OutSystems decided to launch a small booklet (The Small Book of The Few Big Rules) describing in simple terms the 7 rules of behavior that are the foundations for the OutSystems culture. A lot of friends and acquaintances have been sending me questions on the applicability of these rules on their specific organizational contexts.
If you want to apply some of these rules in your company I would advice you to be aware of the following:
1. Any leadership initiative only works if it comes from the top. In the case of these rules it is absolutely of the essence that they are followed by Senior Management. One of the difficulties I have found with some friends’ companies is the acceptance by management of the Ask Why rule. A lot of managers have difficulty explaining why and connecting their Goals with the top Goals.
2. Answering to Whys burns management time. Managers sometimes have little patience to explain the full surrounding context for the activities they ask their teams to do. Most of the time they, themselves are not completely aware and they don’t like having to acknowledge that.
3. A book like this is just the beginning. We use it as part of the Welcome Kit for new employees. The rest is relentless work of coaching people, rewarding good behavior penalizing contrary behaviors and doing it across the whole company. It is a big investment and it is never done.
Please let me know what you think!