How Intuit Reinvents Itself

Taped to the wall outside Intuit CEO Brad Smith’s office is his unedited performance review from the board of directors. Also a personality analysis, a compendium of feedback from his executive team, and a breakdown of how he spends his time. Most of it is laudatory; some isn’t. “A normalized pace would be good,” his team says. “This guy is always on hyperkinetic energy.” Sometimes “his feedback is wrapped in so much niceness—we’d love to hear straight up, ‘Look, you fumbled.’ ” The board thinks he should “be willing to have more unstructured conversations—not everything buttoned up.” (Smith admits he’s so highly structured that his email in-box is empty at the end of every day and “I have two fingers between the hangers in my closet.”) The board also thinks he needs “to be willing to give constructive feedback in public.” That will be another challenge. Smith says, “My heart won’t let me do that.”

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