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Culture at TaxiForSure

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Culture at TaxiForSure April 2014


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2 PART-1 A Primer on Culture


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3 The term Culture, specifically organization culture, is widely used but hardly understood. Have you ever tried this simple exercise? Asking five senior executives and/or founders separately two questions: Can you explain to me what organization culture means to you in a simple and practical way? Can you describe to me the salient aspects of your organization culture?


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4 Very likely, in most Firms, you will find them providing unclear and inconsistent responses.


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5 It is therefore very helpful to get a working knowledge of culture in the same way as most of us have of, say, Strategy


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6 Research by IBM concludes that in any organization, or team, seventy percent of the culture (or organization climate as they refer to it) is driven by the leader of the organization or team. In addition, the right culture can swing business results by thirty percent. Putting two and two together, the right leader creates the right culture, which in turn can swing business results significantly


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7 A Good way to Start Understanding Culture is to Understand what it is and what it is not


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8 Culture is about who gets rewarded and promoted Culture is about what behaviors and values we expect from our colleagues – behaviors that are acceptable and behaviors that are not Culture is the way things are done here Culture is the way decisions are made – extent of Consultation, Buy-in needed, Consensus etc. Culture is about how goals are set - set unrealistic goals and aim to achieve them or set conservative goals and definitely achieve them What IS Culture?


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9 Culture is therefore what successful teams or groups attribute their success to. Culture therefore evolves It is very much like evolution of life on this planet It takes time, takes shape slowly, is often difficult to explain why it is what it is, and most important of all, it is very difficult to make quick changes


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10 There is no good culture or a bad culture just as there is no right or wrong personal style of leadership. It is not right to conclude that one culture is superior to the other or one works better most of the time. Culture is not defined by a Company’s espoused values or artifacts like office layouts. It is not easy to change culture because it evolves slowly What Culture Is Not?


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11 One may, therefore, legitimately ask: “if organizations can’t change ‘who they are’, what’s the whole point of understanding culture?” It is the same thing as asking: “if individuals can’t fundamentally change ‘who they are’, what’s the whole point of developing better self-awareness”? Self-awareness helps an individual better understand herself in relation to the world around her, and hence, deal with situations more effectively


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12 The lesson in this is that you should know what your organization culture is even if you can’t change it easily. The concept of ‘change management’ which many of us may have heard of is actually a structured way of gradually making changes to elements of a Firm’s Culture that have become dysfunctional over time


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13 How can We as Leaders Drive the Right Culture?


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14 Let us use a Real Life Example and Apply Elementary Game Theory


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Assume you are staffed on to a Project Team comprising Members who all have a Day job in addition to the Project You need to decide whether you are going to work hard on the Project or attempt a free ride and focus on your day job How do you decide? Take a look at the matrix on the next slide and see the different consequences and outcomes


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16 Irrespective of what your colleagues on the Project choose to do, it is in your interest to ignore the Project If My Colleagues Work Hard, I have two choices – Work Hard or Not Work Hard. The option of ‘Not Work Hard’ has better results as you can see If My Colleagues do not Work Hard, I have two choices – Work Hard or Not Work Hard. Again, the option of ‘Not Work Hard’ has better results as you can see


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Let us now Change the Matrix a bit and see how your Decision Changes


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18 Irrespective of what your colleagues on the Project choose to do, it is in your interest to NOW Work Hard If My Colleagues Work Hard, I have two choices – Work Hard or Not Work Hard. The option of ‘Work Hard’ has better results as you can see If My Colleagues do not Work Hard, I have two choices – Work Hard or Not Work Hard. Again, the option of ‘Work Hard’ has better results as you can see


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19 Did You Figure Out What Changed Between the Two Matrices?


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20 What Changed Was the Kind of Behaviors That Were Rewarded by The Leaders and the Firm Culture is, Therefore, All About the Behaviors that are Encouraged and Rewarded


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21 If driving a Culture was just about changing a few things on the Matrix, why is it so difficult in Real Life?


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22 The reason why it is so difficult to reward the right behaviors and penalize the wrong ones is because very often the wrong behaviors produce some short term gains for an organization and the right behaviors could produce some short term pain


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23 Therefore, Firms need Clarity and Courage to bear the Short Term Pain in exchange for the Long Term Gain. This is a Very Difficult Trade-off


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24 Weak Leaders are often Reluctant to take ownership for bringing about changes in these dysfunctional behaviors that harm the Organization Culture They often rely on Peripheral and Distracting Fixes like Compensation Plans and Organization Structures that they think would magically induce the right behaviors


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25 PART-2 Culture at TaxiForSure


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26 Culture is what gives TaxiForSure the best chance of Long Term Success both for our People and Business


