QlikTech’s CEO Lars Bjork knows that sustaining extraordinary growth requires rejuvenating the team on a regular basis.  That’s why each year for the last 12 years every single one of his employees, from senior executives to the cleaning staff, has participated in a five-day session that celebrates employees and connects the company’s global workforce while building their leadership skills.  He’s absolutely convinced that this is one critical element to their having been able to sustain a 50% Compound Annual Growth Rate for five years.

QlikTech’s annual “revaccination” is an opportunity for Lars to reiterate the corporate message and for employees to engage face-to-face with their colleagues from around the world.  In homage to QlikTech’s Swedish roots, the same rock band is flown in from Sweden every year (7 years in a row so far). But more importantly, They spend a full day on “value activities,” honoring people that have lived the company’s core values: Challenge, Move fast, Open and straightforward, Teamwork for results, Take responsibility.

For example, this past year, one mid-level HR person had been given responsibility for a new territory.

“In a few months she established processes and put into place methods of how to hire a lot of people in a short time that I think surprised the rest of us.  She was given that responsibility and she took it.”

The full organization gets a chance to nominate people for these honors.  After a series of reviews, the top five are recognized each year at the closing dinner.

Teamwork for results

Lars is a big believer that “Your only job as a leader and a manager is to make sure your team is successful.”  He suggests that “If you want to grow at a high pace, hire the best  and get out of the way because you are the bottleneck.  If everything is going to go through you, every single small decision, nothing is going to happen because you only have 24 hours.”

Lars has “A consensus driven leadership style.  It’s all about motivating people, empowering them, involving them in decision making.  And out of that you will get more engaged, more loyal and clearly more motivated people because the feel they contribute to something.”


Better Results Over Time

An organization or team’s performance is based on aligning its people, plans, and practices around a shared purpose. This involves getting the right people in the right roles with the right support, getting clarity around the strategies and action steps included in plans, and getting practices in place that enable people to work together in a systematic and effective way. The heart of this is the organization’s purpose. For that to be genuinely shared, it must be meaningful, clearly understood and rewarding for each of the people contributing to make its aspiration real.

Look at what Lars is doing.  His passion for getting the right people in the right roles in sync with the organization’s culture oozes out of his every pore.  He’s crystal clear on his strategic choices and plans.  He’s evolving, reinforcing and celebrating good practices at every step.  And he pulls everyone together once a year, along with smaller groups on an ongoing basis to reinforce their purpose of simplifying decision making for business users across organizations..

What QlikTech is doing is a good example of step 10 of The New Leader’s PlaybookEvolve People, Plans, and Practices to Capitalize on Changing Circumstances

By the end of your first 100-Days, you should have made significant steps toward aligning your people, plans, and practices around a shared purpose. Remember, this is not a one-time event but, instead, something that will require constant, ongoing management and Darwinian improvement.

Click here to read about each step in the playbook

Click here for YouTube videos highlighting each step


The New Leader’s Playbook includes the 10 steps that executive onboarding group PrimeGenesis uses to help new leaders and their teams get done in 100-days what would normally take six to twelve months. George Bradt is PrimeGenesis’ managing director, and co-author of The New Leader’s 100-Day Action Plan (Wiley, 2009). Follow him at @georgebradt or on YouTube.