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#0360: LØRNBIZ: Morten Hansen: Do less, then obsess

Gjest: Morten Hansen

Professor and author

University of Berkeley

Med Vert Linda Hesselberg

In this episode of #LØRN Linda Hesselberg talks to the professor at University of California, Berkeley and one of the world’s most influential management thinkers, Morten Hansen, about how you can perform in a world full of change and uncertainty. Morten T. Hansen is a management professor and the coauthor of the New York Times bestseller Great by Choice together with Jim Collins. He also authored the highly acclaimed Great at Work. Formerly a professor at Harvard Business School and INSEAD (France), professor Hansen holds a PhD from Stanford Business School, where he was a Fulbright scholar. His academic research has won several prestigious awards, and he is ranked one of the world’s most influential management thinkers by Thinkers50. Morten Hansen was also a manager at the Boston Consulting Group, where he advised corporate clients worldwide.


What separates the high performers from the low ones?
Do less is basically focus, extreme focus. Once you have chosen a few things to focus on you must be obsessed. Because, if you don't obsess over those things, you are not going to out-compete somebody who's doing five things when you're doing one thing.

How do you know what activities to obsess upon?
People are chasing the wrong things, often the wrong metrics and they don't ask the question.

What does SMAC mean?
Systematic, methodological and consistent.

How can leaders and managers help employees to work smarter?
You shouldn't start a new initiative before you're finish the first one. If you're working on a product feature, go all in and make it the best product feature, before you start with your next one.

How can the leaders recruit?
Leaders should recruit based on if the person in the interview actually have a purpose that connect with their own purpose of the company.

What do we have to keep in mind while innovating?
You need to invent all the time. But if you forget about the core, if you change too much every year, every six months, you don't have any consistent performance.


This what you will learn:

Leadership Recruitment Efficiency
During our research we tracked people's working hours, and the performance curve actually went down for the people who worked the hardest and longest hours.

- Morten Hansen

Recommended literature:
Great at Work by Morten Hansen Great by Choice by Morten Hansen

This is University of Berkeley

From a group of academic pioneers in 1868 to the Free Speech Movement in 1964, Berkeley is a place where the brightest minds from across the globe come together to explore, ask questions and improve the world. The University of California was founded in 1868, born out of a vision in the State Constitution of a university that would "contribute even more than California's gold to the glory and happiness of advancing generations."

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