Getting The Best Out Of A Team - quot;We succeed or fail together," says Michael Dell. ... Getting The…
Post on 09-Aug-2018
Page 1 University of Phoenix 2010 Getting The Best Out Of A Team
"We succeed or fail together," says Michael Dell. In this lesson, he explains to Mark Thompson,co-author of Success Built To Last, his strategy for developing a team of people who are engaged andcommitted to doing their best.
ID: 50V101231002357735Getting The Best Out Of A Team
2004-2010, 50 Lessons Ltd.
Business and Economics
Human Resource Management
Chairman & CEO
MT: When you think about the process of bringing together a management team, as you'redoing now, how would you engage them so that you can get the best out of them? How doyou go about the process of getting the best players and keeping them inspired?
MD: Well, it's a lot of fun. I've done it before, and I'm doing it again right now. First, youhave to have a common set of goals and objectives that everybody agrees on. So thefrequency of meetings could be fairly high as you're doing that. In our case, our team ismeeting weekly. We're reviewing the business: How's the business going? What are ourcustomers telling us? What are we delivering that they love? What are we not delivering?What are competitors doing? What do we need to change? What do our core metrics looklike?
But first you want everybody to realize that we're all basically handcuffed together, and weall go up or down together. Typically, you'll have one guy succeeding and another guyfailing. If we're talking about how we can help each other succeed, then we need to find outeach other's needs to deliver ultimate success for the company.
MT: I have talked with so many entrepreneurs and CEOs about this process ofengagement with really creative, really passionate people. They come from diversebackgrounds. You want all of that, but it's natural for conflicts and contention to erupt.Some of that's a good thing, and some of that's a bad thing. How do you harvest theconflict that comes from having really highly engaged people? After all, some of thesemeetings a CEO doesn't invite outsiders to because they're so contentious. Could you talkabout that?
MD: We love debate. Debate's fantastic. But we love data, too. We're a bunch offact-driven folks. If we're having a discussion and it's getting fairly emotional, and we don'thave a lot of data, that's really not very useful. So we call a time-out and say, "Let's go getthe following five pieces of information, let's come back and look at the data, and then we'lldecide what to do." The facts are our friend, and we'll go with facts nine times out of ten.
MT: When you think about many large organizations, having that level of debate issometimes difficult. It seems that some people have come to the table a bit intimidatedbeing able to vet the tough issues. How do you draw out people so that they can give youthe hard facts when you need them?
MD: It's almost a precondition for being on the team. If you're not able to do that, I'm notsure it's the right team for you to be on. You have to have capable folks. You don't want tohave a group that's too large, because then you just don't get the kind of participation thatyou want from everyone. You don't have engaging and deep discussions.
And you go back to what the principles are of what you're trying to accomplish.Everybody's aligned together. We succeed or fail together. We do it based around data,and also we do it with a view toward what is going to be best for our shareholders and ourcustomers. The right answer almost always is pretty obvious.