The HR department of my company asked me to write a short memo
…which seems to conflict a bit with commandment number 6, which reads:
6. Don’t refer to internal organizations. Talk about specific people.
Referring to other organizations of the company as "them" is laying the
ground for future excuses about the lack of results. Organizations
cannot be trusted, because they are impersonal, complex, and change
every 24 months anyway. People and communities however are far more
resilient and trustworthy.
‘Course we can give Martin a break for not wanting to specifically name somebody at work, but he could’ve at least said the "HR Director" or the "Intern over in HR." Inconsistencies aside, this really is a great list. Some of my favorites:
3. Release the need to be right
It’s OK to make mistakes as long as you learn from them. If you punish failure, you destroy entrepreneurship, stiffle innovation
and in the end you harm the company. If you "forgive and forget"
because you want to be nice, that same mistake will be repeated twice
or a hundred times. You must accept failure as normal, but demand that
lessons be learned and communicated for the entire organization.
9. Involve people collectively in your thinking
Using managerial authority to deploy programs and plans from the
top-down generates compliance at best, but never commitment. If you
want people to adopt your views and act accordingly, you must engage
into meaningful conversations with them, and not "cascade down" or
"communicate messages". Think about your teenage children if you have
11. It’s not about giving objectives. It’s about making sure they understand your intent
If they really understand your goals and if it makes sense to them,
they will figure out what to do by themselves. Don’t delude yourself
however: It is by far more difficult to articulate a clear intent than
to give objectives.
16. Don’t expect dedication from someone who fears for his job
All efforts are stalled by the fear of job loss. If you need to fire
people, do it at lightning speed, and make sure it appears to all as an
exceptional event. Don’t suscribe to the deadly spiral of cost cutting.
17. Never manipulate your staff
Employees are hypersensitive to inconsistencies and incoherences across
organizations. They immediately detect every single sign of
manipulation when they hear conflicting messages. Establish trusted
relations with your peers first. Trust is the bandwidth of communication
I’d love to see this cleaned up and condensed into 10-15 points and formatted into a ChangeThis manifesto. I’d send it around to more than a few folks…