Monday, August 29, 2011

Passion and Business

From Great People are Overrated (Part II), there’s quote in one of the comments: I read this recently: Boeing went downhill after their primary strategic focus shifted from being passionate about building great planes, to a focus of delivering “shareholder value”.

I read something similar in a book about Clear Channel Communications, with a quote from their CEO saying they had to run their business the best way they knew how, without worrying about the competitors. If they did a great job, the profits would follow.

I’m not sure I like how Clear Channel has run their business, but they have run it their way and been successful. I do think that having a passion and building your product or service to be the best you can, for your market, means you will tend to do well. When you manage for shareholders or an investment, I think we all suffer with a worse product or service.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Should You Allow Telecommuting?

I think I’d always make remote work an option for a company I owned, but should you? What if you’ve never worked remotely yourself, or if you have some concerns?

Ultimately you have to trust your employees. They have access to your data, your equipment, etc. They can find ways to waste time at work, and some of them will end up wasting more time at work than they would at home.

Implement a pilot program, test out different jobs, and with different people. Let them know this is a privilege that can be revoked, and see if their work improves or declines. You don’t need fancy auditing, or monitoring, or anything more than you have now. Either they get work done or they don’t.

If they do, you might be able to vastly reduce the costs you bear in maintaining a large office space. You might even be able to hire new people at lower salaries by giving them the option to work remotely.