Better Culture, Better Life

Let's Ring in the New Year with Some Good Vibration

Ever heard of a shotgun wedding? It’s like this new thing we call “Shotgun Blog”. Apparently if I don’t get married to 600 words or less soon, my eyes might be looking down a 12-gauge double barrel held by my editor and chief. In fact, brevity is the lifeline of leadership. Too many blah, blah, blahs and you’ve lost everyone!

I started with this lead in because today we visit the all-important subject of company culture. Next to leadership, it is the most important aspect of a business. It’s talked about enough, but you could also liken it to the EQ (Emotional Intelligence) factor in leadership. It’s an intangible asset that doesn’t show up on your Income Statement but it’s responsible for all the results there!

That’s no hokey, pokey, turn yourself around crap either. Without a strong, well defined, positive culture, you’re going to find yourself trying to run in the mud. No traction, no speed of change, and most certainly no chance of holding on to the top tier talent.

I was talking with s Dealer this week, lets call him JC, and the discussion was about trying to get the veterans of the team to accept change. Amen. I think you are going to pray for that to happen! Certainly not an uncommon problem that many leaders face, but also not one that is insurmountable.  It just takes a few easy(?) steps and a lifetime commitment to make it happen.

The first thing JC was concerned about was losing those designer/salespeople that have performed well over the years and the fact that good people are hard to find. Boy, that’s a new one! 😊 Now, some managers…. oops, I mean leaders, might take the approach of letting those people stay in their corner and sunset out while building up change around them. It feels good to dream every now and then, doesn’t it? Yea…if only. The reality of the situation is that going just part way isn’t going to cut it.

I mean you can’t build half a culture like you wouldn’t want to build half a sandcastle. When the wave of change comes crashing in and the integrity of your castle is tested, well you can guess what will happen.

Now are we just going to club the “stuckers” over the head to get them to fall in line? Wishful thinking but maybe a better idea is to get them involved in the group conversation about what the company culture stands for. Now you may have done this exercise 10 years ago and now the list of core values is well hidden in a dusty drawer and hasn’t been seen or talked about since.

One thing I still need to get better at is that less is best. I know many may balk at this idea but let’s not try to have a Vision, Mission, Purpose Statement and throw in Core Values just for kicks and giggles. Who is going to be able to remember and abide by all that?

I had a visit with 10 managers at a company that were so proud to tell me that the Vision and Mission statement along with the Core values had all been completed that year, but those same managers couldn’t tell me what they said. My, oh my. If they don’t know, then I am pretty sure the team has no idea.

Too many times, some manager reads or hears about the process of putting these together…like close your eyes and picture your favorite animal and that will lead you down the path…I am thinking along the lines of a dodo bird. 😊

Keep it simple Simon! Just do your core values to start and maybe end with. And not 102 codes of conduct…let’s shoot for 5 or less. Yep, go ahead and do 10 or more but I wonder what the chances are that your people can remember them all? For my own personal safety, I bring this rendition of “As the Culture Turns” to an end. More to come.

Please don’t miss our next webinar, “The Customer Service Revolution” on December 13th at Noon EST. It’s good for .1 CEU for NKBA

Plenty of discussion on building a Culture of Customer Service!

Come join the Change!

Let’s do this!

Thad

PS Ugh! 732 words. Lucky for me I got a stay of execution because of the holidays! Enjoy the season!