The Game of Business v2.0


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This is a presentation I have delivered at various B-Schools (the likes of ISB, IIM etc), conferences and other venues. At Directi, we believe that Business is like a game. This presentation covers principles that embrace this philosophy and that have been instrumental to the success of Directi.

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  • Imagine watching a cricket game without a score Imagine giving exams in your school but never receiving a single test score Infact games score everything – speed, wickets, history, angle, curve, direction, length of run etc few businesses can claim they measure as much
  • Transparency to the extreme none of these are about keeping watch. They are open to everyone
  • Purpose – not because we are monitoring anything – just because we are open and transparent these reports have been built by people
  • Its not that we are trying to keep a watch – its just that we love numbers and love publishing them. Trying to also work on a system where you can tell which guy went to which room – figure out usage of conference rooms etc. all data leads to decisions this one for instance tells us overlap times between teams and within teams
  • This is but a sliver of the total number of reporting screens in the company on peoples machines, on the intranet, on LCD screens etc everyone is encouraged to provide reports
  • in sports it is not uncommon to have a 600-800 page playbook in school we always had textbooks and guides
  • Value of a single item you read – depending on the action you take Incremental time to take any of these actions is negligible Cost savings of others not having to look for that resource Best advantage: you can find the same resource again easily – others know where it is, search / index
  • and I am not talking about the first few weeks of a relationship OR a Palmpilot
  • You have to define and document to scale – I personally spend a lot of my time on it you will see in the graph I have added 13000 pages of written content myself – excluding attachments, files, emails, ppts
  • isnt this another thing you love about games. Each player can distinctly link their actions to the outcome starfish story I always say – to decide any career in your life – what is the impact you are making and what impact is it making to you exams also have a clear linkage between actions to outcome
  • team party and recognition budgets impromptu get togethers milestone recognition moments
  • The Game of Business v2.0

    1. 1. The Game of Business v2.0 By, Bhavin Turakhia CEO, Directi ( )
    2. 2. <ul><li>“ Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication” </li></ul><ul><li>- Leonardo Da Vinci </li></ul>
    3. 3. <ul><li>Build the best team </li></ul><ul><li>Ensure that they make the right decisions most of the time </li></ul>Business is like a Game …
    4. 4. <ul><li>Principle 1 – “Hire the Best” </li></ul>
    5. 5. Hire the Best
    6. 6. Hire the Best Can a hundred average high-jump athletes beat one Javier Sotomayor?
    7. 7. Hire the Best Can a 100 average musicians create what one Beethoven created?
    8. 8. <ul><li>Excellent Players + Poor Training = SUCCESS </li></ul>Hire the Best Poor Players + Excellent Training ≠ SUCCESS Excellent Players + Excellent Training = DIRECTI ;)
    9. 9. Hire the Best – The Directi Way <ul><li>A “ Rockstar ” will </li></ul><ul><li>make 1/3 rd the mistakes </li></ul><ul><li>require ½ the mgmt bandwidth </li></ul><ul><li>ideate 3x more </li></ul><ul><li>and deliver work 2x faster </li></ul><ul><li>than a average recruit </li></ul>COST VALUE
    10. 10. Hire the Best – The Directi Way Cost Comparison Graph * Cost of mgmt assumed at 4x employee. 1 Manager manages 10 employees * Opportunity cost of mistake assumed to be 1x salary * Cost of a Rockstar assumed to be 25% higher A “Rockstar” costs 25% lesser
    11. 11. Hire the Best – The Directi Way A “Rockstar” delivers 140% higher value Value Comparison Graph * A regular Employee creates value => 3x their salary and value of his/her ideas => 2x salary
    12. 12. Hire the Best Hiring “Rockstars” is 4x more profitable!!!
