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一家成功的公司最大的错误:放任员工只是维持现状

作者:未知 来源:未知 2015-11-05 我要评论( )

The biggest mistake a successful company can make

一家成功的公司最大的错误:放任员工只是维持现状

The Leadership Insider network is an online community where the most thoughtful and influential people in business contribute answers to timely questions about careers and leadership. Today’s answer to the question: What’s the best way to keep your company successful? is written by Rich Lesser, CEO of the Boston Consulting Group.

Leadership Insider是一个在线社区,那些最具思想和影响力的商界人物在此回答关于职业发展和领导力的问题。今天的问题是:保持公司成功的最好办法是什么?回答者是波士顿咨询公司首席执行官李瑞麒。

There’s something heroic about a CEO who parachutes into a company that’s facing an existential threat. While such turnarounds are never really a one-person show, it’s the CEO’s boldness and resolve that invariably stand out. They get the credit and the cover story.

空降到一家面临生死存亡的公司中担任首席执行官,堪称一种英勇之举。尽管扭转局势绝不是一个人的表演,但首席执行官的魄力和决心总会在此时凸现出来。他们为此获得交口称赞,登上杂志封面。

But just as impressive, if not as celebrated, is the CEO who upends the status quo when all is (seemingly) well. Such efforts, I believe, require at least as much leadership, tenacity, and vision. They may not seem as miraculous or necessary as a change-or-die turnaround—until you consider how hard it is to instill a hunger for change, and what’s on the line when complacency sets in. Picture the new CEO walking into a historically successful company. This CEO often inherits an organization with an excellent balance sheet, a good reputation, strong market positions—and almost no appetite for broad change.

那些在一切看起来很好的情况下勇于变革的首席执行官,尽管可能不会赢得满堂喝彩,但他们同样令人印象深刻。我相信,这样的举措至少需要同等的领导力、韧劲和远见。这些改变看起来可能不像是生死关头奇迹般的力挽狂澜——直到你意识到保持变革的渴望是多么困难,自满的滋生又将带来何种危险。想象一位新任首席执行官走进一家成功公司。这样的公司通常拥有强健的资产负债表、良好的声誉、显赫的市场地位——几乎没有什么变革的动力。

These organizations tend to be highly self-confident. They are convinced they have the winning model and the best people. Senior executives have received tremendous affirmation, sometimes over decades. Ingrained patterns of behavior have been rewarded over and over again. Internally, silos get built, staffing levels grow, and politics intensify. Self-criticism is often muted. With so much success for so long, what’s the point of being too harsh, anyway?

这样的公司可能会十分自信。员工们觉得自己就是成功的楷模,是最优秀的人才。一些高管几十年来一直获得巨大的肯定。根深蒂固的行为模式持续不断地获得奖赏。公司内部逐渐产生了竖井心理,员工越来越多,办公室政治愈演愈烈。这种情况下通常听不到自我批评的声音。毕竟,这么多年来一直非常成功,干嘛还那么严厉呢?

But the borderline between confidence and complacency is thin. Over and over, historically strong companies have slipped into periods of decline, sometimes precipitously. In fact, the life expectancy of public companies is shorter than ever. So how can the leader of a successful business reset the direction and re-energize the organization before a crisis hits? Every situation is different, but here are some elements that cut across many of those who succeed:

不过,自信和自满只有一线之隔。那些曾经强大的公司也会陷入衰退期,有时这种衰退来得甚至十分突然。实际上,上市公司的预期寿命已经变得前所未有的短暂。那么,一家成功公司的领袖怎么才能在危机到来前重新找准方向,给公司带来新活力呢?每个人面对的情况都不同,不过那些成功者有以下几个共同点:

Confront reality

面对现实

A former BCG partner who worked for Jack Welch, former chairman and CEO of GE, told me that he thought Jack’s most important quality was that he forced his leadership to deal with the world as it is, not as they wished it to be. Using the right yard-sticks and benchmarks, asking challenging questions, and conducting follow up reviews on new products or initiatives are all examples of pushing strong organizations outside of their inherent comfort zones.

波士顿咨询公司一位前合伙人曾为前通用电气董事长兼首席执行官杰克·韦尔奇工作过。在他看来,韦尔奇最重要的品质就在于他会迫使自己的领导团队应对真实的世界,而不是他们所希望的世界。使用合适的衡量标准,提出挑战性问题,跟踪新产品或方案的后续反馈,这些都是让强大的企业走出固有舒适区的方式。

Establish “the fierce urgency of now”

建立“现在是紧要关头”的理念

Martin Luther King, Jr. said this in a completely different context, but the imagery is exactly right. Strong organizations find all sorts of reasons to avoid uncomfortable change. Pace and energy go together. With competitive landscapes being reshaped faster than ever, the leader needs to set the agenda and the tone.

