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It feels horrible: You’re scaling up aggressively and working harder than ever, but with each passing day you feel more overwhelmed. Your business is a success, but you feel like a failure. You used to be able to track everything with an Excel spreadsheet, personally designed by your CFO; now you’ve got an SAP installation in its place, supported by an entire IT department. You and your founding team used to feel like members of the same small tribe; now you’re working with unfamiliar layers of staff hired from companies whose culture is not like yours. You used to know your key customers by their first names; now you know them only as averages on PowerPoint slides. Every employee used to know what made your mission special; now most of them don’t. Things are spinning out of control, and you don’t know what to do.

你积极地提升自己,并且比以往更加努力,但日复一日,你感觉无所适从,这样的感觉是很糟糕的。你事业有成,却觉得自己俨然是一个失败者。在过去,你能够通过首席财务官亲自设计的Excel表格来跟踪所有信息;如今你却只能使用由整个信息技术部支持的SAP(企业管理解决方案)。在过去,你和你的创办团队对这个共同的小部落都有归属感;如今你却与来自不同企业文化不熟悉的各种员工共事。在过去,你对主要客户的熟悉程度是连他们的名字都知道;如今你只能通过PPT对他们了解甚微。在过去,每名员工都清楚自己的特殊使命从而而来;如今大部分员工却都摸不着头脑。一切都不受控制了,而你却手足无措。

纠正翻译

What’s going on? You’ve hit overload—the internal dysfunction and loss of external momentum that strikes young, fast-growing companies as they try to rapidly scale their businesses. Overload is one of the three predictable crises that companies experience as they grow. With overload everyone in the company becomes stretched and loses the focus on the customer. A helpful image to keep in mind here is that of a plate spinner. As the spinner sets more and more plates in motion (growth), he obviously has to keep them in motion. This gets harder and harder, especially if he hasn’t prepared adequately for the challenges involved. Soon what once was a satisfying process becomes a deeply troubling and threatening one (overload): plates start to wobble, and the spinner has to scramble ever faster to keep them all in motion. His mission has changed. He’s no longer thinking about serving and delighting his audience (customers). He’s just trying to manage the chaos and avoid catastrophe.

发生了什么事?你已经达到了超负荷-内部功能障碍和外部动力的损失打击了年轻,快速增长的公司,因为他们试图迅速扩大他们业务的规模。超负荷是在公司成长过程中所经历的三次可预见的危机之一。随着超负荷的每个人都在公司变得紧张,减少了对客户的重视。转盘是一个可以让人记住的乐于助人的形象。作为微调设置越来越多的板块运行(生长),他显然要让他们保持运行。这变得越来越难,尤其是如果他还没有充分准备所涉及的挑战。很快曾经是一个令人满意的过程变成了很大困扰和威胁(过载):板开始摇晃,和微调有争夺更快的让他们在运行。他的使命已经改变了。他不再思考服务和取悦他的听众(客户)。他只是试图管理混乱,避免灾难。

纠正翻译

There are plenty of signs that overload has arrived. Things fall through the cracks. Bottlenecks appear. Systems don’t scale. Talented staff members, stretched to the breaking point, start fighting among themselves and even leave the company. Organizational malaise sets in on the inside, and then ripples outward, creating a subpar performance in the marketplace, customer frustrations and financial shortfalls.

Consider the case of Norwegian Cruise Line. Founded in 1966, Norwegian quickly became an innovator in its field as the first company to offer round-trip cruises that nearly anybody could afford. For years, the company led its industry, guided by strong growth ambitions and aggressive investors. But by the 1990s it had run aground: It hadn’t properly developed systems to implement its growth strategy internally, and so that strategy broke down at dozens of points of execution on the front line—with customers, crew, staff on the shore and the company’s travel agent partners. In 2000, with more than $100 million in negative cash flow, the company agreed to be acquired by Star Cruises, a leading cruise operator in Asia.

