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Monday, April 16, 2007

Ideas for Improving Corporate Culture

Leadership advice from this article in Incentive Intelligence comes Performance Cultures the GE Way.

Their premise?

DARE TO DIFFERENTIATE. Relentlessly assessing and grading employees build organizational vitality and foster a true meritocracy. Employees are constantly judged, ranked, and rewarded or punished for their performance. There's nothing like a bit of anxiety and the knowledge that you're being measured against peers to boost performance.

CONSTANTLY RAISE THE BAR. Leaders continually seek to improve performance, both their own and their team members. "The one reason executives fail at GE is they stop learning," says Conaty. Continuous learning is so valued that GE training courses are considered high-profile rewards. Getting tapped to go to Crotonville, the 53-acre executive training center in New York's Hudson River Valley, is a signal that someone is poised to go to the next level.

BECOME EASY TO REPLACE. Great leaders develop great succession plans. Insecure leaders are intimidated by them.

KEEP IT SIMPLE. Most organizations require simple, focused, and disciplined communications. "You can't move 325,000 people with mixed messaging and thousands of initiatives," notes Conaty. Leaders succeed by being consistent and straight forward about a handful of core messages.

BOTTOMLINE: "Create a few simple performance metrics tied to a few simple company metrics, measure, communicate and publish success and failure with the appropriate rewards and you will have a performance culture. The key is that these things operate within a system. One missing link and the system fails. You can't measure and not report, you can establish goals and not measure, you can't report and not reward."

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