Checklists and Culture
I read this article a few months ago about Nick Sarillo’s “Trust and Track” culture which I think is a very healthy way of getting things done through other people - or delegation. This greatly impacted me and more recently I have been working on implementing many of the key points I learned in this Inc.com article in the training of new employees. For a small to midsize organization, it’s all about Culture if you want to get things done.
In order to Ship, complete tasks, without leaving coworkers and customers hanging, I firmly believe one must make a checklist. Nick’s idea is brilliant, he describes, “I built a system to replace me. I put together a checklist of things that had to be done by 4 p.m., so we could handle the volume. It took about four weeks until it could work without me. Now we’re nailing it.”
Nick’s “Trust and Track” culture involves educating employees about what it takes for the company to be successful, then trusting them to act accordingly - the people you hire should want to be successful on an individual basis. People who have what it takes, when educated properly, will shake it up and make positive things happen - even when the boss is gone.
The alternative is command and control, wherein success is the boss’s responsibility and employees do exactly what the boss says (or else!). I’m not saying the “Genius with a Thousand Helpers” approach doesn’t work, both approaches can work, but they produce very different cultures and long-term outcomes. If managed correctly, trust and track can allow a company to be adroit, resilient, and prolific enough to function at the highest level through booming and even contracting economies.
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Paul Hill, Ph.D.
I design, plan, and evaluate economic development programs for Utah State University.
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