How to spread excellence in your company Premium

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How can you spread excellence to more people and more places in your organization? This “problem of more” is what keeps many leaders awake at night, say Stanford professors Robert Sutton and Huggy Rao, who spent the past decade uncovering what it takes to identify, build, and spread exemplary performance. Business Digest presents you with their key findings in the following feature.

Excellence is a ground war
Scaling efforts don’t need to start at the top: excellence can start and spread from anywhere, and any level, in the organization. No matter where you are starting, however, realizing these changes will require continuous, sustained effort. “Scaling requires grinding it out, and pressing each person, team, group, division, or organization to make one small change after the other,” explain the authors.

Connecting people and cascading excellence
Scaling requires leaders “to think and act like connectors,” strengthening the ties between people and teams so that excellence can spread from one individual to the next.

Combat mediocrity to spread excellence
The danger of scaling efforts is the potential to spark off the destructive counterpart of excellence: mediocrity. This is a real risk, as domino chains of destructive behaviors are far more contagious than constructive ones. Sutton and Rao offer multiple strategies for preventing mediocrity from taking over your organization.

Business leader testimony
BuildDirect, a Canadian online building materials and home improvement products retailer, doubled sales in 2013 and has plans to double the size of its workforce over 2014. CEO Jeff Booth attributes his company’s success to an excellence-oriented culture founded on trust, acceptance of error, and the delegation of responsibility for defining strategic priorities to every company member.

Read our dossier :
How to spread excellence in your company

Based on Scaling Up Excellence: Getting to More Without Settling For Less by Robert Sutton and Huggy Rao (Crown Business, February 2014) and an interview with Jeff Booth, President & CEO, BuildDirect, April 2014.
Business Digest N° 246, May 2014

Watch the video :
Huggy Rao & Bob Sutton: Scaling Up Excellence

Huggy Rao and Robert Sutton explain how organizations can spread excellence farther, faster, and more effectively.