Saturday, September 17, 2011

A Worthy Manifesto for Any Organization

This cuts right to it. While I can preach these sorts of cultural guidelines, coming from a guy who has run one of the world most successful hedge funds gives this a functional credibility that can't be brushed away.
Hat tip to  The Big Picture and to Farnam Street . The Farnam link will take you to the full piece.

Management Lessons from Ray Dalio

Ray Dalio, the sixty-one-year-old founder of Bridewater Associates, the world’s biggest hedge fund, offers the following management advice. Dalio says “Taken together, these principles are meant to paint a picture of a process for the systematic pursuit of truth and excellence and for the rewards that accompany this pursuit. I put them in writing for people to consider in order to help Bridgewater and the people I care about most.”
“Two of the biggest impediments to truth and excellence are people’s ego’s and organizational bureaucracy. Most people like compliments and agreement, and they dislike criticisms and conflict. Yet recognizing mistakes and weaknesses is essential for rapid improvement and excellence. In our culture, there is nothing embarrassing about making mistakes and having weaknesses. “
“We need and admire people who can suspend their egos to get at truth and evolve toward excellence, so we ignore ego-based impediments to truth. We have a different type of environment in which some behaviors discouraged elsewhere are rewarded here (like challenging one’s superiors), and some behaviors encouraged elsewhere are punished here (like speaking behind a subordinate’s back).”
Think and act in a principled way and expect others to as well“all outcomes are manifestations of forces that are at work to produce them, so whenever looking at specific outcomes, think about the forces that are behind them. Constantly ask yourself, “What is this symptomatic of?”
If you don’t mind being wrong on the way to being right, you will learn a lot
“I once had a ski instructor who had taught Michael Jordan, the greatest basketball player of all time, how to ski. He explained how Jordan enjoyed his mistakes and got the most out of them. At the start of high school, Jordan was a mediocre basketball player; he became great because he loved using his mistakes to improve. I see it all the time. Intelligent people who are open to recognizing and learning from their mistakes substantially outperform people with the same abilities who aren’t open in the same way.”

I have tended to point to fear as the biggest barrier to the kinds of necessary changes so many organizations need to go through, but ego and bureaucracy are highly related.
There is more here as well. Bridgewater--Culture and Principles

For those who are interested in joining our tribe (more on this to come), this is required reading!

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for the link to Bridgewater - Culture and Principles... there's so much to say 'yes' too! I've downloaded the PDF and am smiling as I read through it, also their video section is very valuable. Again, thank you.