How to Succeed in 2007
We asked 50 of the brightest minds in business how they do what they do - and how you can cash in on their advice in the year ahead.
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Edgar Bronfman Jr.
Edgar Bronfman Jr.
CEO, Warner Music Group
Turn Gripe Sessions Into Brainstorms
The first thing I did when we bought Warner Music was to fly to every major location and hold town hall meetings. I introduced myself, told them why we bought the company and what our vision was. I followed that up with regular town halls.

I also have what we call employee roundtables, where every other month I'm meeting with 15 or 20 junior-level employees, and we hold completely confidential two-hour sessions. I've held them in New York, Los Angeles, Nashville, London, other European cities, and Hong Kong. I usually start them off with a 15-minute soliloquy on where I think the company is headed and what I want to accomplish from the meeting. Once the discussion starts, it's very free-form. Everything that happens in that conference room remains confidential within the group. So if people have criticisms that involve a more senior person in the company, nobody gets threatened, which is both informative to me and also builds a feeling of trust between the employees and their senior leadership.

It's a little like going to an AA meeting. You make a pledge and ask them to honor their commitment. As it turns out, because you give people that freedom, it doesn't turn into a gripe session. Instead they give us ideas about how to make the company better. There are waiting lists now for these roundtables.
 What do you think it will take in 2007 to succeed in business? E-mail the editors here.
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