Your culture drives everything. That's where we start, regardless of the strategy sought or the immediate issue that needs attention. That's because everything else you do with your organization should reinforce your culture. Your culture is created by everything those at the top do, say, promote, or allow. That can happen by intention or default. We use the following "7 Keys" to help organizations move from culture by default to culture by intention - where there is a consistent message, behavior, and alignment. Doing so creates an “Open Door” not just so employees can be free to bring issues to leadership, but where leadership seeks employee input. We call that a two-way Open Door! When that exists, organizations move from having entitled employees to a team that thinks like owners.
1. Cultivate Your Culture
We help organizations figure out who they really are, and who they want to be. We help them communicate that so it's blatantly clear to those on their team and those who think they may want to be. Though Mission, Vision, and Values are great, they're often done kind of generically and in some cases poorly. There's so much more to it than that. We create strategies that work with your culture, identify patterns that do and don't reinforce it, and coach leaders on how to stay true to it.
2. Define “it”
“Do It Right the First Time.” Phil Crosby coined that phrase. He also used to say that in order for people to do it right the first time, they had to know what the “It” is. I would add to that, then we need to define what the 'it" is. We help organizations set expectations in terms of responsibilities, behaviors, norms, parameters, outcomes, and means to those outcomes, all in a way that people can relate to, understand, and embrace. We further help organizations articulate unacceptable outcomes and behaviors, describing expectations not only in terms of what will be effective but also what won’t be.
Professional Sports Teams and the military have a better idea of what recruitment means. They don’t do it as a one-time event; they are constantly re-enlisting their best. We help organizations do more than just recruit people for jobs; we help them enlist people in their mission. We help organizations define and create their own “Enviable Employment Brand,” and find people who are wired the same way. We create tailored team member selection techniques and strategies, train leaders in how to use those, and assist in the selection process when needed.
4. Speak the Truth
Most people hate performance appraisals. There are good reasons for that. But people like honest feedback, giving them credit for what they do well, and highlighting things they can work on to grow. We encourage more frequent dialogue about accomplishments and concerns but in a very unconventional manner. And we tailor the process, the mechanism, and the training to fit the organization. We also coach managers through challenging discussions, and serve as a 3rd party or facilitator when useful.
5. Appreciate & Recognize
The best forms of appreciation and recognition are not necessarily monetary, but rather, those which create a trophy value or those which create a residual value... a memory. The only way that works is with solutions that are tailored to the organization and its individuals. We help create ways to appreciate effort and honor success that fit the organization, drive dollars back into the organization’s network, and create positive PR events out of them where possible.
6. Create Ownership
An entitlement mentality is prevalent in our day, and nowhere is this more obvious than in the employment relationship. Makes sense – when we’ve allowed the employment relationship to become a transactional one, people are treated as an asset, or a commodity. Much of the way people are paid produces entitlement. We refer to that as “butt in chair” compensation. We help organizations create a team with more of an ownership mentality by using pay and rewards to reinforce your culture. We design ways to reward significant contributions to strategic goals, to focus employees on the things that business owners focus on, and to reward behaviors, all without annuitizing the reward.
7. Correct for Success
Most people shy away from confrontation. Bosses don’t have that luxury. There is a skill that can be developed, practiced, and used effectively to do more than just address a problem; it can improve behavior and increase alignment. We help business leaders address the people problems in their organization through a "Correction Model" that works, rather than hoping problems or people will go away. We coach leaders on dealing with challenging team members, coach team members on performance improvements, facilitate difficult conversations, and help both parties part ways and get closure when things are at an impasse.