May 26, 2011

You Have to Throw a Stone to Get the Pond to Ripple

You Have to Throw a Stone to Get the Pond to Ripple This is a post about productive disruption.  The title comes from one of my favorite lines from a song by Squeeze, Slap & Tickle.  But the concept is an important one for leaders at all levels, especially as businesses mature. Founders and CEOs of early stage companies don’t disrupt the flow of the business.  Most of the time, they ARE the flow of the business.  They dominate the way everything works by definition — product development, major prospect calls, client dialog, strategy, and changes in strategy.  But as businesses get out of the startup phase and into the “growth” phase (I’m still trying to figure out what to call the phase Return Path is in right now), the founders and CEO should become less dominant.  The best way to scale a business is by not being Command Central any longer – to build an organization capable of running without you in many cases. Organizations that get larger seek stability, and to some extent, they thrive on it.  The kinds of people you hire into a larger company aren’t accustomed to or prepared for the radical swings you get […]

May 5, 2011

The Gift of Feedback, Part III

The Gift of Feedback, Part III I’ve written about our 360 Review process at Return Path a few times in the past: overall process process for my review in particular update on a process change and unintended consequences of that process change) learnings from this year’s process about my staff And the last two times around, I’ve also posted the output of my own review publicly here in the form of my development plan: Here in 2008 Here in 2009 So here we are again.  I have my new development plan all spruced up and ready to go.  Many thanks […]