When crafting the 2019 Culture Tune up series, the outline of topics was laid out on the calendar and as Kismet would have it the topic of “Promises” landed on Valentine’s Day 2019. Sometimes the larger events of the universe just show up to surprise us. Such was the case when this week’s topic landed on the commercial or business holiday of Valentine’s Day. A day when people extend heart felt touches to those they love and have intimate feelings for and about.
We touch on “Promise” this week to get you thinking about the genuine commitment to Tuning up your culture. The word “Promise” engenders lots of dynamics among people. Some take their promises very seriously while others see promises as them being meant to be broken. It is for these reasons that “Promise Culture,” the framework by which we are traveling along this Culture Tune up was captured so that all those seeking to be bigger, larger, greater contributor to whatever they are doing would have the opportunity to make a personal “Promise” to themselves. This binds them to the commitment not just because they make a statement but because it touches at the intrinsic level. The essence of their most core presence.
Promises that evolve from a systemic or simply a transaction level are easy to break. Promises which come from the heart, the intrinsic level of the person and based in core values, principles and align with the passion are not only longterm sustainable but grow and mature as they nurture in time.
Some readers might be wondering what place this whole “feelings” based energy has in business. For years, this side of business has been downplayed. The reality is that such things as Emotional Intelligence has finally got the light it deserves. We are human beings and as such, we have emotions. How we choose to navigate emotions and bring them to the benefit of self and business is a differentiator in both personal endeavors and the marketplace.
Part of the Culture Tune up is to begin to understand, appreciate and engage from the core level of both self and the business to make and keep “Promises.” They emanate from the intrinsic portion of the people and the organization. It is well documented that past generations who embraced these concepts and the upcoming generation who are desiring a deeper engagement to “Purpose” and values that the overall results were and will be substantially greater than those living and executing by transactions alone.
This week is not the time to make “Promises.” The promises will come when you have the next major component of success more fully embraced in your organization and that is the people. The relationships which are the key and critical ingredient to all business success.
Promise Culture beginning to sort itself out in your business? Give JKL Associates a call so we can help you formulate and put in place your best foundation for future success.
By now you have a set of Core Values and some Principles by which you are beginning to shape the culture of your company. If you have not yet rolled them out, that is ok. Some of you took that initiative and others are waiting for this to gel a bit more first. Both are completely good plans of action. If you are confused by this then kindly go to the website and check out the past couple of weeks to get up to speed on Tuning up your Culture.
Some of you might be asking yourself where Vision and Mission comes into this framework. They are absolutely part of it but let’s not get the cart too far in front of the horse. In some models the approach is to start with vision and mission and move into goals etc. Over the years we have found that we need to go deeper into the intrinsic aspect of the business first before a truly meaningful vision and sub mission can be crafted to achieve the end game.
Our next step is to have you craft your “Purpose” statement. Yes, it may sound like vision or mission, but this has everything to do with “WHY” and not what the end picture or sub mission have to do with getting to the vision. It is typically here where the question of why are you in business is answered – make money. Sorry, but that is not the real why – that is a result of having a why.
Simon Sinek, Author (“Start with Why”), TED talk specialist and his team has great insights into this aspect of defining your “Purpose” or “WHY.” Basically, to have a culture where you attract the best talent and they are ready to engage fully there MUST be a much deeper reason and meaning for your business to exist. People are intrinsically drawn to organizations which support their own personal values and “Why.” The current younger and future generations are at the forefront of needing this in a work environment. Working just to make money is not a singular driving force. In today’s world, reasonable compensation is a given or you can’t even attract talent. Beyond money is “Purpose.”
We don’t typically take the time to explore this level of our business, so it will potentially feel awkward. You may struggle to wrap your mind around a purpose for your organization. Don’t get frustrated. Feel refreshed in the fact that you are not alone. This journey of your cultural tune-up is going to place you on some uncharted roads. If you are not willing to explore what will make you better, then it is time you throw in the towel.
This week start the mind thinking about the “Purpose” or “WHY” your business exists. Take a look at your core values and principles. They just might trigger some thoughts of why you started the business or keep it going. Possibly start with asking yourself – What is it that your business contributes to so that something can be better? Think about the stories that capture your best moments. What themes can you extract from these stories that capture your deeper “Purpose?”
Need to jumpstart your “Purpose” thinking? Give JKL Associates a call and lets get your thinking cap engaged.
With “Core Values” in hand from last weeks communication (see prior weeks at the website) we are building a foundation and framework by which your organizations’ culture can not only be vibrant but demonstrates the integrity of your business.
You now need to move from the process of thinking into doing. Those key core values of your business must now become the very fabric by which your organization ebbs and flows going forward. It is time to turn your words into actions and behaviors which everyone can relate to and execute. If you have not already given definitions to your core value words this would be a good first step. This allows everyone to understand and appreciate the intent of the core values of the business. Each of us has our own personal core values and you are not asking your team to give up their own identity or values when working with you in the business. What you are asking is that while engaged in actions between fellow employees, customer, vendors etc. that they adopt the business values so that all transactions are given the comparable respect to the core values of the business.
