A blog about experiences with Agile Development Methodology, ThoughtWorks, and Life in General..
Monday, 29 January 2018
[Book Review] Scaling up - Rockefeller Habits 2.0
This bookhas so much knowledge to offer that I might have to forego my resolution to keep my reviews short, I'll still try. My recent obsession is with understanding how companies can solve the scale problem and that's why I picked this up, I was also hoping it will offer some insights that could be applied atThoughtWorksas we try to scale our unique culture.
Warning: This book is a marketing tool for Gazelles, a management consulting firm that helps fledgling businesses scale up, and at times they have marketed their services subtly and on other occasions they have been quite upfront, that said, this book still offers a wealth of knowledge to draw from.
The book is definitely worth a read since it offers frameworks to help managers align thought processes irrespective of the business they are operating, it also offers tangible tools that leaders can use to have a structured approach to manage high growth companies, and most importantly it offers examples (and context) that make concepts sticky and relatable. Another reason why I really liked this book is that it offers tons of good references of books and HBR (Harvard Business Review) articles to build deeper knowledge in specific areas (I hope to get through most of them in due course).
Most of the concepts and approaches that are shared in this book would seem common sense, but it’s mind-numbing to see so many large/small global organizations fail to implement them, mostly due to management lethargy/ineptitude.
Key concepts that provoked my grey cells
Continuous investment in training programs- The author/s spend a lot of time on the importance of hiring the right people and setting the right culture for teams to perform to potential. They also emphasize on investing continuously on upskilling your staff through meaningful training programs, something that most organizations tend to overlook.
Cash is more important than profitability for a growing org- Cash flow is not something that naturally comes to our minds when we talk about performance, most of us tend to rely on the P&L statement and Balance sheets. In my view, the book lays down the right amount of emphasis on cash being a valid measure for success.
Goal Alignment across the org- Does everyone in your organization understand and can articulate the BHAG® (Big Hairy Audacious Goal)? Have you formulated a short-term target for this quarter? Does everyone in the org know how they can contribute to this target?
What’s your critical number?- If you get down to it then you should be able to define a critical number that helps each employee know how they are performing, there are interesting tools that have been shared in the book that can help your organization dig out that critical number.
Great brands don’t try to please everyone- If you try to please everyone then its quite likely you will end up pleasing no one, the book talks through examples where organizations have targeted a fraction of the market and made sure that they service those clients well and these organizations are among the most profitable in their Industry.
Don’t be afraid to fire unreasonable clients- Building a strong team and fixing people issues can sometimes mean that you need to fire those “unreasonable” customers who drain out the positive energies from your employees.
Also, sharing some other quotes from the book that really resonated with me.