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December 02,2019 Facilitating Innovation

Team Transparency

Team Transparency

Bridgewater

Ray Dalio, one of the 100 wealthiest people in the world, runs the investment firm Bridgewater Associates. He feels that radical candor and transparency to their clients and investors directly links to the success of Bridgewater. Dalio applies the same methodology in running the organization where all employees rank meetings and interactions to provide real-time feedback. This scoring system includes the CEO. When he runs a poor meeting, he needs to know why and how to fix it to achieve peak performance.

Team Engagement

This book emphasizes the importance of engaging the entire organization in the ideation and developing solutions. The key value of unlocking the insights of many verses just the management team. To enable good team-based decision making and ideation the team must have a perspective of the current situation. They need to understand the ins and outs of the company and market situation to achieve the perspective to produce peak insights. This perspective can only be achieved through extreme transparency.

This transparency enables the ability to have candid conversations about the current state of the business. The workforce is not looking for a cheerleader who is always positive. They need to understand the gritty details of the situation or they will provide worthless solutions.

 Also, the Team

Team members possess uncanny abilities to produce novel and insightful ideas. Understanding of current situations not only enhances their solutions but refines their ideas as well. By incorporating transparency as a team value and practice, solutions will improve but significant time will be saved as well.

Transparency leads to team engagement. This builds trust between the leader and their team. The flywheel of respect and appreciation starts. The team’s capabilities develop further. Additionally, the team commits to the actions because they identified them, those ideas become theirs.

Perspective

Without perspective, one cannot effectively create. Great ideas that are not grounded fall to the wayside. Design without parameters leads to ideas that won’t be workable and won’t be taken seriously. This creates the opposite flywheel where the dejected creator brings the organization down instead of uplifting them.

Practical Application

  • Take twenty minutes to free write everything that you don’t currently share with your team about the organization. Then break the free written list into bulleted items.
  • Build a risk matrix for all bulleted items and then perform a risk analysis of sharing each item to the team. (Impact X Probability = Risk Rating)
  • Begin with the lowest-ranked risks and share those with the team daily. Finally, achieve a point where this open communication becomes habitual and evaluate disclosing the higher risk items.

Lee Iacocca

The son of Italian immigrants Lee Iacocca grew up in industrial Allentown, Pennsylvania. A bright kid who excelled at school graduated with honors from Lehigh University as an industrial engineer. Following, Iacocca joined the Ford Motor Company starting in engineering but moving quickly to his love of sales and marketing. While there he gained notoriety with helping the design and rollout of the Ford Mustang. This later catapulted Iacocca to become the President of Ford Motor Company, next in line to replace Henry Ford II.

Because of the Pinto

During the 1970’s Ford ran into side-impact explosion issues with their economy car the Ford Pinto. Combined with personality clashing with Henry Ford II, Iacocca was fired from Ford in 1978. The Chrysler Corporation quickly snapped up Iacocca making him the CEO. Chrysler was on the verge of bankruptcy and couldn’t secure a bank loan to finish their new line of K-Cars. Iacocca instead, lobbied Congress which in turn lent Chrysler $1.8 Billion.

Minivan

The K-car series popularity led to the Dodge Caravan bringing upon the resurgence of Chrysler. Therefore, Iacocca paid Congress back on their loan seven years early as a true showman. Chrysler was healthy again and Iacocca became the first celebrity CEO. Known for his straight-talking leadership style Iacocca modeled transparency. As a result of navigating economic downturns, market desires, and Union contracts Iacocca led with candid communications to align the organization towards positive change. Above all, Iacocca started by answering the question of why to assemble a majority and lead them in a unified direction.

References

Fessler, L. (2017, September 7). Furthermore, At the world’s largest hedge fund, 24-year-olds use “dots” to critique their CEO. Retrieved from Quartz: https://qz.com/1071749/bridgewater-associates-ceo-ray-dalio-explains-the-dot-collector-feedback-tool-his-company-uses-to-rate-employees/

Iacocca, L. a. (1984). Above All, Iacocca an Autobiography. New York: Random House.

Stoll, J. D. (2019). Also, Obituaries Lee Iacocca: 1924-2019. The Wall Street Journal.

Watson, M. (2018). Another Common Strategies and Practices Among Facilitators of Innovative Thinking in Organizations. Ann Arbor, MI: ProQuest.

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