Leadership Tips

October 08, 2010

Leadership Tips

  Interesting leadership tactic surfaced when I was reading the New Yorker article on James Dyson of Dyson fame. Dyson forbids the writing of memos at his administrative headquarters so that people have to talk to each other. Since it is an open office, sounds alot easier than the usual dispersed office infrastructure. But I thought that he might just have a good idea. Years ago I recall reading how IBM’s former CEO Lou Gerstner forbade internal memos when he found out early on how much time people spent on them instead of dealing with customers. He wisely regarded this as an early warning sign.  It was just a small part of the things he changed early on in the giant’s turnaround. This practice resonated with me because earlier in my career I worked for a company where the internal memos and internal toasts made or broke careers. It was an art form unto itself and I learned to take it very seriously. When I went to another company, I was surprised how little it mattered as long as the message was clear and the writing grammatical. This also brings to mind a company where they took out all the elevators and made people walk the stairs so they would run into each other and interact. Not the best idea for skyscrapers but a good idea nevertheless. The fundamentals are always the bottom line in leadership.

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Leslie Gaines-Ross
Leslie Gaines-Ross

As Weber Shandwick’s Chief Reputation Strategist, I focus on the ever changing world of reputation. For the past 25 years, I have relentlessly observed, researched and commented on the rise and fall of corporate and CEO reputations.

  • Spence
    Posted at 18:57h, 08 October Reply

    Interesting post. Reminds me of what I read about Ronald Reagan. As President, he required that all memos stay within one page.

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