Excellence. Always. If not excellence, what? If not excellence now, when?

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problem #1. Opportunity #1.

X =XFX* *Excellence = Cross-functional Excellence

  • Never waste a lunch!
  • ????
  • % XF lunches*
  • *Measure! Monthly! Part of evaluation! [The PA’s Club.]
  • Lunch
  • > SAP/
  • Oracle

(Way) Underutilized Lever Space! Space! Space! Space!

  • Geologists + Geophysicists +
  • A little bit of love = Oil
  • “Allied commands depend on mutual confidence
  • [and this confidence]
  • is gained, above all
  • through the development
  • of friendships.”
  • —General D.D. Eisenhower,
  • Armchair General* (05.08) *“Perhaps his most outstanding ability [at West Point]
  • was the ease with which he made friends and earned the trust of fellow cadets who came from widely varied backgrounds; it was a quality that would pay great
  • dividends during his future coalition command
  • “Suck down for success!” * ** *** **** ****
  • *“He [Gust Avrakotos] had become something of a legend with these people who manned the underbelly of the Agency [CIA],” from Charlie Wilson’s War
  • **Getting to know “the risk guys” [GE Power]
  • ***“Spend less time with your customer!”
  • ****C(I) > C(E)
  • *****The ATT systems sales exec


Return On Investment In Relationships

  • “Keep a short enemies list. One enemy can do more damage than the good done by a hundred friends.”
  • —Bill Walsh (from The Score Takes Care of Itself)
  • C(I) > C(E)
  • Lunch
  • Kudos
  • Learning/ Presence/Presentations
  • Facetime C(E)
  • Transparency
  • Awards
  • Co-locate/Geologists-Geophysicists
  • Time!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • Motherhood (“If don’t take credit …)
  • Staff C.Sat./Unicredit

The “XF-50”: 50 Ways to Enhance Cross-Functional Effectiveness and Deliver Speed, “Service Excellence” and “Value-added Customer ‘Solutions’”

