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The Power of Wonder – The inverted Pyramid and the football analogy

Jeff Hoffman insights 

1. Don’t lose your childlike wonder – After listening to incessant questions from hi 5 year old on a visit to his office, Jeff actually wondered why people were doing what they were doing and made significant positive changes. The gem….innovative people remove filters and open their minds .

When companies lose their ability to reinvent and continue to find better ways to run their business – they will die!

 As my mentor Allen Pathmarajah says…. “When the rate of change on the outside is greater than the rate of change on the inside – the end is near”

2. Every day – for 20 minutes – Let your mind wonder – info sponging 
Go lateral – think beyond your domain of expertise.
What are you looking for? Who knows – but be open to ideas .
After a while – these random ideas and data points form a picture…. They connect and that is where innovation can happen . You have looked at the world that’s bigger than your own and interpreted it in your special way… Creating Magic 

3. Get info not only from research  – but go to the diner and listen to your customers!
4. the football analogy – The coach doesn’t block the opposing players or tackle them.  Instead he finds the best blockers and tacklers and motivates them to perform at their highest possible level.  Similarly, while the company itself lives to serve its customers, it is the CEO or leader’s job to recruit, retain, and inspire the best possible employees for those customers.  As a CEO, my job is to nurture and support players at every position so that they can best serve our customers.

5. The best thing he ever achieved as a CEO was selling my company to a Fortune 500 company and discovering that from the day he started the company to the day we sold it, not one person ever quit.  The success of Priceline was truly a byproduct of that fact.

6. He doesn’t believe in a “bossless office” at all.  A strong and decisive leader is what drives the team.  I never left my employees completely on their own.  It’s the leader’s job to collect everyone’s input and then make decisions to chart the company’s course and set the strategy.  The freedom comes in the tactics, allowing competent employees to find their own way to deliver on the strategic plan.

7. Another Football analogy – Common traits of succesful coaches and their teams….  They all have different strategies, playbooks, and methods for how to maximize its implementation to be world champions.  The team is aligned, they understand the playbook, they practice its implementation unrelentingly,  and everyone is providing maximum commitment.  

8. Success starts with recruiting and retaining the best players who share the teams values and are motivated to be gold medal winners.  Thinking about their needs and how to keep them fully motivated, engaged, aligned, and retained.  In an important way, the team are his customers — the inverted pyramid.

Posted on November 3, 2015

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