Shaygan Kheradpir's formula for developing new ideas and making them happen.
By Alice Dragoon
Define a compelling goal :: People’s attention
and energy follow their passions. Your staff needs to feel that they’re
working to make something better, not just to earn a paycheck.
Empower people to pursue that goal :: Give
people autonomy and responsibility, as well as the resources they need.
Measure progress :: Kheradpir’s group, for
example, develops detailed scorecards with business clients at the
beginning of the year. They’re posted on the IT intranet, and the
results are reviewed quarterly. Each employee needs to commit to which
of the scorecard’s metrics they’re working to improve.
Encourage nonlinear thinking :: Put staffers
“two in a box,” as Kheradpir calls it, by asking two people with
different skills from different groups to work together to attack a
But execute in a linear way :: Advance new ideas
by asking for prototypes to be developed in 30-day cycles. As big
projects hit the homestretch, hold daily status meetings and set goals
for the next 24 hours.
Think flat :: Business can move more quickly
without bureaucratic layers. Having all the major players on a project
working together in a war room improves communication and coordination
in the final stages of a project.
Be hands on :: Cultivate relationships with
employees on the front lines so that you can understand their issues
and get direct feedback on how systems are working.
Hire top talent annually :: Most of what you
learned in school is already outdated. Bring in new talent from top
schools each year.
Remove barriers :: Encourage staff to identify
red tape, then cut through it for them. That’s your job.