Posts made in July, 2018

Director of Getting S@#t Done

Director of Getting S@#t Done

By on Jul 25, 2018 in Business | 0 comments

Published on March 27, 2017 Featured in: Leadership & Management, Operations, Productivity  By Ryan Holmes FollowRyan Holmes CEO at Hootsuite This is the story of a $200 t-shirt … and company systems gone terribly wrong. Earlier this year, an employee wanted to send a shirt with our logo to a customer as a gift. There was nothing special about this particular shirt. It was an ordinary, 100%-cotton crew neck. But by the time this employee got approval — factoring in his own time and everyone else’s up the org chart who had to weigh in to validate the request — the cost of this t-shirt had ballooned to $200 … if not more. Systems and processes serve an important role in any organization. This is something I’ve realized as my company, a social media management platform, has scaled from a few dozen to nearly 1,000 employees. With that many moving parts, you can’t operate efficiently without a playbook. Systems ensure that projects get done, quality is maintained and there are no surprises. But it’s important to distinguish between good systems and bad systems. Good systems make things easier. Bad systems do exactly the opposite. They make everyone’s lives harder. The problem is that bad systems often end up in a kind of corporate Bermuda Triangle — no one really monitors them; worse, one is empowered to change them when the need arises. That’s how we ended up with our t-shirt snafu earlier this year. In our early days, we decided managers needed to approve requests for company swag: the cost of all those t-shirts and plush toys adds up, after all. But as we grew, this blanket policy became more cumbersome. In the case of the $200 t-shirt, our senior director of technology, Noel, had to spend several days chasing down his manager — our CTO — to get a rubber stamp on a request for a $15 gift. Finding our Czar of Bad Systems Fortunately, Noel wouldn’t let the issue die. He spent a day or two chasing down the right people in finance and marketing. In the end, he persuaded them to ditch formal approvals in favor of trusting that everyone would use their own discretion when...

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