Front-Line Leadership: Tapping Your Company’s Richest Source of Ideas and Innovation
Front-line employees can be your companies greatest asset. As corporations increasingly attempt to differentiate themselves through their service, many are recognizing that the best strategy is creating judgment capability at the front lines, among sales people, service, and call center employees. Companies like Intuit, Mayo Clinic and Zappos are stand-outs for giving front-line leaders the autonomy they need to operate. These people are becoming the vital centers of knowledge about what and how to serve customers better. Unfortunately, most organizations don’t know how to evaluate the risk of giving employees more autonomy. Many of those who are willing to try haven’t invested the proper resources to ensure that, once the shackles are off, front-line employees make good judgments. It becomes a challenge to find the right balance of creativity and control.
Noel Tichy, along with his co-author Chris DeRose, captures the essentials of creating and sustaining a culture of front-line leadership. Through a systematic process he has successfully employed with dozens of companies, he shows how senior leaders can use their authority to overcome the technical, political, and cultural barriers that stand in the way. Further, he lays out how to get front-line employees and teams to test and refine their own ideas, and then implement and scale-up the improvements enterprise-wide.
Judgment: How Winning Leaders Make Great Calls
Judgment is the key to true leadership. But contrary to popular assumption, judgment is not an inborn trait. Dr. Tichy shares his perspective that judgment is a faculty, a skill that can be developed, expanded, honed, and refined. Moreover, he argues, judgment isn’t isolated to the individual. Offering examples of organizations that promote better judgment and reinforce decision making in ways that transcend the individual leader, Dr. Tichy discusses the importance of developing the leadership and judgment skills of a new generation of leaders.
The Cycle of Leadership
Great companies and their leaders spend a great portion of their time giving their learnings to others, sharing best practices, and in turn, learn and receive business ideas/knowledge from the employees they are teaching. Through this “virtual teaching cycle” business builders can create organizations that foster this knowledge exchange, resulting in smarter, more agile companies, and winning results. Dr. Tichy provides the keys to creating companies with strong values, speed and the intelligence to sustain success, decade after decade. Using examples from GE, Ford, Dell, Southwest Airlines and many others, Dr. Tichy presents and analyzes these principles in action and shows how managers can begin to transform their own businesses into teaching organizations and, consequently, better-performing companies.
The Leadership Engine
Winning corporations, without exception, are distinguished by their ability to grow leadership at every level, an ability that ultimately creates a pool of formidable home-grown talent that can be drawn on whenever top management jobs need to be filled. In this presentation, Dr. Tichy reveals how businesses can cultivate this ability by creating a corporate atmosphere that nurtures leadership and initiative. Describing the importance for leaders to develop a “teachable point of view” on business ideas and values, Dr. Tichy offers tools and strategies to help leaders codify and communicate their personal visions throughout the organization.