HOFFMAN: Notice how she keeps turning problems — in this case, piles of useless clothing — into solutions: sources of funding. That’s why I call the best entrepreneurs “infinite learners”. The more thorny patches they hit, the more effective they become at hacking their way out. The only problem is that some CEOs — like Nancy — get a bit addicted to problem-solving. If there’s no problem to solve, well, they create some.
LUBLIN: I’m a wartime CEO. Once things get good and it’s peacetime I get bored, and I either want to like do something else wild to it or I’ll fuck it up because I’m like, “No but we can do blah blah blah!” And and so I get bored and I move on.
HOFFMAN: This is one of the byproducts of grit. It’s a sort of restless energy that eventually compelled Nancy to leave Dress for Success, once it had scaled.
CLICK HERE for the full transcript and podcast.
Podcast by the Fast Company magazine team:
BONUS LIVE SHOW: PRODUCTIVITY MYTHS BUSTED
Are morning people more productive than night owls? Do successful people have to give up work-life balance? Psychologist Scott Barry Kaufman and time management expert Laura Vanderkam busted some of the biggest productivity myths at the Fast Company Innovation Festival.
Minute 10.00 – Inbox zero can not be the goal, make sure you use email to achieve your goals. Inbox 40.000 is ok, as long as you get to do the most effective things to reach your goals.
Minute 22.36 – The more successful you get, the harder you need to work. Having more demand on your time then what’s available is great, it allows you to make choices and do the things that matter. It’s not that you need to do all of that. Include private and family items, and decide not to do less important work related things.
Minute 32.20 – Make your to-do list really short. Make sure to limit your activities to a manageable number of things, three is a “magic nr”.
Minute 33.20 – Re-framing is powerful, make sure to use language that is encouraging. Trigger your mind to think of positive challenge, rewards, learning vs anxiety and fear.
Direct link to the iTunes podcasts: here.
Find the podcast on the Fast Company site by clicking here and look for the “Productivity myths busted” episode.
In this 20 minute HBR podcast you will learn about the importance of learning how to solve complex problems. Be mindfull of our system one thinking and the power of slowing down while approaching problem solving.
HINEKEN’s favorite podcast series Masters of Scale by Reid Hoffman and friends sumarized the 10 strongest commendments to achieve startup success. We’d argue that 99% of this podcast treasure is valid for all companies including the largest multinationals.
- minute 16.00 Hire for persistence and curiosity. Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook – hire the best people you can. “You should never hire someone if you would not want to work for them”
- minute 23:30 Brian Chesky CEO of AirBnB shares how they designed mindblowing customer experiences by imagining an 11 star customer experience.
- minute 67.09 “create a winning company culture where every employee owns it” Reed Hastings of Netflix shares how he learned how to turn culture into a competitive advantage. Resulting in the Netflix “culture deck”.
- minute 80.40 is Joost d’Hooghe‘s favorite; “pay it forward” – succesful organisations and individuals depend on the power of their diverse ecosystems, invest in your network and create width and depth
In this episode of the McKinsey Podcast, McKinsey global managing partner Dominic Barton speaks with Simon London about how CEOs and boards can get strategic in managing human capital. Talent is a crucial element of achieving #Marsshot missions.
Here are the key learnings from the podcasts:
One of the recommendations in the book is the “G3”—this idea that, at the top of companies, there should be a group of three executives: the chief executive, the CFO, and the chief human-resources officer [CHRO].
2% of the organization drive the value of it
This came from working sessions we had with the coauthors, just looking at what drives performance in an organization and how concentrated is it. And we had this very big debate, “Is it 5 percent? Or 2 percent?”
There’s no regression analysis or analytics behind it, but we had a strong view that it’s a very small proportion of people who drive a lot of value, because of technology that enables outstanding talent to deliver performance way in excess of average performers.
One of the places this came from was private equity. We have a number of examples in the book. One is a private-equity firm that bought a 12,000-person organization, a machine-tool company. The investment view was, “We’re going to improve the EBITDA [earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization], the profitability, from $600 million to $1 billion. So it’s going to be an uplift of $400 million EBITDA. When we take it back into the market, taking it private, we’re going to improve the price–earnings multiple a little bit, but the core is this $400 million delta.” What they did is break that down into its component pieces—$60 million comes from procurement; $70 million comes from some distribution changes. What they found is you could then translate that $400 million into 37 specific positions that were going to drive it.
Agility is a bit of a buzzword. Everyone talks about being agile. And maybe we don’t know what it means. I think for us, in the book, what we felt is there’s a number of components to agility.
One is speed. With the world moving faster, you’ve got to be able to reallocate the capital and the people more quickly. If you look at a lot of start-ups, not start-ups with two or three people but start-ups with 50 to 100 people, you notice some very different things. They’re not on a one-year planning cycle but an eight-week planning cycle. At first you think, “Well, what’s all that about?” That’s not how I was taught at McKinsey coming in. There’s a one-year plan, a three-year plan. Well, maybe there’s an eight-week plan to move resources around.
So part of agility is clock speed, speed of making decisions, which, by definition, means you have to be flatter because hierarchy takes a lot of time. In a hierarchy, you have to work decisions up the chain and down the chain. You may have missed the opportunity.
A second element is that in a hierarchical organization, the people who are presumed to know the most are the most senior. I don’t believe that’s true. Maybe it never was. It certainly is less true now than it was. People with the right information are down in the organization. So decentralizing—flattening, allowing smaller groups of people to be able to make decisions faster—is an element of agility.
Then there is the cross-functional element: the idea that you need multiple skills to be able to solve a problem or get something done in an organization. Whether you are creating a new customer-service program or building out a new set of businesses in Asia or another part of the world, you need to have a cross-functional group of people work together.
When you bundle just those elements together, you get the core elements of agility—smaller teams that are cross-functional, with some serious decision rights, and that may pack up and go and do something different every few weeks.
“Don’t stop thinking about tomorrow”. Listen in on this MastersofScale podcast with Reid Hoffman on how at the scale-up of Facebook the team worked on both improvements for better user experience in the short term, as well as thinking about the future when billions of people are using the product. They had the #FINISH in mind from the start.