    13. 13. <ul><li>What takes lesser time? </li></ul>Hire the Best a. Controlling the quality of individuals you hire b. Controlling the quality of the work they do 365 days a year
    14. 14. <ul><li>The Directi Way - “Spend extra time in getting the right person, so that we can avoid having to spend extra time in getting the job done right” </li></ul>Hire the Best – The Directi Way
    15. 15. <ul><li>“ Only hire candidates who are above the mean of your current employees” </li></ul>Hire the Best Hiring above the MIN Vs Hiring above the Mean Source: Google Lake Wobegone strategy
    16. 16. Hire the Best – The Directi Way “ Expect to spend about 2x-3x the time in sourcing Top Talent as opposed to sourcing average talent”
    17. 17. <ul><li>S mart </li></ul><ul><li>N ice </li></ul><ul><li>A rticulate </li></ul><ul><li>P aranoid about Perfection </li></ul><ul><li>& </li></ul><ul><li>G ets things done </li></ul><ul><li>O ut of the box thinker </li></ul>Hire the Best – The Directi Way
    18. 18. <ul><li>Process at Directi </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Don’t hire for a specific Project </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hire continuously </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Multiple rounds per candidate (3-7) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Interview rounds are always one-on-one </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Rounds <= 60 min </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>There is no MAYBE. Its either Yes or No </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Everyone is IN or the candidate is OUT </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Top Management spends 40% of their time on recruitment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>I still take every final interview and still draft and finalize every interview process </li></ul></ul></ul>Hire the Best – The Directi Way
    19. 19. <ul><li>Directi - Decision making pointers </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Did we learn something from him? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>WOW effect!! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Exciting Interview? How badly do you want him? </li></ul></ul>Hire the Best – The Directi Way
    20. 20. <ul><li>As a Manager expect to spend 30-40% of your time in Recruitment and Training </li></ul>Hire the Best
    21. 21. Hire the Best “ Recruitment is amongst the most valuable activity you can focus on”
    22. 22. <ul><li>Other Advantages </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Smart people attract other smart people </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Constant learning and knowledge sharing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lesser Management time required </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Compounds the fun </li></ul></ul>Hire the Best
    23. 23. <ul><li>Principle 2 – “Teach them how to play” </li></ul>
    24. 24. <ul><li>“ All the players must know how to play the game” </li></ul>Everyone must know how to play OR
    25. 25. <ul><li>“ When all the employees understand the dynamics of business, everyone can feel, think and act like management” </li></ul>Everyone must know how to play
    26. 26. Everyone must know how to play “ If you COACH you don’t need to MANAGE”
    27. 27. <ul><li>At Directi - Technology is our friend when it comes to knowledge sharing </li></ul><ul><ul><li>CR – Wiki </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mailing lists </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Blogs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Microblogs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Custom applications </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>… </li></ul></ul>Everyone must know how to play
    28. 28. Everyone must know how to play “ We are all Teachers, and we are all Students”
    29. 29. <ul><li>Principle 3 – “Define the Long term vision” </li></ul>
    30. 30. <ul><li>“ All the players are aware of the final objective” </li></ul><ul><li>Win the season? Play for the nationals? Compete in the worldcup? </li></ul>Share the Macro Vision
    31. 31. <ul><li>Principle 4 – “Set Short term Targets and Iterate rapidly” </li></ul>
    32. 32. <ul><li>“ Each season is broken into multiple games, each independent from the other” </li></ul>Near/Short term targets
    33. 33. Near/Short term targets
    34. 34. <ul><li>Safeguard – Ballistic Missile Defense System Project </li></ul><ul><ul><li>1969-1975 – 5407 person years </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hardware / software went through rigorous design phase to avoid changes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Specs were set in stone </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Project was delivered perfectly according to specs at a cost of $25 billion </li></ul></ul>Stop-gap vs Iterative development Operational for 133 days – terminated in 1978 By the time the 6-yr project was completed, the new missiles were faster than the anti-missiles
