“When I was in medical school, I spent
hundreds of hours looking into a
microscope—a skill I never needed to
Yet I didn't
have a single class that
taught me communication
or teamwork skills—something
know or ever use.
I need every day I walk into the hospital.”
—Peter Pronovost (introduced checklists to ICUs/healthcare)
Hard
Soft
[numbers, plans]
[people/relationships]
is Soft.
is Hard.
“If I could have chosen not to tackle the IBM culture head-on,
I probably wouldn’t have. My bias coming in was toward
strategy, analysis and measurement. In comparison, changing
the attitude and behaviors of hundreds of thousands of people
Yet I came to see in
my time at IBM that culture
isn’t just one aspect of the
is very, very hard.
game
—IT IS THE
GAME.”
—Lou Gerstner, Who Says Elephants Can’t Dance
The Four Values/
Agile Project Management Manifesto
Value #1: Individuals and interactions
over processes and tools
Value #2: Working software over
comprehensive documentation
Value #3: Customer collaboration over
contract negotiation
Value #4: Responding to change over
following a plan
Source: Mark Layton, Agile Project Management For Dummies
[Agile Manifesto: People. Communications. The Product. Flexibility.]
Tom Peters’
The Project Leadership
EXCELLENCE 42
PMI Leadership Institute Meeting 2014
Phoenix/23 October 2014
Slides at tompeters.com
(Also see our 23-part Master Compendium at excellencenow.com)
The Project Leadership EXCELLENCE 42
1. Politics as nuisance-distraction vs.
“Politics Is Life. RELISH It.”
2. IQ > EQ vs. EQ > IQ.
3. Buttoned down to a fault vs.
“I am a dispenser of enthusiasm.”—Ben Zander
4. “We don’t have time for niceties” vs.
CIVILITY. ALWAYS.
5. “There’s always some damn thing” vs.
Live for the madness per se. (Antifragile —N.N. Taleb)
6. “This is a time of enormous change, which must be
reflected in our work” vs. “The greatest
shortcoming of the human race is our inability
to understand the exponential function.”
—Albert Bartlett
“The root of our problem is not
that we’re in a Great Recession
or a Great Stagnation, but rather
that we are in the early
Great
Restructuring
throes of a
.
Our technologies are racing ahead,
but our skills and organizations
are lagging behind.”
Source: Race AGAINST the Machine, Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee
“The median
worker is losing
the race against
the machine.”
—Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee,
Race AGAINST the Machine
“Mr. Foster and his McKinsey colleagues collected
detailed performance data stretching back
years for
1,000
found that
U.S. companies.
40
They
NONE
of
the long-term survivors managed to
outperform the market. Worse, the
longer companies had been in the
database, the worse they did.”
—Financial Times
China/Foxconn:
1,000,000
robots/next 3 years
Source: Race AGAINST the Machine, Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee
The Project Leadership EXCELLENCE 42
7. Linearity/“waterfall” vs. Non-linearity/circularity/
high tempo-“O.O.D.A. Loop”/AGILE.
8. Step-at-a-time vs. “Demo or die”/“Serious Play”/
“READY. FIRE. AIM.”
9. Optimistic-or-bust vs. UNDER-promise or bust.
10. In the office vs. Out of the Office/No office.
11. Nose to the grindstone vs.
“This is a blast—as cool as it gets.”
12. Meetings as pain-in-the-butt vs.
Meetings as Leadership OPPORTUNITY #1.
13. Small leadership circle vs. Inclusive leadership circle.
14. Formal customer-vendor relationships vs.
“No barriers”-fully integrated partnership with
customers-vendors.
15. “No distractions, please” vs.
Welcome to the Age of SOCIAL BUSINESS.
