During a break from mowing the lawn this weekend I flipped on Bloomberg's Game Changer series. They were broadcasting the episode on J.K.Rowling, that J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series of books, movies, etc.
With the sweat still running down my face I heard....Probably over $10 billion in overall revenues.
That got my attention.
And I listened closer and let the sweat keep rolling.
- 1 billion kids reading her book even in a time when kids rarely read books. (Neither do adults...)
- $1 billion in net worth.
- The latest movie, episode, (I'm not a fan of the books) generated $6.4 billion in sales.
It got me thinking.
And what were the characteristics of J.K. Rowling that helped her achieve this success for herself and the franchise of Harry Potter?
- Creative. Very creative
- Microscopic and Macroscopic lenses. One of those interviewed on this episode said she had the ability to see the world in microscopic and macroscopic lens.
- Failure. Before the first book was published, she was broke and jobless.
- Persistent, Tenacious.
- No obstacles. There were no employee policies to hold her back. No meaningless meetings. No crazy bosses. No misaligned priorities.
- Good communication skills. Would that be fair to say?
And sure, she had plenty of talent that gathered around her to build this franchise which she created.
But, what did they do? They told her story; they sold her stories.
Look around. Do you have around anyone that shares the same features:
- Good communication skills
- Persistent, tenacious At times, stubborn may have been the term.
- Failure or is comfortable with the step of failing.
- Microscopic and Macroscopic lenses. Has the ability to see the world in microscopic and macroscopic lens. Extremely detail-oriented without losing grasp of the ibber picture.
- Creative. Very creative
Because, if you did, you would want to make sure you built their day around:
- No obstacles. No employee policies to hold them back. No meaningless meetings. No crazy bosses. No misaligned priorities.
What if you took one more step?
What if you let them fail in this pursuit? Maybe a few times. What if you recognized it, celebrated it as an acomplishment on this journey to realize their idea? Ms. Rowling talks about the benefits of failure in her address to Harvard graduates.
What if you allowed them a little room to be persistent (ok, stubborn) and tenacious?
Because if you did, you would create a culture where they could pursue their creative ideas.
I know, I know. Work is work. Work is not about being creative. Right?
What have you got to lose? All these stringent work policies and task-oriented environments have only disengaged employees which results in:
- lost sales from poor customer service ($83 billion in the US alone),
- added costs from lost productivity ($500 billion).
What have you got to gain?
You might find more folks engaged with their work. That would make your organization's employee engagement above average. Above average levels of employee engagement generate:
- above average levels of revenue growth,
- earnings per share,
- equity valuations,
- below average marketing costs,
- below average hiring costs,
- below average employee turnover,
- to name a few
Would you find a J.K. Rowling in your midst? A $10 billion member?
Maybe. But, probably not. The odds are against it.
On the other hand, you might find a new feature, a new way to save money, a new product, a new market, a new way to engage...a new solution for long chronic problem.
What have you got to lose?