    35. 35. <ul><li>Bi-annual long term planning </li></ul><ul><li>Per-team Priority Log </li></ul><ul><li>Items added asynchronously by anyone </li></ul><ul><li>Monthly / Weekly Iteration meetings </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Allows information seepage </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Release fast and iterate (every week) </li></ul><ul><li>Learn constantly and evolve </li></ul><ul><li>Advantages </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Fewer deviations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Agile to change </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reduces wastage </li></ul></ul>Goal Setting – The Directi Way
    36. 36. <ul><li>Principle 5 – “Keeping score” </li></ul>
    37. 37. <ul><li>“ The Score is always visible on a public Scoreboard” </li></ul>Keep Score
    38. 38. Keeping Score <ul><li>Advantages </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Statistics are fun </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Numbers make work challenging – give a sense of purpose </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Provide a sense of accomplishment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Numbers help set targets </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Noone wants to fail a target – especially one they have set themselves </li></ul></ul>“ Scoring makes the game Exciting”
    39. 39. Keeping Score – The Directi Way <ul><li>Critical Numbers per team </li></ul><ul><li>Multiple monitors – live reporting </li></ul><ul><li>LCD screens everywhere </li></ul><ul><li>Blow up the scoreboards – the bigger the better </li></ul><ul><li>Measure everything and publish it to everyone </li></ul>
    40. 40. Keeping Score – The Directi Way
    41. 41. Keeping Score – The Directi Way Weekly Support Stats of an Individual vs Team
    42. 42. Keeping Score – The Directi Way Average ticket handling times by Product and Business Unit
    43. 43. Keeping Score – The Directi Way Average phone call handling times
    44. 44. Keeping Score – The Directi Way Current Support Monitor
    45. 45. Keeping Score – The Directi Way Hourly Support Performance
    46. 46. Keeping Score – The Directi Way Sales - Weekly Minute by Minute views, clicks and therefore revenue
    47. 47. Keeping Score – The Directi Way Daily Sales chart for a LogicBoxes Product (2 weeks)
    48. 48. Keeping Score – The Directi Way Test result scores for trainees in a module
    49. 49. Keeping Score – The Directi Way Daily attendance of an individual in the company
    50. 50. Keeping Score – The Directi Way Daily attendance of a team
    51. 51. Keeping Score – The Directi Way Health of our servers for a set of products
    52. 52. Keeping Score – The Directi Way Multi-dimensional Sales report
    53. 53. Keeping Score – The Directi Way Recruitment report
    54. 54. <ul><li>Principle 6 – “Maintain a Playbook” </li></ul>
    55. 55. <ul><li>“ In Sports, the playbook is sacred” </li></ul>Maintain a Playbook
    56. 56. Maintain a Playbook “ Knowledge sharing can be accomplished in 2 ways – Write OR Wrong” People Impacted Value Read it yourself 1 100 Email to select Colleagues 5 500 Post on team mailing list 10 1000 Post in wiki 20 2000 Post in wiki and link it appropriately 50 5000
    57. 57. <ul><li>Processify, Processify, Processify </li></ul><ul><li>Document, Document, Document. </li></ul><ul><li>Automate, Automate, Automate </li></ul>PDA
    58. 58. Maintain a Playbook Stats from our internal Wiki <ul><li>Our knowledgebase is 1,932,735,283 bytes (1.9 billion bytes) on disk ~ 3500 books </li></ul>
    59. 59. <ul><li>Principle 7 – “Line of Sight” </li></ul>
    60. 60. <ul><li>“ Each player can link their actions to the outcome of a game” </li></ul>Line of Sight
    61. 61. Line of Sight – The Directi Way <ul><li>Monthly PnL discussions </li></ul><ul><li>Open Book Management </li></ul><ul><li>Transparency </li></ul><ul><li>Keeping Score (Everything is measured) </li></ul><ul><li>Constant Communication </li></ul>
    62. 62. <ul><li>Principle 8 – “ Celebrate your Victories” </li></ul>
    63. 63. Celebrations – The Directi Way
    64. 64. The Game of Business <ul><li>Principle 1 – Hire the Best </li></ul><ul><li>Principle 2 – Teach them how to play </li></ul><ul><li>Principle 3 – Share the Long Term Vision </li></ul><ul><li>Principle 4 – Set Near Term Targets </li></ul><ul><li>Principle 5 – Keep Score </li></ul><ul><li>Principle 6 – Maintain a Playbook </li></ul><ul><li>Principle 7 – Line of Sight </li></ul><ul><li>Principle 8 – Celebrate your Victories </li></ul>
    65. 65. <ul><li>&quot;A company performs best when its people see themselves as partners in the business - when they concern themselves not just with doing their jobs, but with the business objectives of the company&quot; </li></ul>
    66. 66. <ul><li>“ Would you rather be - a Business of employees, or a Business of Business-people” </li></ul>“ Play the Game of Business as you would any other Game and build a Business of Business people”
    67. 67. Questions? Email me: [email_address] Follow me: Facebook: Blog: Website: Download Slides: