YOU CAN SMELL A culture. How does your culture smell? Does it smell good, or does it stink? Do you have a culture by design, or by default? At times, it can be difficult to identify your culture since you are part of it. Spend 30 minutes at a company, and you can describe the culture. Every company has a culture, so identify the key factors you seek and manage them accordingly. When I think of leaders and culture, Herb Kelleher and Jack Welch come to mind. In Southwest Airlines and GE, we have two companies where the leaders established a culture and worked to ensure it permeated the enterprise. While both leaders and companies were effective in establishing their respective cultures and delivering solid bottom-line results, their cultures were different in design. But, designed they were. Culture headliners at Southwest have been fun, empowerment and teamwork. At GE, we see training and communication as the headliners. Companies that “manage their cultures well” over time consistently outperform companies that don’t. Revenues increased 682 percent vs. 166 percent; stock prices increased 901 percent vs. 74 percent; net income increased 756 percent vs. 1 percent; job growth increased 282 percent vs. 36 percent. I’ve identified three ingredients of their business successes: vision, key people in key spots, and culture.
Five Design Mandates
Here are five ideas to jump-start your design of a winning culture.
Create a work environment that is challenging, satisfying, and fun. Storytelling can be the most effective tool to ensure the culture message resonates. People often forget concepts, but remember stories. So, spend more time sharing stories that underscore your desired culture. Stories are simple, timeless, and memorable.
What percent of your time is spent on designing and implementing your culture? Don’t rush to the urgent at the expense of the important.
Jack Daly is an executive coach, international speaker and the author Hyper Sales Growth, The Sales Playbook for Hyper Sales Growth and Paper Napkin Wisdom.
Copyright © 2018 Jack Daly