WhistleBiz - LID Part 16 - “Street Sign”
Today we will enter our second phase of testing the Hedgehog Concept.
We will use a technique called “Street Sign” to test the granularity of our HC.
With “Street Sign” we want to imagine that one of our employees walks up to a street sign with the Economic Denominator written on it. Does the ED allow them to make a decision to right or left?
WhistleBiz - LID Part 16 - “Street Sign”
WhistleBiz - Lid Part 15 - “Talent Tree”
Today we will begin testing our Hedgehog Concept.
We will be using a prod dev technique (prune the tree) and apply it to organizational development and rename it “The Talent Tree.”
One of the components of the HC is “what we can be greatest at…” That is what we will be testing today.
The talent tree is made up of the trunk (what we are greatest at), the branches (our key talents), and the leaves (our capabilities).
Populate the branches and leaves with a crossfunctional group for the most diverse perspective.
Go around the room once to put the branches/talents up and then 5 times for the leaves/capabilities.
Once the tree is filled in what does it look like? Is it balanced? Do most of the branches have roughly the same amount of leaves? Is there any talent/branch that looks sparse?
What we are trying to do here is see if there are any imbalances in the organization.
If there are: 1) we need to revamp the HC or 2) seek talent in those regions immediately.
WhistleBiz - Lid Part 14 - “Speedboat”
Yesterday we began refining our Hedge Hog Concept by developing an organizational pitch.
Today we will continue refining it through another technique called Speedboat.
Imagine that the speedboat represents our hedgehog concept. All it wants to do is go fast. The question is: ”What are the anchors that can slow it down?”
It is great to ask a crossfunctional group this question. Because we are looking for diverse points of view. What are the factors that will cause drag on our HC?
What are the risks, the brutal truths, the imbalances?
With this new perspective can we reform/refine the HC so that it is more understandable and better positioned?
WhistleBiz - LID Part 13 - “Organizational Pitch”
Today we begin to refine our HedgeHog Concept.
We need to get comfortable annunciating it.
A way that we traditionally do this in the services and product field is by creating an elevator pitch.
So instead of an elevator pitch lets create an organization pitch and use what we have learned from the HC to help us populate it.
So what would it look like?
Well instead of being about a customer, a product, and a differentiator it could be made up of an “understanding,” “The best in the world” statement, and the “Economic Denominator.”
“Because we understand _______ and we know that we are better than anyone at ________ we will begin to measure ourselves by ________.”
How does the content sound? Are we getting to the root of a understanding of ourselves and the industry to guide our economic denominator?
WhistleBiz - LID Part 12 - Design and Test the Hedge hog - Relative Refinement
Today we will continue designing and testing our HedgeHog Concept.
We will use a technique called relative refinement. This is a technique that helps refine brainstorming lists and helps us get to the root of what matters to us as an organization.
Brainstorm - Aggregation
Come up with a list of as many possibilities of each Hedge hog component.
Economic Denominator - Ex. profit x goods manufactured, profit x transactions, profit by customer visits etc.
Passion - list the greatest stories and themes that are told in the org.
Best in the World - List all the things that we can be better at than anyone.
Refinement - De-aggregation
After we have three long lists lets begin to refine them.
We will do this by taking the first item from a list and compare it to the one below it and ask “Is it better or worse than the one below it?”
If it is better than we compare it to the third item on the list if it is worse than we toss it and go to the next item.
We do until there is only one left in each list.
We should end up with a hedge hog concept that may seem very unusual. What does it tell us? Is it way off the mark? Is it exactly what we thought it would be?
WhistleBiz - LID Part 11 -Test the Hedge hog - Remember the Future
Today we will begin testing our HedgeHog Concept.
We will use a technique called remembering the future. It comes from a great book called “Innovation Games.”
Instead of asking what we “will” do we will ask what “have” we done to be able to make our company successful.
This technique helps us shift our perspective on what success will looks like.
Let’s imagine it is 3 years from now and ask:
“What are the key things that we have made us the best in the world at ____?”
Spend a couple of minutes writing down detail of what the company looks like and all the wins and losses that got us there.
Then ask: Does this jive with our Economic Denominator and our Passion?
