Cudahy’s 10 Golden Rules On How To Run An Organization

Michael J. Cudahy was known for an open, enlightened and progressive corporate culture at his former company, Marquette Medical. In his autobiography, “Joyworks: The Story of Marquette Electronics,” Cudahy outlined his “10 Golden Rules On How To Run An Organization,” which he also refers to as “How Not To Screw Up An Organization.”

  • Stay financially independent. Don’t get the venture guys in too soon no matter how difficult it is.
  • Don’t have meetings. Meetings are the curse of modern business. Most break up without a decision. If you must get together, do it in the parking lot or have no chairs in the meeting room.
  • Never make an organizational chart. Putting people in boxes always makes some smug and others mad. A true representation of how people work together would look like a Picasso painting and then, of course, no one would understand it.
  • Promote from within. This one Laurence Peter said 20 years ago, but it deserves repeating. Obviously, if your company is growing fast, it’s hard to do, but if you’re continuously going to the outside for talent, you’re probably doing something wrong.
  • Don’t hire consultants every time you have a problem. Consultants are OK if you don’t know how to perform some complex process, but most problems, like quality or efficiency or inventory, are things you ought to solve from within.
  • Have a love affair with your employees. I mean all of them. Trust them, embrace them, tell them your secrets and treat them like part of your family. This is a good way to treat your customers too.
  • Give away the store to your employees. Sure, they have to earn it in some way, but most bosses lean way too far the other way. I have optioned, granted, sold and otherwise given a gigantic part of my company to employees from top to bottom, and it’s come back to me a hundred times over.
  • Don’t play big shot. No reserved parking or private entrances. No fancy offices and thicker carpets for a chosen few. And let the people do what they want in their own area. Crazy posters, radios, plants and decorations of any kind. It’ll make the place home, and people show up for work a lot more often. Let peer pressure prevent anything outrageous.
  • Ignore the competition. More people waste more time worrying about what the competition is doing than they do tending to their own knitting. Just keep a steady course in the direction you feel is best for your customers’ needs. Elbow grease is a good substitute for paranoia.
  • Finally, preserve your sense of humor…at all costs. Sure, times get tough, but if business isn’t fun anymore, give it up and become a cab driver or bartender. You only live once.

Sign up for BizTimes Daily Alerts

Stay up-to-date on the people, companies and issues that impact business in Milwaukee and Southeast Wisconsin

No posts to display