Friday, December 3, 2021

g-f(2)702 THE BIG PICTURE OF THE DIGITAL AGE (12/3/2021), HBR, Former Best Buy CEO Hubert Joly: Empowering Workers to Create ‘Magic’

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"g-f" fishing of golden knowledge (GK) of the fabulous treasure of the digital ageDigital Transformation, Empowering Workers (12/3/2021)  g-f(2)426 


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Empowering Workers to Create ‘Magic’

  • Hubert Joly, former CEO and chair of Best Buy, says people are not a resource, they are the creative engine of innovation and change that companies urgently need.
  • HBR editor in chief Adi Ignatius sat down with Hubert Joly, author of The Heart of Business: Leadership Principles for the Next Era of Capitalism, to talk about:
    • Making meaningful purpose a genuine priority of business operations
    • The “human magic” of empowered and self-directed employees
    • Admitting you don’t have all the answers is a sign of strong leadership.
  • By putting people at the center of your company’s purpose, Joly says, we “start with a declaration of interdependence, where you embrace all stakeholders.”
  • Hubert Joly: I think motivation is leadership from the inside out. Try to define–and it’s a good moment actually to do it now–what’s important to me, what kind of a leader do I want to be? What kind of purpose do I want to pursue? And what is driving people around me? And connect, help everybody at the company connect what drives them with their work and with the purpose of the company. That’s how we unleash human magic and get these incredible results. 

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    Former Best Buy CEO Hubert Joly: Empowering Workers to Create ‘Magic’



    Hubert Joly

    Hubert Joly is a senior lecturer at the Harvard Business School and the former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Best Buy. He is also a member of the board of directors of Johnson & Johnson and Ralph Lauren Corporation, a member of the International Advisory Board of HEC Paris, and a Trustee of the New York Public Library and the Minneapolis Institute of Art.

    Joly has been recognized as one of the top 100 CEOs in the world by the Harvard Business Review, one of the top 30 CEOs in the world by Barron’s and one of the top 10 CEOs in the U.S. by Glassdoor. He has also been recognized as one the top 50 management thinkers in the world by Thinkers50 and received the organization’s 2021 Leadership Award.

    He is the author of the best-selling and highly acclaimed book “The Heart of Business – Leadership Principles for the Next Era of Capitalism.”

    Adi Ignatius 

    Adi Ignatius (born in Burbank, California) is editor-in-chief of Harvard Business Review. He joined the magazine in January 2009.

    Previously, he was deputy managing editor for Time, where he was responsible for many of its special editions, including the Person of the Year and Time 100 franchises. Previously, Ignatius served as Time's executive editor starting in 2002, responsible for the magazine's business and international coverage. He wrote frequently for the magazine, including cover stories on Google and the 2007 Person of the Year profile of Russian leader Vladimir Putin. Ignatius joined Time as Deputy Editor of Time Asia in 1996, based in Hong Kong, and was named Editor of that edition in 2000.

    Prior to joining Time, Ignatius worked for many years at the Wall Street Journal, serving as the newspaper's bureau chief in Beijing and later in Moscow. He later served as managing editor of the Central European Economic Review and business editor of the Far Eastern Economic Review, publications owned by Dow Jones.

    Ignatius was awarded a Zuckerman Fellowship at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) in 1990. He received a bachelor's degree in history in 1981 from Haverford College in Pennsylvania. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Asia Society and sits on the advisory board of the journalism school at SUNY.

    His father, Paul Ignatius, served as United States Secretary of the Navy from 1967 to 1969. His brother, David Ignatius, is an editor and columnist for The Washington Post.

    Extra-condensed knowledge

    Lessons learned, HBR 

    • ADI IGNATIUS: As you said, you went on a listening tour initially. So I think you’re saying that to create a winning strategy, you need to go deep into the company and connect with employees before you can even start to figure out what is the new mission, what is the strategy? Is that what you’re saying?
    • HUBERT JOLY: With the IBM turnaround that Lou Gerstner did in the early nineties, he said, “The last thing that IBM needs at this point is a vision. We need execution.” In our case, we found that the world needed Best Buy. Customers for some of our purchases, they need a place to touch, feel the products and ask questions. And importantly the vendors also needed us. Our problem was that all of our problems were self-inflicted, execution was terrible, prices were too high, [bad] online shopping experience.

    Condensed knowledge

    Lessons learned, HBR 

      • ADI IGNATIUS: You use the term human magic and I don’t want to blow by that. It’s in your book. What is human magic? What do you mean by that?
      • HUBERT JOLY: Human magic is when at scale you have employees that do things for each other and for customers that nobody has told them to do. 
        • Everybody wants to do something good to other people, and see how it connects to their work. Create an environment that’s very human. Where there’s genuine human connection.
        • Size doesn’t matter, right? I don’t care whether you have a company with 1000 people or a million people. It’s one individual at a time. Where you can focus on creating the environment where they can become the best, biggest, most beautiful version of themselves.
      • ADI IGNATIUS: Is the issue about empowering people, respecting them and empowering them? Or inspiring them to create a little magic in their work lives?
      • HUBERT JOLY: I think it’s a set of ingredients. And in The Heart of Business, of course being French, if you allow me, I have ingredients for a recipe, right? There’s multiple ingredients. One, I think of the company focused on the noble purpose, doing something good in the world. Like in our case at Best Buy, enriching lives through technology is important because it focuses on something bigger than ourselves. That’s important. But the second thing is, we need the purpose. We need values. We need to know what values are. Because values are what people do when nobody’s watching, right? We need some principles. And then we need clarity around decision-making. And that’s one of the things I’ve learned during that journey is that as the CEO, I make very, very few decisions. And the key for me is to push them down as far as possible.
        • So you empower. If you see something, do something. And it’s creating that sense that, yes, I can make a difference. I can create a world around me. Initially you can think that’s going to be chaos. No, because if you have this purpose, the values, the principles, clarity about what people are doing, that’s how you unleash your magic. It’s so beautiful to see. Because there was a point, Adi, where I said, “I’ve actually lost control of this operation. I mean, it’s completely out of my hands now.” And that’s when the performance started to skyrocket.

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