Jack, one of the cochairs, asked her to brief the executives on her project and recommendations.
Nancy enthusiastically launched into her presentation, hitting every talking p [...]
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Just over 10 years ago, French bank BNP Paribas froze U.S. mortgage-related funds. Defaults on subprime mortgage loans mounted. The market panicked. There was a run on British bank Northern Rock. Over the next year, many banks fell. Investment bank Bear Stearns collapsed. Lehman Brothers toppled. Many other financial firms including AIG, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac needed bail outs. The Great Recession of 2007 to 2009 was under way.
It may feel as though the financial system hasn’t changed much in the decade since the d [...]
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Across the health care industry, there’s a growing sense that pushing doctors ever harder to achieve productivity, quality, and service goals is backfiring. Doctors are working harder than ever and spending more of their time documenting clinical metrics and measuring patient satisfaction. One consequence of this growing burden, studies show, is that more physicians are considering leaving their jobs or complaining of depression, exhaustion, and detachment that can jeopardize patient care.
But we believe the implied solution — to combat burnout [...]
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Globally, many leading organizations have introduced workplace policies to enable flexible work, recognizing its benefits for staff retention, morale, commitment, diversity, recruitment, and being an employer of choice. But despite employee demand and some high-profile examples, it has proved harder to get broader adoption of those policies.
To address this apparent paradox, the New South Wales (NSW) government’s Behavioral Insights Unit used behavioral economics to try to nudge people to behave a little differently and to shift the no [...]
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Putting strategy into practice is notoriously difficult. In our experience, the primary obstacle to strategy execution is a failure to balance the inherent tensions that characterize any major execution effort. Successful strategy execution calls for skillful orchestration of sometimes opposing forces and competing needs. In particular, there are four core tensions that leaders need to balance.
Tension #1: An inspiring end-state versus challenging targets
A vision of an inspirational ”end state” is essential for getting people to commitm [...]
Technical developments tend to grab the headlines in health care. Predictive analytics, telemedicine, electronic health records — technology is rightly seen as a transformative force in health delivery.
But it’s not the only one. At Rotterdam Eye Hospital, hospital administrators have found that through their ongoing design-thinking program, lower-tech measures can also improve health care. Simple measures such as building a more intuitive website, replacing harsh fluorescent lighting and cold linoleum floors with softer lighting and wood parquet, and giving c [...]