Reflections from Silicon Valley

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I had a real intense week in Silicon Valley with tons of meeting at Google, Stanford, Change Maker Lab and so on and I have noticed a pattern… more or less the questions asked were the same. I guess because are crucial questions for our future and I have decided to share these questions with you:

1) What are the key ingredients for great management?
2) How would you re-imagine management?
3) How does EQ create value in biz?

The energy dedicated to innovation, even innovation in management, is really high here and the focus on the future is outstanding. What about us? How would you answer to the above questions? Did you reflect about the future of management?
Below you can find my answers and I am eager to see yours…

What are the key ingredients for great management?

We have investigated this topic for ten years, asking over 10.000 leaders from all over the World “what are the X-factors for performance?” Let me share three findings:

1) The result of our research says there are 5 factors that explain 60% of the performance of companies, and BTW these 5 factors are cross cultural and cross sector: motivation, Teamwork, Execution, change and trust. We call this the Vital Signs.

2) You can increase the Vital Signs. Last year we had the opportunity to work with one plant of Komatsu, the Japanese company, and in Six months following our Vital Company methodology we have seen scores on these Five factors doubled!

3) And, last but not least, would you like to know the good news? You can have, as a leader, a huge impact on these factors even in your small group. How? Change the way you manage people. Fortunately, new neuroscience gives clear insights to how people work, probably it’s time to use it.

So just to summarize: the Vital Signs explain 60% of the organizational performance. You can increase your Vital Signs – if you manage people better. isn’t it interesting?

How would you re-imagine management?

First of all, let me say we Have To re-imagine management. It’s not a “nice to have,” but the only way to maintain the edge of innovation, productivity and profitability in our companies.

Our research at the Centre for Innovative Management offers insights about what we should do – here are three of our six principles:

1) From extrinsic to intrinsic motivation. If we want employee’s commitment, work is about more than money! Especially in times of uncertainty, people look for purpose, they need to feel they are doing the right thing.

2) From personal to team performance. To solve complex problems you need multiple perspectives; the one wo/man show it’s not enough right now. And let me say that All the reward systems need to be aligned to this idea.

3) From change management to change makers. It’s not enough to obtain one result; we need people to dive into change – to take risks and value failure. To keep learning. If you don’t fail never it means you are too conservative. This takes Trust — trust the real accelerator for growth. How many companies are measuring it?

In just one sentence: people engagement is the real competitive advantage – which means that’s the leader’s #1 job.

How does EQ create value in biz?

Would you agree we’re living in turbulent times? As businesses deal with increased complexity, people experience more pressure and more uncertainty. These business challenges create a huge impact on our emotional side. In this pressure, if people don’t have EQ skills, they react – instead of respond.
It doesn’t mean we have to leave the rational paradigm — but that we have to use it together with the emotional one. Neuroscience research shows us that this is the way the brain works best: when we blend the ration and emotional, we get more insight, more energy, more power. It’s a matter of intentionality and capability to do what we really want to do as individuals and as a company.

And BTW data confirms these considerations. Let me share a very interesting piece of research we did early this year with the Amadori case. Amadori is one of the most important McDonalds’ suppliers in Europe and we had the opportunity to work closely with them to support their Leaders development. We collected lots of data over three years, and generated three very important findings:
EQ predicts performance: more or less half of the managers’ performance was explained by Emotional Intelligence
The higher the EQ – the higher the engagement, or commitment, of people: three quarters of engagement was explained by Emotional Intelligence
Engagement drives productivity: the plants with the higher engagement had the better bottom line.

So – high EQ managers respond instead of reacting. This lets them engage people – and this has serious bottom-line value.

It’s your turn now… 🙂

Do you know what are the drivers of performance?

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I was a bit tired about a new theory about companies performance every day! More or less, in any new book about management you find the inner secrets of performance (look at amazon to have some exampleson what I am saying…). The problem is that the majority of the times these inner secrets are based on just one company’s case or on the perception of one person. That’s could be great because you can find some insights or ideas but, you know what, I am a quantitative guy and if there are no numbers or real serious analisys my brain is not working properly. And BTW it’s not my perception, is how my brain work. You can see it in the image below, this is my Brain Brief Profile (if you want to learn more about brain style click here)

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So considering my brain’s needs, this year we have analyzed data about more of 100 companies and 10.000 people to understand the drivers of performance. Today, I had the time finally to look carefully at the numbers and I am really excited about the results. The analysis confirms that trust, motivation, teamwork, execution and capability to change are the 5 most important factors… let me add fortunately because in the last year we have created a model called the Vital Signs where these factors were the base for an interesting model… To know more about that, click

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What is even more important is that the 60% of performance is explained by these Vital Signs factors!! Isn’t it cool?
And now a question for you: what is the most impacting factor in your opinion? In one of the next blog post I will say “the winner is…”