Recently I began writing my 16th book which I will submit for publication in August of this
year. Titled “Why didn’t Somebody Tell Me?”, this is the story of my 20-year journey trying to
figure out what makes a company work well. Since 250 pages does not fit nicely into a
newsletter, an encapsulation of the ideas is squeezed onto two pages.
Among the brief fundamental ideas for improved managing are:
- Business improves with cooperation1
, which can only happen if people do not fear their
- Thus, bosses must treat their employees honestly, fairly, and respectfully, as if they are an
important part of your business activity, which, of course, all employees are. This starts
with the seven ideas of what makes for job happiness of each individual employee,
- 1. Having control over as much of their lives as possible
- Control comes with adequate delegation – passing control to another
- Control comes with the employee having a say in the nature of their work:
its definition, its level, its measure of success and failure. i.e. accepting
- Having a boss that listens and interacts positively
- Including sharing information, such as financial statements
- Feeling that the employee is contributing to the betterment of society
- Achieving success in their tasks and their trade
- Once successful, being able to move to the next level of knowledge, i.e., learning
- Sensing that they are growing from that learning
- Being free to take reasonable risks, that is, being allowed to make mistakes
- Respect means not trivializing the ideas, thoughts, statements and actions of people
- Accepting all intrinsic behaviors as allowable, is accomplished by
- Focusing on the individual’s strengths and tolerating the weaknesses, and
- Identifying temperament (called PAVF) for each job and each job ad
- In parallel with temperament are task factors (called OAK), which establish
the criteria of whether a job will get done or not
- Not only must you listen to employees, you must listen to suppliers, clients, and the world
at large, so that you know what is changing in your world and, thus you can take charge of
adapting your operations to change in an appropriate manner.
- Change drives everything; it is the inability to adapt to change that leads to failure of
companies, large and small. Therefore, set up a monthly 2-hour change-review council.
1 The real point is the converse of this idea which is that business declines because, with negative attitude from above, employees
continually reduce their cooperation.
- Pay attention to problems, because they are the indicators of change that you are trying to
adapt to. Start with the little problems first because:
- They help reduce the complexity of the big problems, and
- Little problems allow humans to gain a greater number of rewarding feelings – hits
of dopamine to the brain, because:
- Little problems are easier to solve so success comes more quickly
- There are many more little problems than big, so success comes more often
- Intrinsic (internal) rewards drive people to greater success. Extrinsic (external) rewards are
usually a losing proposition.
- The dopamine hit in the brain reinforces what is good for us: thrills, fun food, sex,
success at the job, etc.
- However, the chemical hit to our brain for negative events is two to four times
stronger than any positive event’s hit, so, negativity, even in a good workplace, is
- While operating your endeavor, you need to stick to two basics that have been proven as
leads to long-term success:
- Provide quality goods rather than lowest price ones
- If business falters, instead of reducing costs, focus on increasing sales and income
- Since emotions trump logic, the business or human endeavor needs to install systems to
neutralize emotions – the safe environment, effective meetings, etc.
- Our emotional brain fools us when making big decisions, so draw on the logical
brain of those around you (who are not emotionally involved)
- Let Chaos Theory work for you: it says that if in doubt, barge ahead onto the unknown and
build from each tiny success along the way.
- While we can create our own luck through hard work and diligence, for some people, luck,
either good or bad, will play a defining role in their lives.