Tuesday, May 5, 2015

The Decoded Company: Technology Eats Bureaucracy

Authors: Leerom Segal, Aaron Goldstein, Jay Goldman, and Rahaf Harfoush

 

Let’s start with a deceptively simple question: What if you understood your people better than you understand your customers? Most businesses invest heavily in understanding the mindset and behavior of their customers. What motivates them, engages them, drives them to purchase, increases their basket size, and increases lifetime value? What keeps them loyal and prevents churn? Whether you track it in your head, in a network drive full of spreadsheets, or in a complex and highly customized enterprise CRM application, you no doubt spend a considerable amount of time, effort, and money on understanding what makes your business successful.

 

Your interest in this blog post also suggests that you would agree with the old adage about your company’s most important assets going down the elevator at night. Although we would object strenuously to the word ‘asset’ to describe our people — language matters! — the sentiment is very much correct. So if your people are the lifeblood of your organization, and the leverage that any one of them can exert is so significant, why not invest as much (or more) in understanding them?

Becoming a Decoded Company

What if we learned to decode the real story that is embedded in the data trail that follows our people and every project they work on? What if we put its messages to use — not to get the better of our talent but to get the best from them — to help them get into the zone; to make their jobs better, and to improve the performance of the whole organization? The answers, it turns out, are radically transformative.

 

The new key to a sustainable competitive advantage is to become a Decoded Company: talent-centric, data-driven, flexible, and fast. Any leader in any size of organization should be personalizing each team member’s experience, increasing their emotional engagement, speeding up their mastery of new skills, increasing their time spent “in the zone”, and maximizing their entire team's potential.

The Decoded Principles

There are three bureaucracy-devouring principles behind every Decoded Company:

 

  1. Technology as a Coach: Transform your existing technology into a coach that brings out the best in your people rather than a referee that just yells "offside!". The same technologies that power Amazon, Netflix, Google, and eHarmony can be used to engage, motivate, and train your people.

  2. Data as a Sixth Sense: Companies as diverse as UPS, 37signals, Bank of America, and Whole Foods have given their people decision making superpowers by pairing instincts with analytics to gain a perspective that’s grounded in data but tempered by experience. Equip your people with the right data at the right time to make better decisions faster.

  3. Engineered Ecosystems: Our top-down, hierarchical workplaces and cultures are rapidly becoming a thing of the past. Rapidly changing workforce dynamics, social technologies, and the availability of data are enabling ecosystems to triumph over hierarchies, empowering new approaches to leadership and growth.

 

We’ve developed these principles through the study of some of the world’s leading companies, and also through our own experience becoming hypergrowth experts over the last 18 years of leading Klick. Our company has averaged 40 percent year-over-year growth since inception, both in revenue and headcount, which has given us significant insight into what attracts talent, drives engagement and performance, and ultimately builds highly scalable businesses.

Start Decoding Now!

You don’t need fancy software or expensive management consultants to start applying the Decoded Principles within your own business. Here are the top four:

 

  1. Explore TheDecodedCompany.com, particularly the sections on Technology as a Coach, Data as a Sixth Sense, and Engineered Ecosystems.

  2. Join us and Chris Heuer (@ChrisHeuer) on Twitter for a #SocBizChat on May 14th at 1:00 pm ET.

  3. Connect with us on Twitter: @LeeromSegal, @JayGoldman, @RahafHarfhoush. We’d love to hear about your decoding experiences!

  4. Comment below! We’ll answer any questions you have about how to get started, how to apply data-driven management, and how to build centers of gravity for top talent.

 



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