Monday, February 28, 2011

A Company Bible?

Rick Spence suggests that every company references a business book that describes its values or operating strategy. The company book (maybe bible?) becomes an outside guide to how you want the company to operate.  I've mentioned several in my blogs, but if I had to suggest one, it would have to be Breakthrough Company by Keith McFarland. It's written for small and mid-sized companies. It meshes well with Collins' books (Built to Last and Good to Great), and Covey's 7 Habits.

One of the principles I like: Crown the Organization. In other words, the business is not about making the leader look good. The leadership's role is to make the organization look good. It sort of gets at Servant Leadership. His points:
  • Crown the customer first,
  • Avoid the trappings of corporate royalty,
  • Shift from commander to coach,
  • Don't let loyalty become a liability
  • Encourage "chaotic communication"--i.e. communication outside of normal channels
  • Cut people in on the action--through bonuses but more importantly through involvement in decisions
Another principle: Build Company Character. McFarland talks about several values. For me, it relates to honesty, integrity (acting on the beliefs you espouse), not taking advantage of people, treating them with respect and dignity (i.e. as adults capable of making decisions), and, as I've written before, with no threats nor favoritism (Ephesians 6.9).

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