As part of the core values process, you need to extend those values into principles that incorporate the values intent with a direct and meaningful way of conducting business actions. The principles give a larger bandwidth to your core values. For example, you may have a core value of “Customer,” the principle behind the value is that all customers, both internally and externally are to be treated with respect and given the greatest possible experience. In fact, this principle may incorporate multiple core values into a single principle.
By defining clear and concise principles, you and your team have the ability to have touch points to filter all situations through so that a consistent end result is possible. These principles provide a framework so that the expectations are not just spoken but lived daily in your business. Going back to your value of “Customer” you may have a principle that the telephone is answered in 2 rings and no one is on hold for more than 30 seconds. This principle again incorporates possibly multiple values but sets a definition of behavior to those values.
This week refine your “Core Values” and your “Principles” so that with these in place you and your team have a playbook by which to be successful in the game you consciously choose to play in.
Working in your business have you distracted from getting your “Core Values” and “Principles” defined and in place? Give JKL Associates a call if you need to engage a Promise Guide to jump start your efforts.
Last week we started a dialogue on culture in your business. Your takeaway was to look at your organization and capture what was the culture you were witnessing, and the impact it was having either good or not so great. So, the question is – did you do that?
If you are just getting to reading this and need a framework to build from, take a look at the prior week’s post to orient you for tuning up your culture in 2019.
At the conference I attended last week, there were many great speakers and presentations to bring credibility to the impact positive culture has on businesses. It is generally hard to make a direct return on investment (ROI) in tangible dollars to the bottom line. When it comes to the softer side of running your business most companies don’t measure these aspects. Moving forward, more of these metrics capturing will be showing up and providing additional evidence. It will demonstrate your need to make your business culture a key component to the organization’s success.
This week let’s get started with you thinking about the “Core Values” which you guide and filter all decision made in the business. Do you have “Core Values?” Have you looked at them recently? Can you directly attach them to the actions and behaviors of your staff on a transaction by transaction basis or are they just used when convenient? In our experience organizations that may indicate they have core values must go to a binder or some document to tell us what they are. This just proves the point. Core Values can’t be words on paper. They must be lived on a moment by moment basis. They MUST be top of mind by everyone in the business and vividly apparent to your external customers as well.
If you have “Core Values” and they are not active in use, then now is the time to pull them back out and revisit. If you don’t have “Core Values,” then now is the time to GET THEM. Once you have them you will be surprised how they can be part of everything in your business. From the ads run to hire talent, to navigating conflicts both internally and externally. This raises a good point; “Core Values” are not some utopic set of words or phrases that eliminates all problems or conflicts. What they do is provide a guidance system to help reduce issues by empowering everyone in the organization to hold true to them universally.
When reviewing your “Core Values” or crafting them stick to the critical few not the laundry list of points you want to convey to the team. Every organization is different but somewhere between 4 and 6 or 7 keeps the focus on the key values without leaving important items off and not diluting the whole bunch by having too many.
This week go forward and dig into your “Core Values” so you can begin to tune up of your companies’ culture.
Do “Core Values” have you in idle mode? No Problem, pick up the phone and give us a call to help you get started.>p>
As you read this, I have recently returned from an industry conference on the impact of “Culture” on the success of businesses. Over the past few years, there has been a growing appreciation for the role that business culture has on the overall performance of a business. From impacting the environment and relationships between employees and customers to attracting the best talent and keeping them engaged and contributing to the organization’s purpose.
We have all seen company vision and mission statements and blew them off as just words on paper or a nice plaque in the lobby. We all have unfortunately experienced less than a great customer experience only to have it followed up with an even less valued experience telling us they were sorry etc. I’m here to let you know that this does not have to be the norm. In fact, it can’t be the norm if your organization is going to thrive moving forward.
Every organization has their challenges, stumbles and makes mistakes. You try to avoid them and when they happen you take steps to hopefully eliminate them from reoccurring in the future. The goal is not to have great systems for responding to the failure. It MUST be to have a great framework that enables your organization’s talent to take care of business from the very beginning. This is where your business culture can either shine and be engaging or where it simply exists as words on paper.
This “Culture” thing can be sometimes a mystery to both business owners and staff. Everybody can talk about it in generalities, but it can be difficult to put your finger on it or describe it in a way in which others could understand. For example, try describing how you emotionally love someone. There is more to the description than some words can convey to the degree you want them to take on. This is the type and intensity you should want your business culture to be.
So how do you get there?
Over the next 12 weeks join us on a Journey. Our weekly communication will walk you through the steps to look at your culture. What it really is or is not. This journey will lay out the steps, so you can then decide where you want to take your company’s culture.
This week look at your organization through the lens of a third-party observer. What do they see and how would they describe your company’s culture? Jot down what you observe and think about your current culture. Capture not just your observations but also what is causing it and what would be improved should it get tuned up in 2019.
