McKinsey & Company earns its reputation as a premier consulting company every day. Their recent blog post by Huggy Rao and Robert Sutton, Bad to Great: The path to scaling up excellence,” is a case in point. That article summarizes seven core points from Rao and Sutton’s new book, Scaling Up Excellence: Getting to More Without Settling for Less. Those points all go to one lesson: rather than focusing on developing good behavior, the best organizations are always mindful of eliminating the bad.
Dan Rockwell, on his excellent blog Leadership Freak, recently made the same point. Bad is poisonous, much more harmful than good is healthful. (He says five times worse. That sounds unduly precise, but we understand his point.)
Although we emphasize that risk management is not just about managing threats (i.e., potential bad things), the message of Rao, Sutton, and Rockwell resonates strongly with risk management. By reducing error and waste — by stamping out what is bad — one clears the way for progress.
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