马丁·路德·金曾经在完全不同的语境中说过这句话,不过这个比喻很恰当。强大的公司总会找到各种理由来避免不合适的改变。步伐和精力要同时跟进。竞争格局的变化速度前所未有,因此领导者需要制定议程,定好基调。

Avoid the false security of “a safe pair of hands”

避免“熟手”带来的错误安全感

Indra Nooyi, chairman and CEO of PepsiCo, shared this in a workshop with new CEOs as her number one lesson. Executives who are solely “a safe pair of hands” are there to preserve the past, not invent the future. To successfully lead their organizations forward, CEOs should challenge their leaders to become change drivers. Many will step up in unexpected ways. I’ve seen skeptics turn into true champions of change. But over time, tolerating those who simply want to preserve the status quo, even if they do their jobs well, sends debilitating signals to everyone else.

在一个汇聚新任首席执行官们的研讨会上,百事公司总裁兼首席执行官卢英德把这个观点作为她的第一堂课。那些“熟手”高管只是在维持过去,而不是在创造未来。想要带领公司顺利前进,首席执行官就需要质疑他们的领导,要成为变革的推动者。许多事情会以意想不到的方式出现。我看着那些怀疑论者蜕变成为变革浪潮中的真正优胜者。随着时间的推移,容忍那些只愿维持现状的员工,即便他们的工作做得很好,也可能会给公司其他人带来消极的信号。

Tackle organizational sclerosis

应对组织僵化

Many successful organizations face two related challenges. First, they are hardwired to be slow and bureaucratic, with too many layers and too narrow spans of control. So leaders get distant from the business, decisions take longer, and strong performers feel over-managed and under-empowered. Second, collaboration often deteriorates as individual success begins to outweigh team success, particularly in activities that cross boundaries within the business. Designing organizations to be lean and creating an environment that fosters the right behaviors and interactions can provide a burst of energy and effectiveness.

许多成功的机构都会面临两个挑战。第一,层级太多,各级控制权有限,所以会不可避免地出现反应迟缓、流程繁复等情况。领导者远离业务,需要花更长时间来决策,而表现出色的员工感觉自己被过度管理,没有足够的权力。第二,随着个人成功的重要性逐渐超越团队成功,尤其在公司的跨部门项目中,合作关系往往会恶化。给公司的结构瘦身,建立促进正确行为和沟通的环境,可以迅速提升公司的活力和效率。

To make these changes stick, leaders will need to win the hearts and minds of a range of stakeholders—employees, customers, investors, and increasingly regulators—so they appreciate why it’s worth challenging the status quo. This isn’t just about staving off decline. It’s about creating a healthy sense of restlessness, motivating people to experiment and act differently, and getting the company, as a whole, to move at a much faster speed—to be more adaptive and agile.

为了让这些改变持续下去,公司领袖需要赢得许多利益相关者——员工、顾客、投资者和越来越多的监管部门——全心全意的支持,让他们意识到为什么改变现状是值得的。这不只是为了避免公司的衰退,而是建立一种自强不息的正确理念,激励人们去探索和表现,让整个公司以更快的速度前进,更具适应性,更加灵活。

Leaders who turn around successful companies rarely create shocking headlines, but they can create massive value. Take two former CEOs, Frank Blake of Home Depot and Lamberto Andreotti of Bristol-Myers Squibb. Both inherited strong companies, and both still managed to reset the direction and strengthen their positions, adding around $200 billion of shareholder value between them in the process.

那些让成功的公司产生变革的领袖很少能登上震撼的新闻报道,不过他们能带来巨大的价值。以两位前任首席执行官为例:家得宝的弗兰克·布莱克和百时美施贵宝的兰贝托·安德烈奥蒂。他们都接手了一家强大的公司,却仍然努力重新找准方向,强化公司的市场地位。在他们的任期内,公司的股东价值增加了约2000亿美元。

重点词汇学习:

complacency [kəm'pleisənsi]
n. 自满;满足;自鸣得意

appetite ['æpitait]
n. 食欲;嗜好

convince [kən'vins]
vt. 说服;使确信,使信服

tremendous [tri'mendəs]
adj. 极大的,巨大的;惊人的

initiative [i'niʃiətiv, -ʃətiv]
n. 主动权;首创精神adj. 主动的;自发的;起始的

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