In yesterday’s Advisor, futurethink founder and CEO Lisa Bodell offered her take on an organization’s willingness to change. Today, her exercises for killing rules and killing companies.
Bodell offered her suggestions at the Society for Human Resource Management’s (SHRM) Talent Management Conference and Exposition, held recently in San Diego.
Kill the Rule
Groups of employees are asked to name the rule they would kill if they could be ruthless and kill any rules they wanted to. They place their rule on a sticky note and pin it onto a 2 by 2 grid with axes for difficulty to kill and impact, like this:
Then take a look first at the easy-to-kill rules that have high impact.
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Kill the Company
In a variation of the game, go after your own company from a competitor’s viewpoint, says Bodell. Here’s how:
- Gather a diverse group of participants. Include people from Sales, Product Development, Finance, Technical Support, and other departments.
- Break into small groups of 3 or 4 people. Assign a team leader to gather and write the group’s ideas on the worksheet or whiteboard. Tell the teams:
- This is about finding weak spots with the goal of fixing them.
- Give teams the permission to be ruthless.
- Remind teams that the most immediate goal is to identify—not fix—the problems.
- Ask the team to role-play: Imagine you are our main competitor with unlimited funds and resources at your disposal. What would you do right now to put us out of business or render our function (such as Legal, Accounting, Operations) obsolete?
- Designate who the competitor is. Do this in one of three ways:
- Agree on a single competitor—ideally, one that is a primary threat.
- Assign different competitors to each team.
- Let individual teams decide which competitor they will emulate.
- Ask teams to identify weaknesses and vulnerabilities.
- Generate ideas about how the competitor could “attack” those weaknesses. Start each sentence with “We could….”
- After a brief brainstorming, cluster weaknesses and ideas by themes. Prioritize them from largest to smallest threat or from easiest to hardest to address.
- Once you’ve brainstormed ways to kill your company, prioritize the team responses on two whiteboard or flipchart 2 x 2 grids to visualize how these threats could affect your organization relative to key business criteria.
If you find easy-to-implement threats that would have high impact and that it’s likely a competitor is considering, better start figuring out what to do about it.
Threats to your company are very real, and you need to anticipate them. One upcoming challenge is the skills gap—we’ve all heard about the impending talent shortage, and your organization must be nimble enough to successfully negotiate this recruiting battlefield. How to get there? Fortunately there’s timely help in the form of BLR’s new webinar—Win the ‘War for Talent’: Effective Strategies for Tapping Passive Job Seekers to Answer Your Hiring Call. In just 90 minutes, on Tuesday, June 30, you’ll learn everything you need to know about staying one step ahead in the talent acquisition game.
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By participating in this interactive webinar, you’ll learn how to:
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