Irv Rothman is the president and chief executive officer of HP Financial Services, a wholly owned subsidiary of Hewlett-Packard Company. Prior to joining HP, Rothman was president and chief executive officer of Compaq Financial Services Corporation where he led it from its founding to growth of over $3.7 billion in total assets.
Irv is the author of Out-Executing the Competition. What I really admire is that Irv is donating all of the royalties he earns on the sale of the book to Room to Read, an organization dedicated to children’s literacy.
The best way to out-execute the other guy is to know your customer’s business as well as you know your own. -Irv Rothman
Attracting the Right Talent
Much of success in business is about finding and cultivating the right talent. How did you attract and retain the talent needed to accomplish your goals?
Attracting and retaining the right people starts with a leadership commitment to first develop high performers in-house. And this has to be more than an annual “talent management” exercise. It’s an activity that leadership must consistently demonstrate is important by developing people and promoting from within. This sends key messages to an organization:
1) Leadership can be trusted to do as they say they will.
2) Career opportunities exist…. No need to look elsewhere.
3) Leadership recognizes and acknowledges that outside hires are a 50/50 proposition.
In short, provide an atmosphere where people can learn and achieve advancement based on merit. Not only will the good people stick around, their hearts will be in it.
Developing a Culture of Execution
Your book title is all about execution. How do you develop a culture of execution?
A culture of execution starts with devotion to the customer. Since it is theoretically easier to keep a customer than to find a new one, all messaging and reward systems need to be packaged around a “customer for life” philosophy. And a pay-for-performance compensation system is a must. Moreover, it can’t be black box; people need to be clear as to what rewards can be expected from results and behaviors. Once you’ve got all that organized, creating an environment where people have freedom to act on behalf of the customer is crucial. You can’t have a circumstance where people are bound by the linear strictures of a traditional command and control organization. It not only frustrates your employees, it also makes for dissatisfaction on the part of the people on the other end of the phone.