Scaling Excellence: Interview with Sutton and Rao
I am waiting to read this book. Scaling is a critical aspect of our work. There is no point in innovating something new if you can’t scale it.
Who are your scaling heroes and why?
Bob: There are many, but three that stand out for me are Bonny Simi, vice president for talent at JetBlue Airlines, IDEO’s founder and chair David Kelley, and Dr. Louise Liang, who led Kaiser Permanente‘s computerized health records project. What’s compelling is that while they’re all wildly different, they all have something important in common.
All three created, and often discovered, pockets of excellence and then helped spread them to new places—that’s the meat and potatoes of scaling. All three started where they were with what they had. All three made wise early choices to get the ball rolling—to create one or a few early pockets of excellence. And all three never thought of scaling as an abstract or mechanical process.
Rather, they each viewed scaling as a fundamentally human undertaking, one that required constant attention to quirks, histories and motivations of the people they hoped would build and identify a bit of excellence and spread it to others.
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