Tom Peters’ EXCELLENCE! TransUnion Global Technology Leadership Meeting Chicago/05 October 2017 (This presentation/10+ years of presentation slides at tompeters.com; also see our annotated 23-part Monster-Master at excellencenow.com)
CONRADHILTON, at a gala celebrating his career, was called to the podium and asked,“What were the most important lessons you learned in your long and distinguished career?”His answer …
Management/A Manager’s Life Your Call … MANAGING/PAIN IN THE BUTT: Somebody’s got to do it; punching bag for higher ups on one end, grouchy employees on the other; blame magnet if things go wrong, big bosses abscond with the credit if things go right. MANAGING/PINNACLE OF HUMAN ACHIEVEMENT:The greatest life opportunity one can have [literally];mid- to long-term success is no more and no less than a function of one’s dedication to and effectiveness at helping team members grow and flourish as individuals and as contributing members to an energetic, self-renewing organization dedicated to the relentless pursuit of Excellence.* (*Robert Altman, Oscar acceptance speech: “The role of the Director is to create a space where the actors and actresses can become more than they’ve ever been before, more than they’ve dreamed of being.” )
THE 1/10 AXIOM: IF YOU (e.g., project manager) WORK YOUR ONE ASS OFF HELPING YOUR TEAM MEMBERS SUCCEED AND GROW, THEY WILL WORK THEIR TEN ASSES OFF MAKING YOU SUCCESSFUL
Les Wexner:FROM FASHION TRENDS GURU TO JOY FROM PICKING/ DEVELOPING PEOPLE!* *Limited Brands founder Les Wexner queried on astounding (>>Welch) longterm growth & profitability: It happened, he said, because “I got as excited about developingpeople”as he had been about predicting fashion trends in his early years.
“You have to treat your employees like customers.” —Herb Kelleher, Southwest Airlines, upon being asked his “secret to success” “If you want staff to give great service, give great service to staff.” —Ari Weinzweig, Zingerman’s, in Bo Burlingham’s Small Giants: Companies That Choose to Be Great Instead of Big
“It may sound radical, unconventional, and bordering on being a crazy business idea. However— as ridiculous as it sounds—joy is the core belief of our workplace. Joy is the reason my company, Menlo Innovations, a customer software design and development firm in Ann Arbor, exists. It defines what we do and how we do it. It is the single shared belief of our entire team.” —Richard Sheridan, Joy, Inc.: How We Built a Workplace People Love
1/9000 “May I help you down the jetway.”
“We look for ... listening, caring, smiling, saying ‘Thank you,’ being warm.” — Colleen Barrett, former President, Southwest Airlines
“The ultimate filter we use [in the hiring process] is that we only hire nice people.… When we finish assessing skills, we do something called ‘running the gauntlet.’ We have them interact with 15 or 20 people, and everyone of them have what I call a ‘blackball vote,’ which means they can say if we should not hire that person. I believe in culture so strongly and that one bad apple can spoil the bunch. There are enough really talentedpeople out there who are nice, you don’t really need to put up with people who act like jerks.” —Peter Miller, CEO Optinose (pharmaceuticals)
“When we talk about the qualities we want in people, empathy is a big one.… If you can empathize with people, then you can do a good job. If you have no ability to empathize, then it’s difficult to help people improve. Everything becomes harder. One way that empathy manifests itself is courtesy. … It’s not just a veneer of politeness, but actually trying to anticipate someone else’s needs and meeting them in advance.”—Stewart Butterfield, co-founder/CEO Slack, founder Flickr
Make It Explicit! LISTENING. CARING. SMILING. SAYING “THANK YOU.” BEING WARM. NICE. EMPATHY.
Evaluation (53 = 53)
People are NOT“Standardized.” Their evaluations should NOTbe standardized. EVER.
Are you a full-fledged “professional” when it comes to helping?* (*Effective helping makes neurosurgery child’s play by comparison; very little hyperbole.)
CORPORATE MANDATE #1 2017+:Your principal moral obligation as a leader is to develop the skillset, “soft” and “hard,” of every one of the people in your charge (temporary as well as semi-permanent) to the maximum extent of your abilities. The bonus: This is also the#1 mid- to long-term … profit maximization strategy!
