Ten Principles of an Effective Organization

My ten guiding principles:

  1. All of us are smarter than any of us.
  2. Listen. But …
  3. Listening is useless unless someone tells you what you need to know.
  4. Don’t mind your own business.
  5. The people closest to the problem are most likely to know the solution.
  6. Talented people don’t need much management; they just need to appreciate (and help shape!) strategic priorities.
  7. Situational authority beats hierarchy.
  8. Always look for causes; never look for blame.
  9. Never fear making mistakes. Anyone who does not make mistakes is just rearranging furniture.
  10. The only unforgivable sin is being unforgiving.

I believe these are the keys to building an organization where there is mutual trust, where each person respects their fellow workers and feels respected, where those with the responsibility for a task know they have the authority to do that task as best they know how.  Only in such a climate can we take full advantage of all of our talents.