“… the most important piece of information I came away with is what you shared with me about culture”
Question: When a potential home buyer walks through one of your homes are they sold on why they should purchase from you through whomever happens to be working in the home at the time? If not, then culture is probably the culprit!
Culture: noun | the beliefs, customs, arts, etc., of a particular society, group, place, or time. Merriam-Webster
If vision is where you want your company to go, strategy is how your company will get there, and culture is how they will feel about it! So how do we put replace fizzle with sizzle in your organizations culture? One of my favorite people Dr. John Tolson in his book The Four Priorities give four great steps that I have found to be solid for creating an awesome culture!
1) Commitment – when Dr. Tolson talks about commitment he isn’t referring to a vision or a strategy, he is referring to people. The first step to creating a strong culture is making a commitment to your people.
Commitment is something that you make up your mind to do. It is like a home’s foundation in the since that it is covered by landscaping on the outside and by flooring on the inside. People don’t see commitment just like they don’t see the foundation. But if you have a lousy commitment then you probably have a lousy foundation and you will need to hire more customer service reps. Big money!
2) Communication – one of the most prevalent failures in communication is listening.
In the home building business we need products and services so that we have a product to sell. Often we shop those products based on price, lead time, and features but we fail to open the lines of communication. Communication requires two very important things: talking and listening. When conducting business with: our supply chain, employees, or customers we need to actively listen so that they have the best possible opportunity to succeed in their part of the process. Often we purchase expensive systems that don’t work because we input them with bad info. Remember the 3L’s phrase: ‘listening lessens lead times’ and we all know what that mean… time is money.
3) Care – caring is not costly but not caring will empty your bank account!
Caring is a lot like second level sub floor. Once the sheet rock and flooring surfaces are applied no one can see the sub floor but it doesn’t take long when walking on it to realize if its strong or not!
4) Courting – courting is caring out loud. Do people feel secure communicating with you?
The odds are highly unlikely if you haven’t effectively shown them that you heard them beyond the legal level of “If I do this then you’ll do that”. Communicating at the legal level is fine if the status quo is what you’re after. However, if you are wanting you company to grow beyond your abilities then you must learn to communicate at the listening level. The best way to do this is to start listening for personal ques. For example, when you notice that someone is a sports fan then ask them about their favorite team. Don’t go out and buy them box seats! Do make it a point to watch the box scores and congratulate them when their team does well.
Don’t let a bad or weak culture be the culprit:
I promise that if you will start small you will win big by enlisting these four steps to building a great culture of people who will actively be a part of your strategy that will empower your vision.