Lesson48:
WTTMSW
WHOEVER
TRIES
THE
MOST
STUFF
WINS
“EXPERIMENT
FEARLESSLY”
Tactic #1
Source: BusinessWeek, “Type A Organization Strategies: How to Hit a Moving Target”—
“RELENTLESS TRIAL
AND ERROR”
Source: Wall Street Journal, cornerstone of effective approach to “rebalancing” company
portfolios in the face of changing and uncertain global economic conditions (11.08.10)
READY.
FIRE!
AIM.
—H. Ross Perot
BFA:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
#1 in 1982/#1 in 2014
A Bias For Action
Close to the Customer
Autonomy and Entrepreneurship
Productivity Through People
Hands On, Value-Driven
Stick to the Knitting
Simple Form, Lean Staff
Simultaneous Loose-Tight
Properties
The Project Leadership EXCELLENCE 42
7. Linearity/“waterfall” vs. Non-linearity/circularity/
high tempo- “O.O.D.A. Loop”/AGILE.
8. Step-at-a-time vs. “Demo or die”/“Serious Play”/
“Ready. Fire. Aim.”
9. Optimistic-or-bust vs. UNDER-promise or bust.
10. In the office vs. Out of the Office/No office.
11. Nose to the grindstone vs.
“This is a blast—as cool as it gets.”
12. Meetings as pain-in-the-butt vs.
Meetings/
Leadership OPPORTUNITY #1.
13. Small leadership circle vs. Inclusive leadership circle.
14. Formal customer-vendor relationships vs.
“No barriers”-fully integrated partnership with
customers-vendors.
15. “No distractions, please” vs.
Welcome to the Age of
SOCIAL BUSINESS.
Biz 2014: Get Aboard the “S-Train”
SM/Social Media.
SX/Social eXecutives.
SE/Social Employees.
SO/Social Organization.
SB/Social Business.
Seven Characteristics of the Social Employee:
“Empowerment On Steroids”
1. Engaged
2. Expects Integration of the
Personal and Professional
3. Buys Into the Brand’s Story
4. Born Collaborator
5. Listens
6. Customer-Centric
7. Empowered Change Agent
Source: Cheryl Burgess & Mark Burgess,
The Social Employee
The Project Leadership EXCELLENCE 42
16. Information as needed vs.
WILDLY “over”-communicate with EVERYONE.
17. Confidentiality often necessary vs.
Confidentiality 99% nonsense/Inform everyone
of everything.
FACE
FACE
18. Email/IM vs.
-TO/frequent-flyer miles.
19. Over-scheduled vs. 50% unscheduled time.
PAPER CHECKLIST
20. Latest tech vs.
.
21. Lunch with colleagues/Lunch as respite vs.
LUNCH as #1 Networking Opportunity/Lunch PLUS/
“On the docket” RELATIONSHIP BUILDING
22. Suck UP for Success vs. Suck DOWN for Success.
23. Fend off enemies vs. recruit and nurture …
ALLIES ALLIES MORE ALLIES.
“The art of war does not require
complicated maneuvers; the simplest
are the best and common sense is
fundamental. From which one might
wonder how it is generals make
it is because
they try to be
clever.”
blunders;
—Napoleon
The Project Leadership EXCELLENCE 42
16. Information as needed vs.
WILDLY “over”-communicate with EVERYONE.
17. Confidentiality often necessary vs.
Confidentiality 99% nonsense/Inform everyone
of everything.
18. Email/IM vs. FACE-TO-FACE/frequent-flyer miles.
19. Over-scheduled vs. 50% unscheduled time.
20. Latest tech vs. Paper checklist.
21. Lunch with colleagues/Lunch as respite vs.
LUNCH as #1 Networking Opportunity/
Lunch PLUS/“On the docket” RELATIONSHIP BUILDING
22. Suck UP for Success vs. Suck DOWN for Success.
23. Fend off enemies vs. recruit and nurture …
ALLIES ALLIES MORE ALLIES.
