Maxis mindset change anchored by three values: CEO
By Karamjit Singh March 12, 2014
- Management picks passionate, positive and collaborative
- Values wrapped around principles of smart and simple working
MAXIS Bhd chief executive officer Morten Lundal (pic above) believes that management boils down to a combination of judgement, luck and timing – with problems arising when companies and their leaders enjoy luck and timing but start to think that it is actually down to their astute judgement.
When this happens, companies then end up doing one of two things: The first is going overboard with their actions, and he points to some of the crazy valuations one sees in the Internet space or the manner such companies expand overseas.
The second thing they can end up doing is becoming complacent, and Lundal believes Maxis has fallen into that trap.
“I have this theory that all companies go through certain phases and even the coolest companies in Silicon Valley, and I have met many of them, become complacent and bureaucratic. It is just a matter of when, not if,” he says.
In an exclusive interview with Digital News Asia (DNA), he goes on to share that even Apple Inc’s senior management is well aware of this.
“I have had the privilege of meeting their senior management a few times, and they are acutely aware that their next phase is arrogance and complacency, with their main challenge being to delay this as long as possible,” he says.
But with Maxis already in the complacency phase, perhaps even arrogance – though Lundal is careful to avoid using that word – the former CEO of DiGi and Vodafone has rolled out a series of plans, and has taken some management decisions (refer to our first and second instalments).
He expects that these moves will take Maxis on a 1,000-day journey from its current state, and transform it into a company that is excellent in everything it does, by the end of 2016. He calls this the journey of going from good to great.
The key to success is the mindset change he aims to trigger in his people, while empowering them to make the decisions that will move the company forward. As he describes it, “I want to create the mindset in which they make decisions.”
This mindset will be anchored by three core values: Passionate, positive and collaborative.
When posed that perhaps the new Maxis values were ones Lundal felt the company should have, he responds, “I came into a management meeting with my preconceived ideas of how things should be, but for once, I did not take them forward and we talked about what we wanted to be.
“And from a long list we – all of us – came up with three words we cared about,” he says.
This was then further distilled into ‘Engaged People.’ “We all felt good about this,” says Lundal, adding that the goal is to embrace smart and simple working – where smart is about thoughtfulness and simplicity is an art.
Taken together, these add up to the values of its people and the way they will work.
To ensure that the values are taken seriously, Lundal is aware that people will dismiss it as just the CEO’s pet project.
However, he says that Maxis processes and systems will be aligned to these values to the extent that “we will screen people based on this, fire them, incentivise and develop them based on our values.
“The values will go into our HR (human resources), pay and promotion system, and then into our mindset of this is how we want to be,” he adds.
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