  • 1. It’s our organization to make work—or not. It’s not “them,” the outside world that’s the problem. The enemy is us. Period.
  • 2. Friction-free! Dump 90% of “middle managers”—most are advertent or inadvertent “power freaks.” We are all—every one of us—in the Friction Removal Business, one moment at a time, now and forevermore.
  • 3. No “stovepipes”! “Stove-piping,” “Silo-ing” is an Automatic Firing Offense. Period. No appeals. (Within the limits of civility, somewhat “public” firings are not out of the question—that is, make one and all aware why the axe fell.)
  • 4. Everything on the Web. This helps. A lot. (“Everything” = Big word.)
  • 5. Open access. All available to all. Transparency, beyond a level that’s “sensible,” is a de facto imperative in a Burn-the-Silos strategy.
  • 6. Project managers rule!! Project managers running XF (cross-functional) projects are the Elite of the organization, and seen as such and treated as such. (The likes of construction companies have practiced this more or less forever.)
  • 7. “Value-added Proposition” = Application of integrated resources. (From the entire supply-chain.) To deliver on our emergent business raison d'être, and compete with the likes of our Chinese and Indian brethren, we must co-operate with anybody and everybody “24/7.” IBM, UPS and many, many others are selling far more than a product or service that works—the new “it” is pure and simple a product of XF co-operation; “the product is the co-operation” is not much of a stretch.
  • 8. “XF work” is the direct work of leaders!
  • 9. “Integrated solutions” = Our “Culture.” (Therefore: XF = Our culture.)
  • 10. Partner with “best-in-class” only. Their pursuit of Excellence helps us get beyond petty bickering. An all-star team has little time for anything other than delivering on the (big) Client promise.
  • 11. All functions are created equal! All functions contribute equally! All = All.
  • 12. All functions are “PSFs,” Professional Service Firms. “Professionalism” is the watchword—and true Professionalism rise above turf wars. You are your projects, your legacy is your projects—and the legacy will be skimpy indeed unless you pass, with flying colors, the “works well with others” exam!
  • 13. We are all in sales! We all (a-l-l) “sell” those Integrated Client Solutions. Good salespeople don’t blame others for screwups—the Clint doesn’t care. Good salespeople are “quarterbacks” who make the system work-deliver.
  • 14. We all invest in “wiring” the Client organization—we develop comprehensive relationships in every part (function, level) of the Client’s organization. We pay special attention to the so-called “lower levels,” short on glamour, long on the ability to make things happen at the “coalface.”
  • 15. We all “live the Brand”—which is Delivery of Matchless Integrated Solutions which transform the Client’s organization. To “live the brand” is to become a raving fan of XF cooperation.
  • 16. We use the word “partner” until we want to barf! (Words matter! A lot!)
  • 17. We use the word “team” until we want to barf. (Words matter! A lot!)
  • 18. We use the word “us” until we want to barf. (Words matter! A lot!)
  • 19. We obsessively seek Inclusion—and abhor exclusion. We want more people from more places (internal, external—the whole “supply chain”) aboard in order to maximize systemic benefits.
  • 20. Buttons & Badges matter—we work relentlessly at team (XF team) identity and solidarity. (“Corny”? Get over it.)
  • 21. All (almost all) rewards are team rewards.
  • 22. We keep base pay rather low—and give whopping bonuses for excellent team delivery of “seriously cool” cross-functional Client benefits.
  • 24. WE TAKE THE HEAT—THE WHOLE TEAM. (For anything and everything.) (Losing, like winning, is a team affair.)
  • 26. “Women rule.” Women are simply better at the XF communications stuff—less power obsessed, less hierarchically inclined, more group-team oriented.
  • 27. Every member of our team is an honored contributor. “XF project Excellence” is an “all hands” affair.
  • 28. We are our XF Teams! XF project teams are how we get things done.
  • 29. “Wow Projects” rule, large or small—Wow projects demand by definition XF Excellence.
  • 30. We routinely attempt to unearth and then reward “small gestures” of XF co-operation.
  • 31. We invite Functional Bigwigs to our XF project team reviews.
  • 32. We insist on Client team participation—from all functions of the Client organization.
  • 33. An “Open talent market” helps make the projects “silo-free.” People want in on the project because of the opportunity to do something memorable—no one will tolerate delays based on traditional functional squabbling.
  • 34. Flat! Flat = Flattened Silos. Flat = Excellence based on XF project outcomes, not power-hoarding within functional boundaries.
  • 35. New “C-level”? We more or less need a “C-level” job titled Chief Bullshit Removal Officer. That is, some kind of formal watchdog whose role in life is to make cross-functionality work, and I.D. those who don’t get with the program.
  • 36. Huge (H-U-G-E) co-operation bonuses. Senior team members who conspicuously shine in the “working together” bit are rewarded Big Time. (A million bucks in one case I know—and a non-cooperating very senior was sacked.)
  • 37. Get physical!! “Co-location” is the most powerful “culture changer. Physical X-functional proximity is almost a guarantee (yup!) of remarkably improved co-operation—to aid this one needs flexible workspaces that can be mobilized for a team in a flash.
  • 38. Ad hoc. To improve the new “X-functional Culture,” little XF teams should be formed on the spot to deal with an urgent issue—they may live for but ten days, but it helps the XF habit, making it normal to be “working the XF way.”
  • 39. “Deep dip.” Dive three levels down in the organization to fill a senior role with some one who has been pro-active on the XF dimension.
  • 40. Formal evaluations. Everyone, starting with the receptionist, should have an important XF rating component in their evaluation.
  • 41. Demand XF experience for, especially, senior jobs. The military requires all would-be generals and admirals to have served a full tour in a job whose only goals were cross-functional. Great idea!
  • 42. Early project “management” experience. Within days, literally, of coming aboard folks should be “running” some bit of a project, working with folks from other functions—hence, “all this” becomes as natural as breathing.
  • 43. “Get ’em out with the customer.” Rarely does the accountant or bench scientist call one the customer. Reverse that. Give everyone more or less regular “customer-facing experiences.” One learns quickly that the customer is not interested in our in-house turf battles!
  • 44. Put “it” on the–every agenda. XF “issues to be resolved” should be on every agenda—morning project team review, weekly exec team meeting, etc. A “next step” within 24 hours (4?) ought to be part of the resolution.
  • 45. XF “honest broker” or ombudsman. The ombudsman examines XF “friction events” and acts as Conflict Resolution Counselor. (Perhaps a formal conflict resolution agreement?)
  • 46. Lock it in! XF co-operation, central to any value-added mission, should be an explicit part of the “Vision Statement.”
  • 47. Promotions. Every promotion, no exceptions, should put XF Excellence in the top 5 (3?) evaluation criteria.
  • 48. Pick partners based on their “co-operation proclivity.” Everyone must be on board if “this thing” is going to work; hence every vendor, among others, should be formally evaluated on their commitment to XF transparency—e.g., can we access anyone at any level in any function of their organization without bureaucratic barriers?
  • 49. Fire vendors who don’t “get it”—more than “get it,” welcome “it” with open arms.”
  • 50. Jaw. Jaw. Jaw. Talk XF cooperation-value-added at every opportunity. Become a relentless bore!
  • 51. Excellence! There is a state of XF Excellence per se. Talk about it.
  • Pursue it. Aspire to nothing less.
  • #57
  • Attending to the “Last 98%”: The New “Management Science,” or “Hard”
  • Is “Soft,” “Soft”
  • Is “Hard”
  • S = ƒ ( ___ )
  • Success Is a
  • Function of …
  • S = ƒ(#&DR; -2L, -3L, 4L; I&E)
  • Number and depth of relationships 2, 3, and 4 levels down,
  • inside and outside the organization
  • S = ƒ(SD>SU)
  • Sucking down is more important than sucking up—the idea is to have
  • the entire organization working for you.
  • S = ƒ(#non-FF, #non-FL)
  • Number of friends, number of lunches with people not in my function
  • S = ƒ(#FF)
  • Number of friends in the finance function-organization
  • S = ƒ(OF)
  • Oddball friends
  • S = ƒ(PDL)
  • Purposeful, deep listening—this is very hard

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