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Eight Aspects of Our Culture We Value specific Behaviors and Skills – And we know what they are We dream Big on our Goals – We would rather aim very high and achieve partial success than aim low and beat targets We Solve the Right Problems – Every time we would ask “Are we solving the Right Problem?” We Take Ownership for Everything we do – even if the Outcomes are Not entirely in our Control People are the most important Pillar – We prefer Great people plus Average Process to Great Process plus Average People Speed is as important as Quality – in everything we do Trust and Personal responsibility – In all Relationships We are Facts and Data Oriented – in any problem we look at 27


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Eight Aspects of Our Culture We Value specific Behaviors and Skills – And we know what they are We dream Big on our Goals – We would rather aim very high and achieve partial success than aim low and beat targets We Solve the Right Problems – Every time we will ask “Are we solving the Right Problem?” We Take Ownership for Everything we do – even if the Outcomes are Not entirely in our Control People are the most important Pillar – We would prefer Great people plus Average Process to Great Process plus Average People Speed is as important as Quality – in everything we do Trust and Personal responsibility – In All Relationships We are Facts and Data Oriented – in any problem we look at 28


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29 Ten Behaviors and Talents We Value Respect for people Integrity Transparency Fun at Work Entrepreneurial Clarity of Thought Team Building & Team Working Communication & Influencing Customer Centricity Self Awareness


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Respect for People 30 You are never disrespectful come what may and whatever the provocation You do not belittle others however silly you think their idea may be We can take feedback from the person who serves you tea or the janitor in the office and they will always say they are treated with respect Your language is carefully chosen – even tough messages are communicated in a constructive tone You never make oblique or sarcastic remarks


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Integrity 31 What you say is what you mean People shouldn’t need much tact in dealing with you You always communicate the other person’s side of the story even if she is not around You are truthful and do not hesitate in saying things like “I don’t know”, or “I goofed up” You will give credit to others where it is due You tend to credit others when things go right and look in the mirror when things go wrong and ask “is there something I should have done differently?”


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Transparency 32 You don’t put on Masks. What people see is what they get You genuinely get the affected parties involved in issues and their resolution even if you know they may ask you hard questions You do not encourage and participate in too many side conversations. You prefer open discussion with all the parties involved


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Fun at Work 33 You genuinely try and make the work place a fun place for your team and colleagues You make it fun in your own way – help others learn, help teams let down their hair and build camaraderie and trust


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Entrepreneurial 34 You make things happen. You demonstrate Risk Taking, Initiative and Self Leadership You can handle Ambiguity and Thrive in Chaos You can make the right Assumptions and Approximations. You can take decisions in the face of incomplete information You demonstrate Execution Excellence


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Clarity of Thought 35 You think strategically, and can articulate what you are, and are not, trying to do You Seek insights and ask insightful questions You can cut through the noise and smoke to quickly reach the underlying truth or root cause You always step back to take a big picture view, foster strategic thinking in the organization, and understand interdependencies You can often find simple solutions to complex problems


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Team Building and Team Work 36 You Set high standards for Yourself and the Team You would Proactively address and resolve conflict You will hire great people. You will hire people who can push you and push the envelope. You won’t hesitate to hire people who are more competent than you himself/herself You understand when to delegate and when to micro-manage You can give and receive feedback in a constructive way


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Communication and Influencing 37 You are an active listener You Communicate with energy and passion and have the ability to articulate complex concepts in a way that is simple to understand You can use analogies and stories to add clarity and meaning to communications You treat people with respect independent of their status or disagreement with you You maintain calm poise in stressful situation You can give and receive feedback in a constructive way


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Customer Centricity 38 You take personal responsibility for correcting  customer service problems You recognize internal customers and treat them as if they were external customers You will follow through on customer inquiries, requests, and complaints You can set expectations with customers and don’t make promises that cannot be delivered You are an active listener and ask a lot of questions for understanding a customer requirement You can give and receive feedback in a constructive way


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Self Awareness 39 You sincerely seek feedback and act on it Your assessment of yourself is aligned with others’ assessment of you. In other words you have an accurate assessment of your strengths and weaknesses. You can actually your weaknesses as effortlessly as you articulate your strengths Your aspirations are in line with your capabilities You do not put on masks while interacting with people You always ask yourself in a self-appraisal, “What could I have done better”, “Have I really met this Goal”


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Eight Aspects of Our Culture We Value specific Behaviors and Skills – And we know what they are We dream Big on our Goals – We would rather aim very high and achieve partial success than aim low and beat targets We Solve the Right Problems – Every time we will ask “Are we solving the Right Problem?” We Take Ownership for Everything we do – even if the Outcomes are Not entirely in our Control People are the most important Pillar – We would prefer Great people plus Average Process to Great Process plus Average People Speed is as important as Quality – in everything we do Trust and Personal responsibility – In All Relationships We are Facts and Data Oriented – in any problem we look at 40


