by Jennie S. Bev
Theories are great as fundamentals. In the real world, it is
how-to strategies, tips and realistic goals that make implementation of a
theory possible. Hands-on information makes or breaks a business. You can have
all those nice theories, yet you can’t go anywhere without a clear path.
One of the most valuable Rockefeller management habits is
recognizing a “chokepoint”
– the weak
link in a system – according to
Verne Harnish in “Mastering the Rockefeller Habits.” The recent flooding
incidents throughout Indonesia is an indication of a multiple chokepoints in
the overall economic development of the country.
Chokepoint is written all over the country’s wealth situation: 40 richest Indonesians have assets worth 10% of the GDP
and 0.02% of the population
controls 25% of the GDP,
according to Merrill Lynch. Indonesia expert Jeffrey Winters points out that wealth in Indonesia is three times more
concentrated than in Thailand, four times Malaysia, and 25 times Singapore.
Thanks to its intense wealth
concentration, Indonesia’s GDP per capita looks amazing: approaching $4,000.
This may as well be a “false sense of wealth” for average Indonesians. This
figure is an indication of a chokepoint. Similar observations are found in organizations of smaller scale.
Three Rockefeller habits that any organization can emulate are:
setting top five priorities, usage of primary data in analyses and decision
making, and creating a rhythm that is the heartbeat of working days. Simplicity
should be given priority and made a working culture. A strong leadership would
serve as the glue that reinforces the three habits.
A leader must nurture an
organization by prioritizing. Start with the most important asset: human
capital. A priority can be analyzed with this framework: who, what and how. Who
are the persons in charge? Do we have the right people? What are being done? Are
things done properly?
Nordstrom, an upscale department
store based in Seattle, for instance, is renowned for superb customer service.
They have the right people, they know what they are doing, and they know the
right way to do things that would make customers happy.
Rockefeller’s second habit is using primary data for analysis.
They must be as accurate as possible despite the challenge that in most
companies, the sales department is likely to defy accurate measurement. In large companies,
accurate data collection can be quite challenging as well. Still, having
primary data as often and as accurate as possible would allow decision-makers to review past performances and predict future outcome with more confidence.
The final habit is using rhythm as a way to maintaining the
“heartbeat” of an organization. It would create a background pattern for every
problem encountered and every problem solved. For instance, a problem should be
resolved as fast as possible. The rhythm that the company must perform within a
specific timeframe sets the “recommended speed.”
A “rhythm” includes periodic meetings, which follow specific
formatting and time limit. A rhythm also includes organizational culture and
leadership style that are preserved and cultivated from one leader to another.
Finally, a good leader would recognize a chokepoint and
make it a priority to solve with available accurate and reliable primary data
while maintaining optimal working rhythm. These Rockefeller’s habits are
simple. Simplicity is powerful.
Forbes Indonesia, March 2013