Management Musing v1.4

I want to return to some advice from Gary Hamel which he describes in his book “What Matters Now.” The advice is to a class at the London Business School and he normally reserves it for the last lecture he gives to the class. He addresses five issues which are critical to every one of us and which have seen less and less emphasis over the past few decades. They need to return to prominence in our lives.

  1. Values
  2. Innovation
  3. Adaptability
  4. Passion
  5. Ideology

I couldn’t agree more with the first one. Too often today we are in a hurry to make a buck. Not to do good but to do money. Talk about the wrong focus. You can see it in every walk of life from the clergy to the businessman; from the coaches to the corner store. We are in such a hurry.

Well Mr. Hamel provides some key guidance in these five points.

He would tell the class that in your first post MBA job consider the following.

  1. “Your widowed mother has invested her life’s savings in your company. She’s the only shareholder and that investment is her only asset. Obviously, you’ll do everything you can to make sure she has a secure and happy retirement. That’s why the idea of sacrificing the long-term for a quick payout will never occur to you.
  2. Your boss is an older sibling. You’ll always be respectful, but you won’t hesitate to offer frank advice when you think it is warranted – and you’ll never suck up.
  3. Your employees are childhood chums. You’ll always give them the benefit of the doubt and will do whatever you can to smooth their path. When needed though, you’ll remind them that friendship is a reciprocal responsibility. You’ll never treat them as human “resources.”
  4. Your children are your company’s primary customers. You want to please and delight them. That means you’ll go to the mat with anyone who suggests you should deceive or take advantage of them. You’ll never exploit a customer.
  5. You’re independently wealthy. You work because you want to, not because you have to – so you will never sacrifice your integrity for a promotion or a glowing performance review. You’ll quit before you compromise.”

Wonderful advice for a leading educator and author – the book is terrific. Please read it. The time is now.