The sacred
220 “ABs”.*
*“At bats”
The Project Leadership EXCELLENCE 42
16. Information as needed vs.
WILDLY “over”-communicate with EVERYONE.
17. Confidentiality often necessary vs.
Confidentiality 99% nonsense/Inform everyone
of everything.
18. Email/IM vs. FACE-TO-FACE/
frequent-flyer miles.
19. Over-scheduled vs. 50% unscheduled time.
20. Latest tech vs. Paper checklist.
21. Lunch with colleagues/Lunch as respite vs.
LUNCH as #1 Networking Opportunity/Lunch PLUS/
“On the docket” RELATIONSHIP BUILDING
22. Suck UP for Success vs.
DOWN
Suck
for Success.
23. Fend off enemies vs. recruit and nurture …
ALLIES
ALLIES
MORE ALLIES.
Spend
80%
of your time on allies—finding
and developing and
nurturing allies
of every size and shape
is the name of the
winning game.
The Project Leadership EXCELLENCE 42
24. Silos are inevitable vs. INTENSIVELY MANAGED “XFX”/
Cross-Functional eXcellence.
25. Not our fault vs. WILDLY over-respond to screw-ups/
Apology as Relationship-Building Mainstay.
Constant
recognition, especially for “little
stuff”/Celebrate-every-damn-milestoneimaginable, make ’em up if need
be/“BIG MO” rules.
26. Recognition-as-deserved vs.
27. Talk vs. LISTEN/Listening-as-Strategic Tool #1
28. “Here’s the deal” vs. “WHAT DO YOU THINK?”
29. “We want people who know what they are doing” vs.
“We want people with an insatiable thirst for growth.”
30. If hire good folks, little need for training vs.
Training = Investment #1 (Even on a BRIEF project).
31. Noisy vs. Quiet (Introverts are probably
under-represented on your team—fix it).
“Courtesies of a small and trivial
character are the ones which
strike deepest in the grateful and
appreciating heart.” —Henry Clay
“The deepest principle in human nature
is the craving* to be appreciated.”
—William James
*“Craving,” not “wish” or “desire” or “longing”/Dale Carnegie, How to Win
Friends and Influence People (“The BIG Secret of Dealing With People”)
“The deepest urge in human nature is
the desire to be important.”—John Dewey
“When dealing with people,
remember you are not dealing
with creatures of logic, but
with creatures of emotion,
creatures bristling with
prejudice and motivated by
pride and vanity.”—Dale Carnegie
(from Timeless Wisdom, compiled by Gary Fenchuk)
The Project Leadership EXCELLENCE 42
24. Silos are inevitable vs. INTENSIVELY MANAGED “XFX”/
Cross-Functional eXcellence.
25. Not our fault vs. WILDLY over-respond to screwups/
Apology as Relationship Building Mainstay.
26. Recognition-as-deserved vs. Constant recognition,
especially for “little stuff”/Celebrate-every-damnmilestone-imaginable, make ‘em up if need be/
“BIG MO” rules.
LISTEN
27. Talk vs.
/Listening-as-Strategic Tool #1.
28. “Here’s the deal” vs. “WHAT DO YOU THINK?”
29. “We want people who know what they are doing” vs.
“We want people with an insatiable thirst for growth.”
30. If hire good folks, little need for training vs.
Training = Investment #1 [Even on a BRIEF project].
31. Noisy vs. Quiet [Introverts are probably
under-represented on your team—fix it].
“The doctor
interrupts
after …*
*Source: Jerome Groopman, How Doctors Think
18 …
18 …
seconds!
Suggested
Core Value
#1: “We are Effective
Listeners—we treat
Listening EXCELLENCE as
the Centerpiece of our
Commitment to Respect
and Engagement and
Community and Growth.”
Listen!
An [obsession
Listening is ...
Listening is ...
Listening is ...
Listening is ...
Listening is ...
Listening is ...
Listening is ...
Listening is ...
Listening is ...
Listening is ...
