Great Leaders Don’t Innovate the Product, They Innovate the Factory

teamwork-gears-David-BurkusA hundred years ago it was management’s job to think and a worker’s job to do. This works great when it’s easy to figure out what the work is, but in the modern world the factories are offices and the ideas of the Frederick Taylor industrial revolution era do not fit so well. Problem is, this way of thinking can still be seen in today’s businesses. Many of those principles simply do not apply as we’ve moved from physical factories to ideas factories. Office workers make decisions, come up with solutions, create. Their job is in the brain. This requires different ideas of management.

As companies grow, the leaders focus less on products and front-line customer service and instead zero in on their people. They build teams and allow them to focus on product, customers and systems. They prioritize innovating their organization so their people can do their work.

According to Dr. David Burkus in his recent Master Class for the ExecuNet community, effectiveness in the modern world requires a lot of attention on team building. Research has shown that star executives who make a move tend to do see their performance decline; their new group does not do as well, and the overall valuation of the new company declines. The reason is simple: they were a star executive because of how they fit into their old team. When they left their team, a unique collection of individuals, working well together, they left the support that they needed to be great.

great-leaders-dont-innovateTo combat this wise companies engage in “lift outs,” hiring the analysts, assistance, and everyone associated with the star executive’s team. Burkus said, “Team talent is what explains a lot of individual performance. Sixty percent of individual performance is explained by the fit you are on the team and the resources the firm produced.”

 

 

Watch Under New Management: How Leading Organizations are Upending Business as Usual to hear Dr. David Burkus talk in detail about how leading organizations are approaching hiring and team construction.
ExecuNet’s original series, ExecuNet Master Class, transforms the world’s leading community of the brightest business thinkers, top leadership experts, and trusted executive career advisors into your own personal network of instructors to help you do your very best work and take your career where you want it to go next. Our goal is to provide you with 365 days of inspiration to help you meet every career, business and leadership challenge that you encounter.


William Flamme

William Flamme

William Flamme is ExecuNet's Marketing Content Manager, where he is responsible for developing engaging career, job search, and leadership insight and delivering executive-level content across the various properties under the ExecuNet brand. Prior to joining ExecuNet in 2008, Will earned a master's degree in education and taught fifth grade and sixth grade. As a teacher, he deepened his appreciation for the written word and mastered skills necessary for managing writers who sometimes view deadlines as homework.

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