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The post below was taken from a document Tom wrote called the Heart of Strategy.
Start Tom's Message below:
"We usually think of business strategy as some sort of aspirational market positioning statement. Doubtless that’s part of it. But I believe that the number one "strategic strength" is excellence in execution and systemic relationships (i.e., with everyone we come in contact with). Hence I offer the following 48 pieces of advice in creating a winning strategic that is inherently sustainable*:
"Thank you." Minimum several times a day. Measure it.
"Thank you" to everyone even peripherally involved in some activity—especially those
"deep in the hierarchy."
Smile. Work on it.
Apologize. Even if "they" are "mostly" to blame.
Jump all over those who play the "blame game."
Low enthusiasm. No hire. Any job.
Hire optimists. Everywhere. ("Positive outlook on life," not mindless optimism.)
Hiring: Would you like to go to lunch with him-her. 100% of jobs.
Hire for good manners.
Do not reject "trouble makers"—that is those who are uncomfortable with the status quo.
Expose all would-be hires to something unexpected-weird. Observe their reaction.
Overwhelm response to even the smallest screw-ups.
Become a student of all you will meet with. Big time.
Hang out with interesting new people. Measure it.
Lunch with folks in other functions. Measure it.
Listen. Hear. Become a serious student of listening-hearing.
Work on everyone’s listening skills. Practice.
Become a student of information extraction-interviewing.
Become a student of presentation giving. Formal. Short and spontaneous.
Incredible care in 1st line supervisor selection.
World’s best training for 1st line supervisors.
Construct small leadership opportunities for junior people within days of starting on the job.
Insane care in all promotion decisions.
Promote "people people" for all managerial jobs. Finance-logistics-R and D as much as, say, sales.
Hire-promote for demonstrated curiosity. Check their past commitment to continuous
Small “d” diversity. Rich mixes for any and all teams.
Hire women. Roughly 50% women on exec team.
Exec team “looks like” customer population, actual and desired.
Focus on creating products for and selling to women.
Focus on creating products for and selling to boomers-geezers.
Work on first and last impressions.
Walls display tomorrow’s aspirations, not yesterday’s accomplishments.
Simplify systems. Constantly.
Insist that almost all material be covered by a 1-page summary. Absolutely no longer.
Add “We are thoughtful in all we do” to corporate values list. Number 1 force for
customer loyalty, employee satisfaction.
Make some form of employee growth (for all) a formal part of values set.
customer satisfaction. Steal from RE/MAX: “We are a life success company.”
Celebrate “small wins.” Often. Perhaps a “small win of the day.”
Manage your calendar religiously: Does it accurately reflect your espoused priorities?
Use a “calendar friend” who’s not very friendly to help you with this.
Review your calendar: Work assiduously and mercilessly on your “To don’ts.”—stuff
Bosses, especially near the top: Formally cultivate one advisor whose role is to tell you the truth.
Commit to Excellence.
Talk up Excellence.
Put “Excellence in all we do” in the values set.
Measure everyone on demonstrated commitment to Excellence.