有许多迹象都可以表明超载已经到来。东西落入缝隙中,瓶颈出现,系统没有升级,有才华队员工挣扎在崩溃的边缘,开始在内心挣扎甚至选择离开公司。组织中有一边出现了不适,然后会向外扩散,会在市场中表现疲软,客户会因此感到不安,财务指标也会下滑。

拿挪威巡航线为例。这家公司成立于1966年,很快成为在提供往返旅游服务方面的第一家创新型企业,而且费用也是几乎每个人都可以承受的。多年以来,这家企业都是其行业的领导者,由一群有强烈队增长欲望以及有进取心的投资者所领导。但是在上世纪90年代,它的发展却停滞了:它内部没有一套发达的系统可以保证增长战略的执行,因此这些战略在前线执行时遭遇了许多阻碍——不管是客户,船员,岸上的员工还是公司的旅游代理商。在2000年,它的现金流欠超过1亿美金,最终这家公司被星星巡航公司收购了,这是一家在亚洲的巡航领域的领导者。

纠正翻译

Norwegian made a promising first move under its new management: It began offering guests what it called Freestyle Cruising, which provided multiple dining and entertainment venues with flexible times, as opposed to the industry model at the time of single venues with set times. The concept was revolutionary, but the execution proved difficult. The galleys on Norwegian’s ships, for example, were separated from dining areas, which meant that in this new scheme passengers had to wait a long time for food. Guests grew exasperated, and the crew, feeling battered by dissatisfied guests and the stress of rolling out this new offering, grew upset and disengaged. Nevertheless, the company pushed ahead aggressively with its expansion, growing for the sake of growth—spinning more and more plates, as it were.

在新的管理模式下,挪威提出了一个有前景的第一步:它会提供游客名叫自由游巡航的服务。作为不同于在固定时间提供单一场馆的行业模式,该项服务会根据时间,灵活地提供多种多样的晚餐和娱乐场所。这个概念是革命性的,但执行表明是困难的。例如在挪威,船只上的厨房是和从就餐区分开的。如果实行新方案,就意味着的乘客不得不等待很长的时间才能进餐。不仅客人变得愤怒,而且船员会因为客人的不满意和推出这种新产品的压力而感到受伤,变得沮丧和懒散。然而,正如它做到的那样,为了增长而增长——网罗越来越多的餐厅,公司正积极的扩大并继续向前推进该项目.

纠正翻译

Chaos ensued. Eventually, feeling it had no other option, the company adopted a low-cost strategy on the outside: last-minute price-cutting. But this only compounded the chaos. The company lost the trust of its frontline employees, the commitment of its travel agent partners and the loyalty of its passengers, who increasingly switched to other vacation sources.

Fortunately, these failures didn’t spell the end for the company. That’s because overload is a surmountable crisis—under the right leadership. And in 2007 the right leader arrived: Kevin Sheehan, a veteran executive with experience in the car-rental and entertainment industries.

混乱接踵而至。最终,感觉像是没有其他选择,对外,该公司采取了低价策略:最后的降价决定。但这只加剧了混乱。前线员工对公司失去了信任,旅行社合作伙伴的委托和那些忠诚的乘客,他们越来越多地转向其他旅行服务资源。

幸运的是,这些公司并没有被失败终结。这是因为在权利的领导下超载是一个可以克服的危机。2007年正确的领导人出现:资深高管凯文•希恩,一个汽车租赁和娱乐行业的资深执行官。

纠正翻译

Sheehan quickly diagnosed what was ailing Norwegian. He explains:

“Our biggest problems were internal, not related to the industry. We had pioneered Freestyle Cruising, but we were executing poorly, resulting in long lines and unhappy passengers. We were pricing in a uniform way, yet the truth is that there was a huge difference in value across cabins, and we needed a sophisticated yield system, like we had in the rental-car business, to match demand and value and pricing dynamically. Our travel agent partners were frustrated with us for last-minute price discounting and did not feel like real partners. And most importantly, our frontline employees had lost a sense of what was important. Were we a price cutter? An innovator? Customer-focused? What?”

