Friday, January 28, 2011

Too Much too Little competition Internally.

It is almost like an open secret that hall students buy loads of drink cans, pour the contents away and use them for the float so as to win the points in the environmentally friendly option.

Last year, we did do something to the competition structure through audit forms to better monitor the situation.

Departments that win awards refuse to share the best practices to prevent other departments from catching up.  It is like the Chinese Kungfu master that never teach his disciple a complete 100% of all the skills, always keeping a 20%.

Is competition within an organisation actually a bad idea? I know 3M has a day where all employees come to share their best ideas, but do we need a competition to ensure best safety, quality or environmental standards?

Or is that simply recognition is enough, while still encouraging the sharing of best practices.  It will be interesting to see big organisations like GE and P&G has.


On an  similar note, in BBC podcast: InBiz: Back on the Road: 30 Dec 10,

There was a amazing account by Allan Mulally, CEO of Ford:

He accounted how he started a system where there was a room with all the departments and projects listed on a big board.  Little flags of red, yellow and green were used to indicate the progress of the projects.

So there was this particular model of car and project that on the board, everything was green but yet they were making tremendous losses. Finally, there was one major executive who finally came out to admit a week later what was wrong after Allan prompted.

At that point, everyone thought that dude was dead, but no  Allan lauged and started clapping.  This was a signal.

Soon, all other department heads started to jump in with their experiences and solutions.

The board started to see the " real picture" of the organization, red flags that popped out again turned to yellow and then green.

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