Any manager who submits a printout that violates our

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followed. Any manager who submits a printout that violates our policy gets it back with a note to do it right—which means very few managers ever submit faulty printouts. The system is simple, effective, and consistent. It’s natural to ask whether the systems I’ve described can work in companies much bigger than Cypress. I don’t know. But I do know that if they can’t, then these companies are probably unmanageable. We respect the limitations of size. I am absolutely convinced that any small group of smart, dedicated, hard-working professionals can beat any large group of average professionals with superior resources. There comes a point in any organization’s evolution when adding more people, more buildings, and more equipment reduces overall productivity. I believe that point is somewhere in the neighborhood of $100 million in annual revenues for a semiconductor company. Which is why Cypress today is not one company with total revenues of $200 million but five distinct companies linked by a common strategy, vision, and management systems. We have chosen to fund our growth with a venture-capital model, seeding new ventures under the Cypress umbrella. Our first startup, Cypress Semiconductor (Texas), was the Round Rock wafer fab. Aspen Semiconductor was founded in 1987 to design and develop new categories of logic chips. Multichip Technology was founded in 1988 to combine multiple chips into memory subsystems. Ross Technology, our fourth No Excuses Management https://hbr.org/1990/07/no-excuses-management 24 of 28 6/14/2018, 2:27 AM
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retention arguments, you may want me to become involved to help set the overall strategy. This strategy should be defined and refined on the very same day the employee resigns. Typically, an employee will have quit because of a “push” of some sort involving long-standing frustration at Cypress and a “pull” from another company where the grass looks greener. In some cases, realism will dictate that we can’t keep the employee. Ninety percent of the time, however, we can make a good argument that it is in the employee’s bets interest to stay at Cypress. 6. Use all the horsepower at your disposal to win. With a carefully constructed strategy, we can proceed to win back the employee. Think of what we’ve already done on day one. The employee got the message that quitting was a big deal because of our rapid reaction to the resignations. We reminded the employee that the company was truly interested in him or her because we took as long as needed to listen to what was wrong. On the second day, the employee should get the message that quitting was a mistake, that the company knows it was a mistake, and that we will single-mindedly try to rectify that mistake. Cypress will accept only two answers to our proposal to stay: yes, or we’ll talk about it some more.
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