How an innovative company innovates management

How do you survive a downturn? Innovate the heck out of it…that’s the goal of one of the leading innovation consultancies out there today.  Fahrenheit 212 is a young company with young consultants that boasts big name clients like Coca-Cola, Samsung, P&G, GM, Starbucks, Starwood, etc.  For instance, Fahrenheit staff helped Samsung find create a new market application for small LCD screens; they put them on vending machines as dynamic, touch-screen displays.  This revived the stagnant vending industry along with Samsung’s LCD business.

The CNN article shows how this cutting edge company innovates their management practices.  For example, every 100 days, everyone stops everything on their plate, and they lock themselves up in a room to talk real strategy. Together, they set the company’s goals for the next 100 days. With all the executives present as well, they go around the room to hear how each person did on their personal deliverables over the last 100 days.  While deceptively simple, “everyone’s goals are completely clear, evaluations are a collaborative process, and perhaps most importantly, managers are just as accountable as their employees — and they’re accountable to their employees.”

Consider this: close the hotel for a full day, lock the front doors, and get all the employees into the ballroom.  Get each department together to go through the ‘100 day’ process, and then get the department heads to share goals and deliverables.  Maybe this is the perfect avenue for the front desk folks to ask why room service never picks up their phones, causing the operator to have to take the order.  Of course, room service will complain that the operator took it wrong and have to do the whole process over again.

Take it step further and have frequent guests participate in a session.  “The hotel is officially closed, but you can join us for a free stay and hold us accountable to our promises.”  That should open up some interesting dialogue about the guest experience…

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