1/4,096: excellencenow.com “Business has to give people enriching, rewarding lives … or it's simply not worth doing.” —Richard Branson
WHOEVER TRIES THE MOST STUFF WINS
“We made mistakes, of course. Most of them were omissions we didn’t think of when we initially wrote the software. We fixed them by doing it over and over, again and again. We do the same today. While our competitors are still sucking their thumbs trying to make the design perfect, we’re already on prototype version#5.By the time our rivals are ready with wires and screws, we are on version #10.It gets back to planning versus acting: We act from day one; others plan how to plan—for months.” —Bloomberg by Bloomberg
“What really matters is that companies that don’t continue to experiment—COMPANIES THAT DON’T EMBRACEFAILURE — eventually get in a desperate position, where the only thing they can do is make a ‘Hail Mary’ bet at the end.”—Jeff Bezos
“In business, youREWARDpeople for taking RISKS.WHEN IT DOESN’T WORK OUT YOU PROMOTE THEM -BECAUSE THEY WERE WILLING TO TRY NEW THINGS. If people tell me they skied all day and never fell down, I tell them to try a different mountain.”—Michael Bloomberg
“REWARDexcellent failures. PUNISHmediocre successes.”—Phil Daniels, Sydney exec
WHOEVER TRIES THE MOST STUFF AND SCREWS THE MOST STUFF UP THE FASTEST WINS
INNOVATION II/We Are What We Eat.We Are Who We Hang Out With.
Diversity: “IT IS HARDLY POSSIBLE TO OVERRATE THE VALUE OF PLACING HUMAN BEINGS IN CONTACT WITH PERSONS DIS-SIMILAR TO THEMSELVES, AND WITH MODES OF THOUGHT AND ACTION UNLIKE THOSE WITH WHICH THEY ARE FAMILIAR. SUCH COMMUNICATION HAS ALWAYS BEEN, AND IS PECULIARLY IN THE PRESENT AGE, ONE OF THE PRIMARY SOURCES OF PROGRESS.”—John Stuart Mill
The “We are what we eat”/ “We are who we hang out with” Axiom:At its core, every (!!!) relationship-partnership decision (employee, vendor, customer, etc., etc.) is a strategicdecision about:“Innovate, ‘Yes’ or‘No’ ”
Value Added/Dealing With the “8/80 Fiasco”: Tool #1/LBTs* *Little Big Things
Customers describing their service experience as “superior”: 8% Companies describing the service experience they provide as “superior”: 80% —Source: Bain & Company survey of 362 companies, reported in John DiJulius, What's the Secret to Providing a World-class Customer Experience?
“Courtesies of a small and trivial character are the ones which strike deepest in the grateful and appreciating heart.”—Henry Clay"Let's not forget that small emotions are the great captains of our lives."–—van Gogh
Value Added:2,000,000 Dog Biscuits Blow a Hole in Conventional Wisdom
The Commerce/Metro Bank Model“WE WANT THEM IN OUR STORES.”Source: Source: Vernon Hill, Fans, Not Customers:How to Create Growth Companies in a No-Growth World
Get ’Em Away From the ATM and Into the Branches:7X. 7:30A-8:00P. Fri/12A.7:30AM = 7:15AM.8:00PM = 8:15PM.Source: Vernon Hill, Fans, Not Customers:How to Create Growth Companies in a No-Growth World
The Commerce/Metro Bank Model*“Are you going to costcut your way to prosperity?Or …Are you going to spend your way to prosperity?”“Over-invest in our people, over-invest in our facilities.”*Commerce to TD/$8.6B; 17K jobsSource: Vernon Hill, Fans, Not Customers:How to Create Growth Companies in a No-Growth World
The Commerce/Metro Bank Model“COST CUTTING IS A DEATH SPIRAL.”“OUR WHOLE STORY IS GROWING REVENUE.”Source: Vernon Hill, Fans, Not Customers:How to Create Growth Companies in a No-Growth World
Michael Raynor and Mumtaz Ahmed: THE THREE RULES: How Exceptional Companies Think*: 1. Better before cheaper. 2. Revenue before cost. 3. There are no other rules. (*5-year study: From a database of over 25,000 companies from hundreds of industries covering 45 years, they determined 344 companies that qualified as statistically “exceptional”—that number in turn was winnowed to 27 super-performers.) Jeff Colvin, Fortune: “The Economy Is Scary … But Smart Companies Can Dominate”: They manage for value—not for EPS. They get radically customer-centric. THEY KEEP DEVELOPING HUMAN CAPITAL.
Abt Electronics *Campus/350K sq.ft./37 acres *$300M revenue *Design Center (Classes on every-damn-thing, etc.) *“Destination” (like Ikea): restaurant, atrium with spectacular flowers, 7,500 gallon aquarium, etc. *In-house delivery teams (spiffy uniforms, etc.) *Training-in-general/Knowledge training *Staff treated exceptionally well, financially and otherwise. *“Yes.” Period—to the nuttiest customer requests: NO EXCUSES. *“Over”-staffed! *Merchandising (boats displaying marine electronics, cars with various systems, etc.) *Web fanatics (encyclopedic info re almost all stuff sold, blog, live chat with live experts “24/7,” etc.) *Rating of services: far above Home Depot, Lowe’s, et al.