I work hard to find newness in business books. But a lot of them are old ideas repackaged. Or as management author and consultant Gary Hamel has said, “The average business book is just a Harvard Business Review (HBR) article with extra examples and the average HBR article is a good PowerPoint presentation with extra prose.” As an author I know how right he is.
But Good Company is very much the exception.
Laurie Bassi and her co-authors have raised the bar that was set 30 years ago with In Search of Excellence. And it’s pushed the whole concept of the value profit chain introduced in the late nineties to the next level.
Good Company says that a new combination of forces not only requires companies to be good to their people and their customers, but also to be stewards of their communities. These forces include the explosion of online information, an emergence of the ethical consumer and the arrival of the civic-minded Millennials.
The authors believe people are choosing the companies in their lives in the same way they choose the guests they invite into their homes. They want the companies they do business with to be good company.
Good Company offers powerful research, lively stories and a gutsy rating of the Fortune 100 companies that’s apt to improve the business world…for the good.
If you lead a Fortune 100 company, you might start with Chapter 6, see how you’re ranked and then decide what you should do next.
“I’m crazy busy!”
That’s what we all say we are these days. But when is “crazy busy” a waste of time?
Well, how often do you manage your time according to the value it adds to your business?
An organization’s role is to create value for its customers and continuously improve the process, so more value can be added.
This is the concept of lean. Leading an organization using lean principles and a lean mindset is becoming a big deal everywhere.
If you’re not pruning waste out of your core process—like converting raw materials to something customers’ value—you’re likely to be at a competitive disadvantage. You can bet your competitors down the street are pruning madly.
How can you add more measurable value today than you did yesterday? How can you add more value tomorrow than you will today?
Check your calendar. Is what you’re doing every hour today adding value to your core process, or is some of it draining value from that process?
Will you say “no” to a meeting that you know will not add value to the organization’s core process?
When you’re in the throes of a petty, political conversation, are you willing to stop and ask your fellow “politicians” whether the discussion you’re having right now is something the customer would be willing to pay for?
Will you give up some sense of control by delegating a lower value-adding task to someone who makes less money than you do?
Will you prune your core process today? The other guys might be doing it right now.