I typically don't boast. This post will be an exception. I am not sure where to file it as it touches on several topics dear to my heart: Insights & Business Models, Human behavior, Visualization / story telling, Trust, Org design.
I received the following thank you note today:
Antoine deserved a looooong overdue peer bonus for all his great work getting the A-Team up and running. This is a peer bonus that is delayed by several years
A few things here:
1- Google, following good HR practices, runs a spot bonus program where anyone can send anyone a small one time bonus for going above and beyond. There are a few requirements (mostly to ensure fair use). Aim is to foster cooperation.
2- Much better late than never: you can't imagine the smile on my face when receiving this, + it is a great way to stay in touch (imagine the next time that person reaches out to me). Giving specific encouraging feedback is a great way to build and sustain trust and goodwill.
Antoine was a tremendous driving force in getting the A-Team up and running during it's initial years and in creating a successful and sustainable business model
3- At this end of the day, while success is primarily about hiring smart people and letting them run the show, it is equally important to make sure you have a business model that allows for a sustainable (read profit making) endeavour. Understanding and obeying the laws of physics for your business may sound easy, but it is not, and often requires a healthy mix of common sense + data analytics.
Thanks to him, we reached global alignment on the operating model and a number of core strategic and tactical differences in the local applications of the A-Team, globally
4- This speaks to importance of building and sharing a robust vision & values. This fosters collaboration much more than very detailed rules of engagement or processes. Ideally, you dont need any process, just people who do the right thing because they "know" their place. In practice, you need some process, but only add if you can't do without.
5- Let's not confuse alignment with uniformity. What matters is often to align on objectives and high level success metrics. Operating models, levers/tactics and even some performance indicators are best left to those closest to the action.
In addition, he was an incredible mentor and manager - one of my best during my almost x years at Google
6- People often expect their managers to go beyond merely leading, target setting, on the job training and performance assessment. They want mentoring and career coaching. It used to be purposefully outside of people management (who knows, you might coach them so well that they will leave you), but now the boundaries are blurred
Thanks again Antoine - you rock
This made my day, I hope you find this valuable. If you are interested in learning more about how to foster performance in the workplace, I recommend "Work rules" by (https://books.google.com/books?id=M6idBAAAQBAJ) as well as Yves Morieux's "Six simple rules" (I wrote on them here: https://plus.google.com/+AntoineCarriere/posts/79t3KWVke1S )