For those of you who have been purchasing and reading my new book, Business Rules – The Cynic’s Guidebook to the Corporate Overlords – thank you. A few of you have started to send in some additions to the rules – so I thought I’d share a few of the gems that have come in.
Don’t accept a job on the premise that you will be promoted.
The person that sent this in said, “A friend took a job in a department because they promised him that when he hit his first performance review cycle, he’d get promoted. Seven years later he’s still waiting, despite outstanding work.” The reality is that most managers do not have the authority or power to promise a future promotion. As with any promise made by a manager prior to you taking the job, it is subject to wild-ass changes cloaked in outright lies. If you don’t get that promised promotion you’ll be told, “things have changed.”
Never let your organization get their evil clutches on your personal technology.
Mobile devices, smart phones and tablets, are very personal to those that own them. If you want to start getting company email or access their web sites, be prepared for your organization to start dictating how you use that device. The Corporate Overlords will put technology on your device, under the auspices of security. They will force you to change how you use or access the device. They will ruin the joy it used to bring – smothering any joy you have simply so that you can be working more in your off-hours.
What you call a strategy may not be a real strategy
The word “strategy” sounds very high level…very executive. Many business strategies are not really strategies – they are PowerPoint decks with short-term to-do items that never seem to get done. If you are going to have a strategy, it needs to at least:
- Set a long term (3-7 year) direction or vision for where you are going. You have to be able to tell people what the future state looks like and why it is better than where you are. “Because I say so,” is not a valid answer.
- It needs to validate that direction. Why would anyone do this? What will this do for us?
- It must be measurable. How will we know when we’ve gotten there? What are the milestones along the way?
- It must be tied to decisions and other tangible activities. How are we going to get there from here?
- Most importantly, it is not a “work in progress” subject to a random changes. It is a document that any proposed changes must fit into – or those changes must be challenged and potentially discarded.
You need to know the definition of success to be successful.
This isn’t about knowing the definition of the word – this is about how you define the success of the change you are leading/managing. If you don’t know what success looks like in your change efforts, you will never measure them, and never achieve them. The Corporate Overlords assume everyone sees success the way they do. Silly Overlords…
This definition may include: What is the realization of your business case objective (you remember that business case don’t you?) Do you have a way to measure your return on investment? Does your vision spell out a clear vision of what the future state of the organization looks like – or what behaviors you anticipate seeing?
Most important of all – how will you know you are successful in terms of measurement?
If you can’t articulate success – you will never know when you’ve achieved success.
I’ve gotten over twenty new rules that have come in – thank you everyone. Keep ‘em coming.