Welch Wisdom (How to Grow a Corporation)

August 11, 2019

The 5th “P” of Marketing is People

Jack Welch is quoted as saying, “The team with the best payers wins!” … a philosophy that helped Jack build GE into a word dominating power.

One of my earliest business management successes was when I ran a team of 120 people up and down the eastern seaboard. My HR strategy was simple… never stop looking!

I devoted 20% of my time to recruitment and training. If I found someone good, I would create a job for them. I wasn’t aware back in those days that 16-18% of any workforce is disengaged (actually trying to sink the boat) and I wasn’t nearly as good a boss as I am now, but I intuitively knew I had to keep working at refining my team to continue growing and to stop fires BEFORE they ignited.

The “C” in the ABC’s of Corporate Cancer stands for Complacency

Buy how many CEO’s do this? How many businesses pay attention to the necessary weeding out of disengaged employees? How many businesses have low-performing team members that are carried by colleagues or subordinates for years, if not decades?

As companies grow, they change. How many organisations keep c-suite executives who were perfect for the role when their business was small, but have long passed their level of competency?

I’m definitely not advocating disloyalty to long term loyal employees… far from it! But genuinely engaged employees are likely to recognise their shortcomings and encourage recruitment of new team members to provide new skills. There is, however, a complacency in organisations, and a misplaced loyalty where emotional support for a long-term employee displaces objectivity and recognition of that employee’s competency. This is a fatal perspective if it undermines competitive advantage or decreases employee engagement.

Building Great Teams

Nonetheless, Boards should be diligent in ensuring that disengaged and unengaged deadwood is identified and dealt with, rather than ignored or tolerated. New talent should be identified and recruited, and team members should be constantly monitored for ongoing performance with teams’ members rotated or replaced just as if they were professional sporting teams… well IF you want to win the premiership!

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