At a recent presentation in Melbourne, the importance of organisational culture and more specifically culture centricity was of keen discussion. Wikipedia defines organisational culture as having to do with the "behavior of humans within an organisation and the meaning that people attach to those behaviours." Investing in the goodwill, systematic improvement and aptitude of your people while aligning current staff with company values, passion and an understanding of the company mission, is the quickest way to growth and improved culture; from the inside, out.
When Steve Jobs held interviews, conferences, talks and lectures about Apple's success, the room and audience were often filled up primarily with people who were in the same frame of mind as him (or wanted to be). These people who shared his vision and desire for success through innovation were closer or more aligned for success than people who weren’t.
Lets jump right in and talk about the 3 most potent myths surrounding Strategy and Culture;
Myth: The Customer is #1
Actual: Your People are #1
Believing the customer is #1 is akin to going to war without soldiers understanding why they’re giving up their life. Think BRAVEHEART – FREEDOM and the liberation of Scotland from the English. Knowing and understanding your WHY for business solidifies purpose, resolve and the probability of success. For employers who would like staff to give 110% time and energy – remuneration is not enough, they have to believe in the cause or an individual/CEO/Owner in the business who encapsulates this cause. Usually this cause for growth (your WHY for business) is a much grander picture, and has synergy with personal beliefs of the employee.
Myth: We are only here to make money
Actual: Business is a tool to experience financial, cultural and personal growth
Its easy to get 20/20 focused on profit, shareholder value and balance sheets. Ultimately, your customers buy from your sales people. Your sales people are either aligned or unaligned with company core values. Remember there are no results within company walls, the results and income of any business are with your amazed and satisfied customers. Employee alignment and satisfaction directly relates to sales outcomes. Vis-à-vis, taking care of your people translates to taking care of the bottom line.
Myth: Your WHY for business isn’t important
Actual: If you want an amazing business; It’s Everything
Customers can buy a product or service from your competitor. Why do they buy from your specifically? Do staff understand why you’re in business? Good staff need to understand but more so believe why they’re working for a specific organisation. When everyone understands the WHY (the passion and reason of the business), people get focused on tasks – and almost always go above and beyond their job description.
Successful organisations understand why they do what they do and then usually communicate that message to its customers. Customers will not care about your WHY unless your people do. When this message is echoed, heard and understood, staff 'believers' come on board. Its crucial to embrace these believers as they are your building blocks to propel you forward. These people understand WHY your vision will work and on sell their now new found beliefs to your customers. Then something wonderful happens. Your customers become believers also. And this belief is your vehicle to propel your business into the future while being your distinctive difference customers buy from you.
Investing in your people means investing in the future of business growth. When a company puts processes in front of people, it’ll be on a never-ending search for 'aligned employees'. Barry x
Barry is the #1 International Best Selling Author of The 11 Master Secrets to Business Success and Personal Fulfillment. He is available for speaking engagements, strategy implementation, and talks surrounding the most destructive business and personal habits which stop us from achieving growth. He is Director and founder of industry Agency ShoeCircle.com.au and a 40110 retail training and assessment officer.