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Dream Big and Aim High 41 Good is the Enemy of Great Jim Collins, in Good to Great


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42 We want Everyone to Think Big Think Beyond What is Possible Think Out of the Box Think beyond Conventional Boundaries


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43 We are not a Public Company, catering to Market Watchers and Analysts, Aiming for What is Possible and then Beating it We are not looking for a predictable 20% per annum increase in share Price


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44 Incremental Thinking Will Get Us Steady Growth But, We have not Attracted the kind of People We Have with The Promise of Steady Growth There is no Fun Living on the Horizontal Sections of the “S” Curve


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Eight Aspects of Our Culture We Value specific Behaviors and Skills – And we know what they are We dream Big on our Goals – We would rather aim very high and achieve partial success than aim low and beat targets We Solve the Right Problems – Every time we will ask “Are we solving the Right Problem?” We Take Ownership for Everything we do – even if the Outcomes are Not entirely in our Control People are the most important Pillar – We would prefer Great people plus Average Process to Great Process plus Average People Speed is as important as Quality – in everything we do Trust and Personal responsibility – In All Relationships We are Facts and Data Oriented – in any problem we look at 45


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Solving the Right Problems – Alice in Wonderland 46 Alice: Which Door Should I take? Rabbit: That Depends Upon Where You Want to Go Alice: I don’t know where I want to go Rabbit: Then it doesn’t matter which door you take If you are solving the wrong problems, it does not matter how well you solve them


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47 The Interesting thing is that Most People who are Busy Solving the Wrong Problems Don’t Even Realize that


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48 People Solve the Wrong Problems for a Variety of Reasons: They haven’t figured out the right problems Solving the wrong problems is easy Nobody has questioned them for solving the wrong problems – in fact they have been recognized as good problem solvers


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49 Solving the Wrong Problems Manifests itself Commonly in Three Different Ways: Solving problems that someone in your team should be solving Jumping to conclusions (wrong conclusions) – on what is the cause of something – and working hard to fix it Working hard to improve something (may be a process) – when the right thing to do may have been to eliminate the process itself. The inherent assumption being that the process (in this case) is NECESSARY. The broader fault is about defining the boundaries incorrectly


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50 Therefore, Every Time You and/or Your Team Are Solving a Problem, Ask Yourself (Yourselves) “Are We Solving the Right Problem?”


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Eight Aspects of Our Culture We Value specific Behaviors and Skills – And we know what they are We dream Big on our Goals – We would rather aim very high and achieve partial success than aim low and beat targets We Solve the Right Problems – Every time we will ask “Are we solving the Right Problem?” We Take Ownership for Everything we do – even if the Outcomes are Not entirely in our Control People are the most important Pillar – We would prefer Great people plus Average Process to Great Process plus Average People Speed is as important as Quality – in everything we do Trust and Personal responsibility – In All Relationships We are Facts and Data Oriented – in any problem we look at 51


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Taking Ownership 52 Most Outcomes or Goals in Organizations have Different Levers. Each Lever is only Partially Controlled by any One Team (or Individual) It is Very Difficult to Structure Work in Ways that result in all the Levers being in the Hands of Only One Team (or one individual)


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53 Taking Ownership when things are Even Partially (Not Entirely) in Your Control is an Attitude We WANT our Teams and Team Members to demonstrate this Attitude


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54 This Does Not Mean, we are Encouraging Collective Responsibility or Asking You to Own up for Something You were Not Responsible for


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55 It Just Means that We will Work as Real Teams and Collaborate without Boundaries


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Eight Aspects of Our Culture We Value specific Behaviors and Skills – And we know what they are We dream Big on our Goals – We would rather aim very high and achieve partial success than aim low and beat targets We Solve the Right Problems – Every time we will ask “Are we solving the Right Problem?” We Take Ownership for Everything we do – even if the Outcomes are Not entirely in our Control People are the most important Pillar – We would prefer Great people plus Average Process to Great Process plus Average People Speed is as important as Quality – in everything we do Trust and Personal responsibility – In All Relationships We are Facts and Data Oriented – in any problem we look at 56


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People are our Most Important Pillar 57 Therefore Hiring is THE most important thing we do Great People in the Wrong Structure can Make it Work. It may be a Little Sub Optimal that’s all Great People can make a Weak Process Work. Again, it may be a Little Sub Optimal that’s all


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58 We will Differentiate based on Performance and Talent We can try and keep Everyone Happy by a Socialist Approach, but a Socialist Approach results in a Socialist Growth Rate and Results. As a result, Good People will Leave and Average People would be Loyal.


