I recently read the first memo Marissa Mayer gave to the Yahoo employees as CEO. It contained a key sentence that made me really believe in her and the future of Yahoo:
“We will continue to invest in talent, so we can produce the most compelling and exciting user experiences anywhere.”
1 Simple Goal
Most new CEOs have a boiler plate reply about growing revenues or investing in big markets. Not Marissa – she specifically mentioned investing in people. By focusing on 1 simple goal that everyone (investors and employees) can agree with makes an amazing company a lot easier to build.
Focusing on Safety turned around Aluminum Co.
To make my point I want to tell you about a story that I recently read in “The Power of Habit“. In 1987 Paul O’Neill took over a Aluminum Co. a floundering aluminum production company. He told the massive company that all he is going to do is focus on safety. Focusing on safety was something no one could argue about – the management or the factory workers. By focusing on something as simple as safety, Paul was able to increase productivity (less on-the-job injuries), improve communication (as soon as their was an error management knew about it), and in turn this increased the quality of the product! In 5 short years Aluminum Co. was one of the safest companies to work for and was a profit making machine.
Marissa’s focus on talent
By focusing on talent everything in the company will automatically improve.
Yahoo will be able to attract top talent and existing employees will become even more talented, more talented people will create better products, better products will bring in more revenue!
Good luck Marissa – you are already off to a great start!