Listening is ...
with] Listening is ... the ultimate mark of Respect.
the heart and soul of Engagement.
the heart and soul of Kindness.
the heart and soul of Thoughtfulness.
the basis for true Collaboration.
the basis for true Partnership.
a Team Sport.
a Developable Individual Skill.
the basis for Community.
the bedrock of Joint Ventures that work.
the bedrock of Joint Ventures that grow.
the core of effective Cross-functional Communication.*
(*Which is in turn Attribute #1 of organization effectiveness.)
Listening is ... the engine of superior EXECUTION.
Listening is ... the key to making the Sale.
Listening is ... the key to Keeping the Customer’s Business.
Listening is ... Service.
Listening is ... the engine of Network development.
Listening is ... the engine of Network maintenance.
Listening is ... the engine of Network expansion.
Listening is ... Social Networking’s “secret weapon.”
Listening is ... Learning.
Listening is ... the sine qua non of Renewal.
Listening is ... the sine qua non of Creativity.
Listening is ... the sine qua non of Innovation.
Listening is ... the core of taking diverse opinions aboard.
Listening is ... Strategy.
Listening is ... Source #1 of “Value-added.”
Listening is ... Differentiator #1.
Listening is ... Profitable.* (*The “R.O.I.” from listening is higher than from any
other single activity.)
Listening is … the bedrock which underpins a Commitment to EXCELLENCE!
The Project Leadership EXCELLENCE 42
24. Silos are inevitable vs. INTENSIVELY MANAGED “XFX”/
Cross-Functional eXcellence.
25. Not our fault vs. WILDLY over-respond to screwups/
Apology as Relationship Building Mainstay.
26. Recognition-as-deserved vs. Constant recognition,
especially for “little stuff”/Celebrate-every-damnmilestone-imaginable, make ‘em up if need be/
“BIG MO” rules.
27. Talk vs. LISTEN/Listening-as-Strategic Tool #1
28. “Here’s the deal” vs. “WHAT DO YOU THINK?”
29. “We want people who know what they are doing” vs.
“We want people with an insatiable thirst for growth.”
30. If hire good folks, little need for training vs.
TRAINING = INVESTMENT #1
(Even on a BRIEF project).
31. Noisy vs. Quiet (Introverts are probably
under-represented on your team—fix it).
Gamblin’ Man
>> 5 of 10 CEOs see training as expense
rather than investment.
Bet #2: >> 5 of 10 CEOs see training as defense
rather than offense.
Bet #3: >> 5 of 10 CEOs see training as
“necessary evil” rather than “strategic
opportunity.”
Bet #1:
>> 8 of 10 CEOs, in a
45-minute “tour d’horizon”
of their business, would
NOT mention training.
Bet #4:
The Project Leadership EXCELLENCE 42
24. Silos are inevitable vs. INTENSIVELY MANAGED “XFX”/
Cross-Functional eXcellence.
25. Not our fault vs. WILDLY over-respond to screwups/
Apology as Relationship Building Mainstay.
26. Recognition-as-deserved vs. Constant recognition,
especially for “little stuff”/Celebrate-every-damnmilestone-imaginable, make ’em up if need be/
“BIG MO” rules.
27. Talk vs. LISTEN/Listening-as-Strategic Tool #1
28. “Here’s the deal” vs. “WHAT DO YOU THINK?”
29. “We want people who know what they are doing” vs.
“We want people with an insatiable thirst for growth.”
30. If hire good folks, little need for training vs.
Training = Investment #1 (Even on a BRIEF project).
31. Noisy vs.
Quiet (Introverts are probably
under-represented on your team—fix it).
The Project Leadership EXCELLENCE 42
32. “Millenials are different” vs. Millenials want stuff smart
“people-1st companies” (e.g., Virgin, Southwest) have
been giving non-millenials for decades.
33. Supervisors are 1st and foremost paid to
“keep on top of things” vs.
