Kill the Company and Kill Some Stupid Rules

In yesterday’s Advisor, futurethink founder and CEO Lisa Bodell offered her take on an organization’s willingness to change. Today, her exercises for killing rules and killing companies.

Bodell offered her suggestions at the Society for Human Resource Management’s (SHRM) Talent Management Conference and Exposition, held recently in San Diego.

Kill the Rule

Groups of employees are asked to name the rule they would kill if they could be ruthless and kill any rules they wanted to. They place their rule on a sticky note and pin it onto a 2 by 2 grid with axes for difficulty to kill and impact, like this:

Then take a look first at the easy-to-kill rules that have high impact.

Are you doing all you can to keep your talent pipelines full? Start on Tuesday, June 30, 2015, with a new interactive webinar, Win the ‘War for Talent’: Effective Strategies for Tapping Passive Job Seekers to Answer Your Hiring Call. Learn More.

Kill the Company

In a variation of the game, go after your own company from a competitor’s viewpoint, says Bodell. Here’s how:

  1. Gather a diverse group of participants. Include people from Sales, Product Development, Finance, Technical Support, and other departments.
  2. Break into small groups of 3 or 4 people. Assign a team leader to gather and write the group’s ideas on the worksheet or whiteboard. Tell the teams:
  • This is about finding weak spots with the goal of fixing them.
  • Give teams the permission to be ruthless.
  • Remind teams that the most immediate goal is to identify—not fix—the problems.
  1. Ask the team to role-play: Imagine you are our main competitor with unlimited funds and resources at your disposal. What would you do right now to put us out of business or render our function (such as Legal, Accounting, Operations) obsolete?
  2. Designate who the competitor is. Do this in one of three ways:
  • Agree on a single competitor—ideally, one that is a primary threat.
  • Assign different competitors to each team.
  • Let individual teams decide which competitor they will emulate.
  1. Ask teams to identify weaknesses and vulnerabilities.
  2. Generate ideas about how the competitor could “attack” those weaknesses. Start each sentence with “We could….”
  3. After a brief brainstorming, cluster weaknesses and ideas by themes. Prioritize them from largest to smallest threat or from easiest to hardest to address.
  4. Once you’ve brainstormed ways to kill your company, prioritize the team responses on two whiteboard or flipchart 2 x 2 grids to visualize how these threats could affect your organization relative to key business criteria.


If you find easy-to-implement threats that would have high impact and that it’s likely a competitor is considering, better start figuring out what to do about it.
Threats to your company are very real, and you need to anticipate them. One upcoming challenge is the skills gap—we’ve all heard about the impending talent shortage, and your organization must be nimble enough to successfully negotiate this recruiting battlefield. How to get there? Fortunately there’s timely help in the form of BLR’s new webinar—Win the ‘War for Talent’: Effective Strategies for Tapping Passive Job Seekers to Answer Your Hiring Call. In just 90 minutes, on Tuesday, June 30, you’ll learn everything you need to know about staying one step ahead in the talent acquisition game.
Register today for this interactive webinar.

Get creative in your recruiting efforts. Join us Tuesday, June 30, 2015, for a new interactive webinar, Win the ‘War for Talent’: Effective Strategies for Tapping Passive Job Seekers to Answer Your Hiring Call. Earn 1 hour in HRCI Recertification Credit. Register Now.

By participating in this interactive webinar, you’ll learn how to:

  • Use alternative sourcing methods to find hidden talent happily employed elsewhere
  • Identify your “employer value proposition”—those key characteristics that make you an attractive employer for top talent
  • Prepare a performance-based job description to truly determine the type of person who will be successful in this role
  • Approach passive job seekers—too pushy and they will run away, too meek and they may create pay disparities or unrest within your existing workforce
  • Track valuable talent to pull them through the prospect funnel and maintain future relationships
  • Find out what the potential hire is passionate about—and assess whether the job you’re offering stacks up
  • Sweeten the deal—what benefits or incentives can you offer that make the job more attractive
  • Ensure that job growth is an integral part of the package you offer
  • Get support from all the crucial players in your own organization
  • Think about identifying incentives for the family of the potential employee
  • Be prepared to match or exceed any counter offers, if you really want to hire this person
  • And much more!

Register now for this event risk-free.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. (Eastern)
1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. (Central)
12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. (Mountain
11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. (Pacific)

Approved for Recertification Credit

This program has been approved for 1 credit hour toward recertification through the Human Resource Certification Institute (HRCI).
Join us on Tuesday, June 30, 2015—you’ll get the in-depth Win the ‘War for Talent’: Effective Strategies for Tapping Passive Job Seekers to Answer Your Hiring Call webinar AND you’ll get all of your particular questions answered by our experts.

Find out more

Train Your Entire Staff

As with all BLR®/HR Hero® webinars:

  • Train all the staff you can fit around a conference phone.
  • Get your (and their) specific phoned-in or e-mailed questions answered in Q&A sessions that follow the presentation.

Find out more