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59 We Sincerely believe that the most important Job of Managers is to Hire, Manage and Motivate their People We expect them to spend a significant part of their time in Setting Goals, Clarifying Roles, Evaluating Performance, Providing Feedback and above all, helping them Learn and Grow in their Career We want everyone who works at TaxiForSure to be able to enhance the quality of their CV


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Eight Aspects of Our Culture We Value specific Behaviors and Skills – And we know what they are We dream Big on our Goals – We would rather aim very high and achieve partial success than aim low and beat targets We Solve the Right Problems – Every time we will ask “Are we solving the Right Problem?” We Take Ownership for Everything we do – even if the Outcomes are Not entirely in our Control People are the most important Pillar – We would prefer Great people plus Average Process to Great Process plus Average People Speed is as important as Quality – in everything we do Trust and Personal responsibility – In All Relationships We are Facts and Data Oriented – in any problem we look at 60


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Speed is as important as Quality 61 We operate in Markets, and in Times, where Speed, as much as anything else, Decides Who Wins and Who Gets to be the Leader We don’t have the Luxury of Trading off Speed and Quality Both Matter Equally


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62 Speed is often a Question of Clarity of Thought It is in being able to Cut through the Clutter and Figure out the 2-3 Most Important Drivers, Levers or Parameters in Any Given Situation and NOT get Distracted by the Noise and the Low Impact Levers or Drivers We therefore, expect all our People to be able to Make the Right Assumptions and Approximations. Expect them never to get Stuck in an Analysis-Paralysis Situation


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63 Any Decision is Better than Indecision We will never have All the Information to Make a Decision. If we had All the Information, We wouldn’t be needed. Therefore we Value Informed Judgment (this is part of being Entrepreneurial)


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Eight Aspects of Our Culture We Value specific Behaviors and Skills – And we know what they are We dream Big on our Goals – We would rather aim very high and achieve partial success than aim low and beat targets We Solve the Right Problems – Every time we will ask “Are we solving the Right Problem?” We Take Ownership for Everything we do – even if the Outcomes are Not entirely in our Control People are the most important Pillar – We would prefer Great people plus Average Process to Great Process plus Average People Speed is as important as Quality – in everything we do Trust and Personal responsibility – In All Relationships We are Facts and Data Oriented – in any problem we look at 64


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65 We Sincerely Believe that while Controls and Process prevent a Firm from Imploding, they Never lead it to Greatness Smart People join us for the Freedom we provide


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66 Creating Alignment Thru’ Values, not Rules Culture, not Procedures Goals, not Paths Great Execution Thru’ Decentralization, not Centralization Empowerment, not Control


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67 Freedom to Execute Decentralization Low Center of Gravity of the Organization Branches are our execution engines, and every one else aligns to support them Limited ‘Corporate Staff’ but of high quality ‘Corporate Staff’ mind-set is one of creating value for internal customers Decisions made at the point where there is maximum information Empowerment Process-Owners can seek inputs but will have to take decisions Frameworks, not Rigid Rules Don’t make Commitments without thinking, but meet Commitments Always Always behave responsibly Treat Company Expenses as if you would treat your Personal Expenses


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68 Trust and Personal Responsibility applies to Everything We Do We will Never Have the Time, and Do Not Intend, Checking and Monitoring Everything Therefore, Spend Company Money like you would Spend your Own Keep Commitments. Stick to Company Policy. If you Disagree, ask for a Review, but Adhere to it as long as it is in place


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Eight Aspects of Our Culture We Value specific Behaviors and Skills – And we know what they are We dream Big on our Goals – We would rather aim very high and achieve partial success than aim low and beat targets We Solve the Right Problems – Every time we will ask “Are we solving the Right Problem?” We Take Ownership for Everything we do – even if the Outcomes are Not entirely in our Control People are the most important Pillar – We would prefer Great people plus Average Process to Great Process plus Average People Speed is as important as Quality – in everything we do Trust and Personal responsibility – In All Relationships We are Facts and Data Oriented – in any problem we look at 69


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Facts and Data Orientation 70 In God we Trust; All Others Must Bring Data Unknown


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71 Discussions become Meaningless without Data, and we are Never Sure if our Decisions are Right


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72 However, there will be Situations when we may not have All the Data needed to reach a conclusion We expect Managers to Figure out and Differentiate between Situations where we need to Look for more Data and Facts and when to Make an Informed Judgment


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73 In Summary, Facts and Data based Analysis IS part of our DNA


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74 Culture takes Root Through our Collective Efforts Encouraging the Right Behaviors and Discouraging the Wrong Behaviors Demonstrating through Actions Walking the Talk We hope Each of you becomes a Torch Bearer of the TaxiForSure Culture In Conclusion


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THANK YOU 75 Visit us at www.taxiforsure.com


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