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Key to Dell’s success: no unnecessary steps

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in Hiring,Human Resources

At age 8, Michael Dell answered an ad in a comic book promising a high school diploma by taking a simple test. The saleswoman who showed up at the Dells’ door a few weeks later nearly fainted when “Mr.Michael Dell” turned out to be a kid in a red bathrobe.

It’s a funny story, but it illustrates one of the keys to Dell’s lifelong ability to get ahead fast: To move forward faster, eliminate unnecessary steps whenever possible.

Here are two ways Dell has put this philosophy to work:

1. In the most famous example, Dell leapfrogged IBM by opting to sell computers directly to consumers instead of through bricks-and mortar retailers.

2. Dell “hires ahead” by recruiting people who cannot only perform the job that’s vacant but also the next two or three up the promotional ladder.

— Adapted from Direct from Dell: Strategies that Revolutionized an Industry, Michael Dell, Harper Business.

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