Supervisors are in the “people development business.”
34. Bosses aim to “help people be successful” vs.
Bosses help people GROW
(2014: “Grow or die.”/Holds on
even BRIEF projects)*
35. Lieutenants & captains & majors vs.
Sergeants, sergeants, sergeants.
36. Gender balance an important goal vs.
Women are the best leaders.
(And usually primary end-users).
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 good news: This is also the
#1 mid- to long-term …
profit maximization strategy!
CORPORATE MANDATE #1 2014:
#2: Help people be
successful.*
#1: Help people
grow.** ***
*Especially circa 2014; “Grow or die (professionally)” is fact, not hyperbole.
**With a nod to Matthew Kelly’s The Dream Manager
***#2 and #1 are clearly related, but #1/grow has more to do with
long-term preparedness.
The Project Leadership EXCELLENCE 42
32. “Millenials are different” vs. Millenials want stuff smart
“people-1st companies” (e.g., Virgin, Southwest) have
been giving non-millenials for decades.
33. Supervisors are 1st and foremost paid to
“keep on top of things” vs.
Supervisors are in the “people development business.”
34. Bosses aim to “help people be successful” vs.
Bosses help people GROW (2014: “Grow or die.”/
Holds on even BRIEF projects)*
35. Lieutenants & captains & majors vs.
Sergeants, sergeants, sergeants.
36. Gender balance an important goal vs.
WOMEN ARE THE BEST LEADERS.
(And usually primary end-users).
“AS
LEADERS,
WOMEN
RULE:
New Studies find that
female managers outshine their male
counterparts in almost every measure”
TITLE/ Special Report/ BusinessWeek
“Research suggests that to
succeed, start by promoting
women.”—Nicholas Kristof, “Twitter,
Women, and Power,” NYTimes, 1024.13
“In my experience, women
make much better
executives than men.”
—Kip Tindell, CEO, Container Store,
from UNCONTAINABLE
For One [BIG] Thing …
“McKinsey & Company found that the
international companies with more
women on their corporate boards far
outperformed the average company in
return on equity and other measures.
Operating profit was …
56%
higher.”
Source: Nicholas Kristof, “Twitter, Women, and Power,” NYTimes, 1024.13
“I speak to you with a feminine voice.
It’s the voice of democracy, of equality.
that
this will be
the woman’s
century.
I am certain, ladies and gentlemen,
In the Portuguese language,
words such as life, soul, and hope are of the feminine
gender, as are other words like courage and sincerity.”
—President Dilma Rousseff of Brazil, 1st woman to
keynote the United Nations General Assembly (2011)
The Project Leadership EXCELLENCE 42
37. Concentration/“no nonsense” vs.
Daydreaming/READING/“Freak Fridays.”
WOW-ification
38. Kaizen vs.
.
39. Design is “important” vs. “You know a design is good
when you want to lick it.”—Steve Jobs
(Apple > Exxon)
40. Minimize “TGWs” vs. Maximize TGRs.
41. Make a damn good product vs. Good product PLUS
enhance the “SERVICES ENVELOPE.”
42. “Good work” vs. EXCELLENCE!
“INSANELY GREAT”
STEVE JOBS
“RADICALLY THRILLING”
BMW
“Astonish me!”
(Sergei Diaghlev, to a lead dancer)
“Build something great!”
(Hiroshi Yamauchi, Nintendo, to a senior game designer)
“Make it immortal!”
(David Ogilvy, to a copywriter)
Innovation Index: How many of your
“Top Five Projects” score eight or
higher (out of 10) on a “Weird”/
“Profound”/“WOW”/“Game-changer”
Scale?
WOW-ification Index: Move every
project (definition) that scores six
or less two notches up on the
“WOW-ification Scale” within the next
two weeks. If your principal current
project scores six or less, bring it up
one (or two!) notches by noon on
Monday.* (*This tweet was written on a Sunday.)
