The Cerner Corporation Motivatonal Memo….

This memo is making the rounds again…. it’s so classic.

At great startups the leaders are fighting to get people to actually
go home! At Mahalo there are many nights where I have tell folks to go
home…. people are not going to crush it and make a deep
sacrifice–especially gen-y folks–unless they really believe in what
they’re doing.

If folks are responding to emails at all hours of the night, working
on weekends and obsessed with your startup’s business, well, your
business has a problem…. anyway, this is a longer email post to — maybe I will right it this weekend.

best j

From: Patterson,Neal
Subject:MANAGEMENT DIRECTIVE: Week #10_01: Fix it or changes will be made
Importance: High
To the KC_based managers:

I have gone over the top. I have been making this point for over one year.

We are getting less than 40 hours of work from a large number of our
KC-based EMPLOYEES. The parking lot is sparsely used at 8AM; likewise
at 5PM. As managers — you either do not know what your EMPLOYEES are
doing; or YOU do not CARE. You have created expectations on the work
effort which allowed this to happen inside Cerner, creating a very
unhealthy environment. In either case, you have a problem and you will
fix it or I will replace you.

NEVER in my career have I allowed a team which worked for me to think
they had a 40 hour job. I have allowed YOU to create a culture which
is permitting this. NO LONGER.

At the end of next week, I am plan to implement the following:
1. Closing of Associate Center to EMPLOYEES from 7:30AM to 6:30PM.
2. Implementing a hiring freeze for all KC based positions. It will
require Cabinet approval to hire someone into a KC based team. I chair
our Cabinet.
3. Implementing a time clock system, requiring EMPLOYEES to ‘punch in’
and ‘punch out’ to work. Any unapproved absences will be charged to
the EMPLOYEES vacation.
4. We passed a Stock Purchase Program, allowing for the EMPLOYEE to
purchase Cerner stock at a 15% discount, at Friday’s BOD meeting. Hell
will freeze over before this CEO implements ANOTHER EMPLOYEE benefit
in this Culture.
5. Implement a 5% reduction of staff in KC.
6. I am tabling the promotions until I am convinced that the ones
being promoted are the solution, not the problem. If you are the
problem, pack you bags.

I think this parental type action SUCKS. However, what you are doing,
as managers, with this company makes me SICK. It makes sick to have to
write this directive.

I know I am painting with a broad brush and the majority of the KC
based associates are hard working, committed to Cerner success and
committed to transforming health care. I know the parking lot is not a
great measurement for ‘effort’. I know that ‘results’ is what counts,
not ‘effort’. But I am through with the debate.

We have a big vision. It will require a big effort. Too many in KC are
not making the effort.

I want to hear from you. If you think I am wrong with any of this,
please state your case. If you have some ideas on how to fix this
problem, let me hear those. I am very curious how you think we got
here. If you know team members who are the problem, let me know.
Please include (copy) Kynda in all of your replies.

I STRONGLY suggest that you call some 7AM, 6PM and Saturday AM team
meetings with the EMPLOYEES who work directly for you. Discuss this
serious issue with your team. I suggest that you call your first
meeting — tonight. Something is going to change.

I am giving you two weeks to fix this. My measurement will be the
parking lot: it should be substantially full at 7:30 AM and 6:30 PM.
The pizza man should show up at 7:30 PM to feed the starving teams
working late. The lot should be half full on Saturday mornings. We
have a lot of work to do. If you do not have enough to keep your teams
busy, let me know immediately.

Folks this is a management problem, not an EMPLOYEE problem.
Congratulations, you are management. You have the responsibility for
our EMPLOYEES. I will hold you accountable. You have allowed this to
get to this state. You have two weeks. Tick, tock

Neal …..
Chairman & Chief Executive Officer
Cerner Corporation
2800 Rockcreek Parkway; Kansas City, Missouri 64117
“We Make Health Care Smarter”

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