WhistleBiz - LID Part 10 - “What Makes the HedgeHog Go?”
Today we will be discussing the 3rd and final part of the HedgeHog Concept - Passion.
Passion is the fuel that drives our HC. It is what gets us through the long nights and the tough problems.
Like all parts of the HC passion will probably be an iterative component. We may not know exactly where our highest passions exist at first. That’s ok. What is important is that at first we try to fuel the car the best we can.
Lastly, as hiring managers we must make sure that not only are our employees passion supported by the organization but it also must be integrated to support the organization as a whole.
WhistleBiz - LID Part 9 - “The Anatomy of a Hedgehog concept”
Today we will be discussing the 2nd part of a Hedgehog concept - The Economic Denominator.
I know, it sounds scary. It’s not.
We want to define a very simple ratio.
Our company most highly values “Profit per _____?”
Profit per transaction
Profit per goods manufactured
Profit per employee
With great understanding of our company’s economics we can easily fill in the blank.
However if even if we have not arrived at that understanding posing this question is a great place to start the discussion.
WhistleBiz - LID Part 8 - “The Anatomy of a Hedgehog concept”
Today we are diving into the basics of developing an organizational goal.
However instead of calling it an org goal we will start referring to it as a Hedgehog concept.”
This is borrowed from the book Good to Great by Jim Collins. Jim and his research group give us a wonderful dissection of the ingredients in a stellar goal.
There are 3 components of a HC. Today we will investigate the first one.
Our hedgehog concept must answer:
“What can we do better than anyone else in the world?”
Wow what a great question. It gets straight to the heart of greatness. It helps us ignore the noise of core competencies and things that we are just good at and drives us straight to what can make us GREAT.
“We can be the best high end analytics provider for the investment banking industry”
“We can be the best at providing workflow management software to marketing agencies”
“We can be the best at granting fanatical support for hosting solutions”
These examples are specific and targeted.
Our ability to really look in the mirror and ask ourselves this question will provide tremendous insight on the best direction for our organization.
WhistleBiz - LID Part 7 - “The Art of Goal Refinement” - The Organizational Goal
Yesterday we discussed the importance of “true” priorities and the importance of a single, unifying organizational goal.
Today we will be examining why it can be so difficult to develop a single unifying goal as well as the iterative nature of it.
Tomorrow we will begin developing that goal. Then over the next week we will learn to do some basic testing of it. Finally we will discuss simplifying it and distributing it.
WhistleBiz - LID Part 6 - “Flags, Rockets, and Umbrellas” - An Organizational Goal
This week we will be discussing how to design, simplify, and disseminate a meaningful organizational goal.
Unfortunately to often these goals are not developed because it is thought to be impossible.
And it is true that it is not easy but it is not impossible either.
Most of the time a company will have many #1 priorities. This tends destabilize the workers - empire building, no measurement, vision confusion…
We want to develop an organizational goal that everyone can rally around. It needs to be core and simple.
WhistleBiz - LID Series - Phase 2: Plans vs. Planning
This week we are looking at the first pillar in the LID framework: Planning.
We will be discussing the importance of goals and steadfast priorities.
Today we will be discussing the difference between the art of planning and the art of following a plan.
An Abbot Executive once said - “Planning is priceless, but plans are useless.”
Planning is important. It allows us to understand the foundation and scope of where we are going. However unlike us it does not improve everyday. It is not constantly learning.
The lesson is that we do not want to make plans more important than our goals.
We should measure our successes by how well we accomplished our objectives not how well we adhered to a plan.
WhistleBiz-Part 4 of the LID Series
What is 4th ground rule of the the LID series?
“Apply the growth MindSet to your Job”
Up to this we point we have discussed applying a growth mindset to us as individuals and on a larger scale organizations as a whole.
Today we will imagine what it would be to apply the growth mindset to your job.
What would it look like if it was executed with a purely growth mindset?
WhistleBiz-Part 3 of the LID Series
What is 3rd the ground rule of the the LID series?
“Become a good follower”
Our society often obsesses with what it takes to be a good leader but rarely considers the qualities of a great follower.
Today we will explore a couple simple ways to become a better follower and see how they are not necessarily mutually exclusive to being a great leader.