Sheehan很快就诊断出了挪威船公司的问题所在,他说:

“我们最大的问题在我们自己内部,与行业无关。我们开创了自由环游模式,但是执行的却很糟糕,乘客排队等待的时间很长,使他们很不高兴。我们的价格保持一致,但是事实是在船舱与船舱之间在价值方面还是有很大的差异多,我们需要的是一个成熟的产出系统,就像我们做租车生意一样,我们需要机动灵活的将客户需求,价值和价格结合在一起。对于我们总是在最后一分钟降价,我们的旅行社伙伴表示很头疼,因为他们觉得这不是真正的生意伙伴应该做的事情。最重要的是,我们第一线的员工已经对什么最重要变得麻木不仁了。我们是降价者吗?是创新者吗?是不是以客户为中心的?或者别的什么?”

 

纠正翻译

Sheehan acted fast to address these problems. During his first year, he changed more than 80% of Norwegian’s top-tier executives, looked for ways to rediscover the company’s core mission and began the work of transformation from the front line up. In doing so, he relied on what we call the founder’s mentality—a frame of mind and set of behaviors usually embodied by a bold, ambitious founder but that any leader can adopt to effectively help companies navigate the challenges of overload on their way to sustainable growth. For example, here are some of the strategies Sheehan adopted:

Sheehan迅速采取行动来解决这些问题。在第一年,他换掉了超过80%的挪威船公司的高层人员,他想重新发现公司的核心里面,并且从第一线开始转变工作的方式。为了达到这个目的,他依靠的是被我们所称的创建者心态——这是一套思维和行为方式的框架,这一框架在一个勇敢的,有抱负的创建者身上会有体现。这样的领导者可以很灵活大帮助公司迎接挑战获得持续性发展。例如,下面是Sheehan采取的一些策略:

 

纠正翻译

Open up lines of communication. One of the central dysfunctions that plagued Norwegian during its decline was that shipside personnel didn’t believe that shoreside personnel understood the challenges of their work, and vice versa. In addressing overload, Kevin Sheehan made connecting these two sides a key priority. To make sure each learned from the other, he and his team began including shipside staff in processes and decisions that had previously been handled exclusively in the corporate office, and invited officers from across the fleet to attend the company’s leadership retreats. Every company, especially those growing rapidly, can benefit from this sort of cross-fertilization. You can’t combat overload without it, in fact.

打开沟通渠道。其中有个困扰走下坡路的挪威船公司的一个核心问题是功能障碍,船上的人觉得岸上的人不理解他们工作的挑战性,相反岸上的人也觉得船上的人不理解他们。为了解决超载问题,Kevin Sheehan将把他们两者联系起来作为其首要任务。为了保证他们都能够向彼此学习,他和他的团队会邀请船上的员工参与到公司决策中来,以前这些决策是在总部办公室做出的,同时也邀请岸上的主管参加公司组织的领导层招待会。每一个公司,特别是那些处于快速增长期的公司,都可以从这种交叉培育中获得好处。事实上,你是不可能与超载对抗的。

纠正翻译

Celebrate and reward frontline heroes. When they confront overload, managers often react in ways that put distance between themselves and the front line. To avoid that problem, Sheehan and his team introduced the Vacation Hero program, which taught staff how to better engage guests and identify employees who had gone out of their way to make a passenger’s stay special. Sheehan’s reasoning was simple: He knew that an organization is ahead of the game in preventing overload if its frontline employees love the details of the business and feel empowered to solve tactical problems on the spot, because in doing so it can create more capacity to grow, keep decision processes swift and smooth, and sustain employee loyalty and productivity. The result is a self-correcting organization that learns and changes almost automatically.

