In our Blog posts, we write about the various levels of comparative Competitive Strength - we regularly refer to Constrained, Comfortable, Excellent – and only every now and again do we find the opportunity to refer to Free, the highest level. Why is this? Because it is rare and precious – the businesses that operate at the Free level are the organisations that are outperforming the average by at least 50% on all financial measures.
So what is it like to be Free? For a start it is not a list of things that the organisation does – it is not policies, methodologies, procedures, systems, assets, training programmes – although all of these may be outcomes of their essential difference. That essential difference is that they Think Different – they have a different way of mind – they have a different way of being – they have a different way of working - they are on another planet – the planet Beyond Excellence.
A wonderful coincidence - I have just joined Skype because it comes with the “3” mobile that is replacing my “
Home Improvement - Josh Silverman on November 20, 2008
"Skype remains a work in progress. We’re a dynamic, fast-growing company that learns from a changing world and adjusts accordingly. For us to continue thriving, change cannot be a one-time thing. It has to be a way of life. Stagnation, the dismal alternative, requires no effort and creeps up silently. People tend to get stuck in their ways and companies are no different. When they get bigger, they get clumsier.
I’d rather avoid that last bit. So, in August we began evaluating our structure to make sure, really sure, that we don’t join the Clumsy Club.
Now, 2008 has been a very good year for us. Our growth rate has been terrific and I’m cautiously optimistic about healthy growth in 2009 as well. Obviously, anyone claiming to have a reliable crystal ball is either a fool or a gambler. We’re neither. But in difficult times, people tend to turn to value. And Skype represents value. We’re monitoring the market closely, but based on what we see at the moment, we plan to continue growing our team to help achieve Skype’s full potential.
Excited as we are about bringing new colleagues aboard, there’s more to reorganizing our structure for continued growth. Back in the summer, we set out to be smart about it. And transparent. And fair.
Which is why we held numerous workshops to gain input from the team on how our structure and ways of working need to change. Change that we hope will lead to sustained growth, better products and an even more empowering work life at Skype. One of the things we’re doing is to create smaller “companies” within the company: consumer-, business-, mobility-, and developer-focused business units vaccinated against shackles that curb innovation and risk-taking. Each new business unit is designed to emulate the feel of a start-up and to cultivate a deeper sense of ownership.
This is just a low-resolution snapshot from what’s a continual journey of change. There’s much more to it, of course. Replotting our roles, responsibilities and accountability takes time. While we think that we’ve done most things right, some won’t come through as intended. Tweaking them for a few months should make life at Skype work well for everybody.
Naturally, changes will be most meaningful to us on the inside. If you’re a Skype user, I hope you don’t care too much about our organizational plumbing. The pleasures and struggles of your own life are much too important for that. But here’s the thing. Our structural rethink isn’t about change for change’s sake. From day one, everything at Skype has boiled down to delighting the customer.
With a bit of home improvement to support further growth and innovation, we’re just making sure it stays that way.
Skype will always be a work in progress."
I have highlighted the interesting key indicators in bold
If you can see how different this is, and you are intrigued, there may be hope for you and your business.
If you think that they are just riding the wave of novelty and have yet to “grow up” – (e.g. if “they don’t know they are born” flashes across your mind) - you and your business are probably doomed.
Josh Silverman knows that
If you always do what you always did, you will only get what you always got
He is demonstrating a deep understanding of Changeability and a serious commitment to making sure that it remains high in his ever expanding empire. He is actively seeking to continue to Transform Performance and, in setting the path for further expansion in troubled times, exhibiting his confidence in the comparative Competitive Strength of the business. He has understood the importance of agility and flexibility – he realises that his fleet of gun boats has the potential to run rings around the clumsy battleships of traditional telecoms companies.
The Competitive Strength Report Process is the only tool available from anyone, anywhere that provides an objective measure of Competitive Strength compared to the very best in the world. It is based on extensive and rock solid research into what it takes to create and sustain an organisation that can exceed expectations in every respect.
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