Want a more personalized Culture Tune-Up in 2019? Call JKL Associates at (313) 527-7945 and let’s start a conversation.
We have the broad sense of culture living in the United States. Maybe we also have strong ties to our heritage and the cultural bounty it brings to our families. The foods, traditions, music all add such value and energy to the experience of living. Culture is also very much alive in your business. Possibly your business culture is defined, and everyone is living it daily. You may also be experiencing a shift in your culture with changes in leadership through retirements or the merger of cultures through acquisition. Quite possibly your culture is not even understood or realized it exists in your organization. Rest assured, the culture is there. The larger question is – does it contribute to your future success or is it contributing to roadblocks in your path to greater success?
This week I encourage you to take a look at your business culture and begin to understand its’ impact on what you are trying to accomplish in 2019. What roadblocks might you be able to resolve by having a vibrant culture where empowerment and accountability are the lifeblood of your business? Can you attract the best resources by having an environment which not just provides a job but a culture where people truly enjoy what they do and how they contribute? Consider doing the same as we do. Set a theme for growth and cultural improvement for 2019.
Wondering what your theme should be? Call JKL Associates and we will assist you in formulating your theme for 2019..
Moving forward in 2019 you should already have your goals and objectives identified and the appropriate strategies and tactics laid out to effectively achieve them. If not, then it is definitely not too late to get that put in place. When I talk to some leaders, they procrastinate on setting goals and objectives. They may be put some generally obscure plan of attack in place because they like to fall back on the perception that no matter what they plan it is going to change so why waste the time putting the plan in place, to begin with.
That is the whole reason to plan out your future to begin with. Yes, the plan is going to change when new information comes forward and based on its direct impact on the plan gets incorporated accordingly. Without the plan, it is far more difficult to determine the impact. Without the plan, the new data just gets tossed into the current bundle of actions and hopefully sorts itself out along the way.
I do agree that business plans need to be agile and flexible. If it is too rigid of a plan or set of steps, then when changes happen, it is too difficult to incorporate them without a total rewrite of the plan of attack. In being flexible I don’t support vague directions but allow for possible transitions which market or industry trends are foreshadowing.
This week if you are behind on laying out your 2019 plans then you have work in front of you. If they are ready to roll out, then get them into the hands of your team to let them run with them. If you are already down the path with plans and rollouts complete, then it is time to work on the business and not fall back into working in the business. Your goals and objectives with their supporting plans are a prime example of working on the business. If they are dependent on you to implement, then you designed a plan to drag yourself back into working on the business. Just maybe you need to transfer execution to your team and be there to prop them back up when they falter rather than them holding you up to work on the plan.
Still need assistance in getting the ball rolling for 2019? Call JKL Associates to help you get started.
May 2019 bring great rewards to you and your business.
May 2019 include fun and enjoyment along the journey.
May 2019 be the year you make a conscious commitment to that next big goal which will take you beyond your comfort zone into the next best level of yourself.
If you live in the northern half of the United States then you may be familiar with the statement that we actually only have two seasons – Winter and Construction. Although we joke about the challenges both of these seasons cause for travel the reality is that both do in fact cause driving conditions to be less than ideal. We are not especially fond of slipping around on ice and snow nor are we happy when the primary route to a destination is closed for road work.
We do know that in both cases they are temporary issues. The sun will, in fact, come up tomorrow and heat things up to melt the snow and ice. The construction crew will continue to place the concrete or asphalt and the road surface will be much better to travel on instead of potholes. Both of these temporary situations get improved through understanding that it is temporary and that the next day, week or month will be much better than the past.
When working with our clients there are times that the business must pass through Constructive Conflict Zones. These are times when there is a conflict between one state of the business and a desired different state of the business. If these transition points are not navigated correctly then the amount of time and resources spent in the transition can be a lot more than should have been expended and the end results could very well not be the best end result.
It might be like mixing the laying of asphalt on a road that is covered with ice. Although the hot asphalt may lay down on the roadway the resulting water trapped underneath will only pop or buckle the repair when the temperature drops to freezing. The end result is more cost and more downtime for the road creating more conflict for drivers.
In order to drive around these potential potholes of conflict in your business, you need a culture where conflict is not a negative environment but viewed and embraced as a positive. A let’s improve mentality. Although relatively easy to say, the implementation of such a culture is more demanding. People must be allowed to voice their input and people must be open to hear and give real consideration to alternate points of view.
This is why we refer to these as “Constructive Conflict Zones” as opposed to destructive zones. As leaders, it is incumbent upon you to lay the foundation and support the environment for “Constructive” zones in your business. By having a well-defined set of core values and principles as a guidance system you can build upon that framework to allow for an engaging environment to support positive dialogue.
This week as you wrap up 2018 and look to beginning a new calendar year, take some time to look at the environment of your company. Is there an opportunity to improve the “Constructive Conflict Zones” so you can move your organization forward in 2019?
Interested in improving your company culture in 2019? Time to call in the experts – JKL Associates at (313) 527-7945.