为那些一线的英雄们庆功,表彰他们。当面对人员过载问题的时候,经理们经常会表现的与一线的员工划清界限。为了避免这一问题,Sheehan和他的团队引入假期英雄项目,这个项目教给员工如何更好的让客人融入进来,并且识别出那些没有将客户特殊的体验放在首位的员工。Sheehan的理由很简单:他知道员工们都很想知道业务细节,如果能在现场解决问题,他们会感到自己被授权,因为他们这样做会有更多的能力来发展,决策更加的迅速和顺畅,并且保持员工的忠诚度和产出。结果就是一个自我纠正的组织能够自动的学习和做出改变。

纠正翻译


Make constant improvement a focus. The leadership team at Norwegian put in place a kaizen (continuous improvement) system to gather ideas from the front line on how to improve and streamline operations and processes everywhere in the organization, and created extensive discussion forums and recognition for the best ideas. They even developed a method to involve employees in the details of ship design, a powerful example of their new emphasis on the vertical rather than the horizontal. Norwegian encouraged its employees, in other words, to adopt an owner’s mindset: a powerful sense of responsibility for all of their employees, customers, products and decisions. The difference between employees who operate with the owner’s mindset and those who don’t can be as great as the difference between devoted parents and restless babysitters.

坚持持续改进。领导层在挪威船公司推行了持续改进项目,为的是从第一线员工那里了解如何对产品线和组织中的所有流程进行改进,并且还创建了讨论平台,对好的观点进行奖励和认可。他们甚至研究出一种方法可以使员工参与到发货的细节中来,这是一个很好的他们从水平管理到垂直管理的的例子。换句话说,挪威船公司鼓励员工采取主人翁式的理念:对所有对员工,客户,产品和决定都有强烈的责任感。员工有强烈的主人翁心态与那些没有这种心态的差别很大,就和专心投入的父母与焦躁不安的保姆之间的差异一样。

 

纠正翻译

Codify best practices. Norwegian developed a new software program, delivered through iPads, that defined and gathered inputs on Platinum Standards—that is, the best practices in terms of both operations and passenger loyalty drivers. Sheehan understood the critical importance of this step. If you take the time to codify your key practices and principles, and use them as a compass to help chart your course, you can help your company maintain a strong sense of purpose and a powerful consistency of action as you contend with overload.

Sheehan’s strategy has worked. In early 2013, Norwegian went public and became one of the most successful IPOs of the year, closing the year 87% above its IPO price. From 2008 through 2013, EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) margins increased for 20 consecutive quarters, from 5% to 25%. Overall, the company’s revenues have grown by 50%, and its net yield and average fleet age are now the best in its industry. Having successfully survived the crisis of overload, Norwegian is a leader again.

编制最佳执业方式. Norwegian开发的一个新软件程序,通过iPad以超高标准定义和收集输入信息,以忠诚智囊的方式为公司运营方和闲散人员最佳执业方式,Sheehan理解这一步骤的重要性。如果你花时间去编写你的关键执业方式及行为准则,并用它们照本宣科地绘制你的管理蓝图,你可以帮助你的公司保持强烈的目标感,当你与业务量过大对抗时,保持强大的一致性。

Sheehan的策略奏效了,2013年早些时候, Norwegian公开上市,成为当年最成功的IPO之一, 年底股价比首次公开募股高出了87%。2008至2013年间,(利息、税金、折旧和摊销前的收益) 利润率连续20个季度增长,增长率在5%至25%之间。总体上看,公司的收入增长了50%, 其净收益率和平均市盈率是行业中最好的。成功地度过业务量过大危机后,Norwegian再次一马当先。

纠正翻译

The crisis of overload is stressful because it happens when people are already working has hard as they have ever worked in their lives, with limited capacity to deal with more. If you’re starting to see the symptoms of overload in your company, your core challenges are to refocus the company on customers and frontline employees and remove barriers to decision-making. By thinking like a founder and acting quickly, you can steer your company back on course.

业务量过大的危机是很有压力的,因为当它发生时,员工们已经尽他们最大的努力工作了,用有限的能力去处理更多事情。如果你开始看到公司有业务量过大现象,你的核心挑战是将公司所有的资源重新集中在客户和一线职员身上,消除决策障碍。像创始人一样去思考然后迅速行动,就可以带领企业重新走上正轨。

纠正翻译