Kevin Roberts’ Credo
1. Ready. Fire! Aim.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
If it ain’t broke ... Break it!
Hire crazies.
Ask dumb questions.
Pursue failure.
Lead, follow ... or get out of the way!
Spread confusion.
Ditch your office.
Read odd stuff.
10.
AVOID MODERATION!
The Project Leadership EXCELLENCE 42
37. Concentration/“no nonsense” vs.
Daydreaming/READING/“Freak Fridays.”
38. Kaizen vs. WOW-ification/“The Craig’s list option.”
39. Design is “important” vs. “You know a design is good
when you want to lick it.”—Steve Jobs
(Apple > Exxon)
40. Minimize “TGWs” vs. Maximize TGRs.
41. Make a damn good product vs. Good product PLUS
enhance the “SERVICES ENVELOPE.”
42. “Good work” vs. EXCELLENCE!
<TGW
and …
>TGR
[Things Gone
WRONG-Things Gone RIGHT]
Conveyance: Kingfisher Air
Location: Approach to New Delhi
“May I clean
your glasses,
sir?”
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?
The Project Leadership EXCELLENCE 42
37. Concentration/“no nonsense” vs.
Daydreaming/READING/“Freak Fridays.”
38. Kaizen vs. WOW-ification/“The Craig’s list option.”
39. Design is “important” vs. “You know a design is good
when you want to lick it.” —Steve Jobs
(Apple > Exxon)
40. Minimize “TGWs” vs. Maximize TGRs.
Good product
PLUS (wildly) enhance the
“SERVICES ENVELOPE.”
41. Make a damn good product vs.
42. “Good work” vs. EXCELLENCE!
PS
UPS
U
to
“Rolls-Royce now earns
MORE from tasks
such as managing clients’
overall procurement
strategies and maintaining
aerospace engines it
sells than it does from
making them.”—Economist
The Project Leadership EXCELLENCE 42
37. Concentration/“no nonsense” vs.
Daydreaming/READING/“Freak Fridays.”
38. Kaizen vs. WOW-ification/“The Craig’s list option.”
39. Design is “important” vs. “You know a design is good
when you want to lick it.”—Steve Jobs
(Apple > Exxon)
40. Minimize “TGWs” vs. Maximize TGRs.
41. Make a damn good product vs. Good product PLUS
enhance the “SERVICES ENVELOPE.”
42. “Good work” vs.
EXCELLENCE!
EXCELLENCE is
NOT
a “long-term” "aspiration.”
EXCELLENCE is not a “longterm” "aspiration.”
EXCELLENCE is … THE
NEXT
5
MINUTES.*
(*Or NOT.)
EXCELLENCE is not an "aspiration."
EXCELLENCE is … THE NEXT FIVE MINUTES.
EXCELLENCE
Or not.
EXCELLENCE
Or not.
EXCELLENCE
Or not.
EXCELLENCE
Or not.
EXCELLENCE
Or not.
EXCELLENCE
Or not.
EXCELLENCE
Or not.
EXCELLENCE
Or not.
EXCELLENCE
Or not.
EXCELLENCE
Or not.
EXCELLENCE
Or not.
EXCELLENCE
Or not.
is your next conversation.
is your next meeting.
is shutting up and listening—really listening.
is your next customer contact.
is saying “Thank you” for something “small.”
is the next time you shoulder responsibility and apologize.
is waaay over-reacting to a screw-up.
is the flowers you brought to work today.
is lending a hand to an “outsider” who’s fallen behind schedule.
is bothering to learn the way folks in finance (or IS or HR) think.
is waaay “over”-preparing for a 3-minute presentation.
is turning “insignificant” tasks into models of … EXCELLENCE.
EXCELLENCE.
Always.
If not EXCELLENCE,
what?
If not EXCELLENCE
now, when?
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The Challenge: To Create More Value in All Negotiations