Recession Prep Question: Do you have an unbeatable strategy of loving customers… and employees?

This week we’ve been working through the customer experience, the employee experience and culture. We know that all three, when in sync creates a solid foundation from which to grow upon. It’s this foundation that will enable a business to not only survive but thrive during periods of economic uncertainty. Key will be monitoring and evaluating data as if it were line items on a profit and loss statement.

To me, the best and most effective way to monitor and evaluate customer experience is to utilize the Net Promoter System. I’m a firm believer in this system. As you work through the system, you’ll quickly realize how it can also be used to monitor and evaluate the employee experience, and ultimately the culture of an organization or brand.

If you’re not aware of this remarkable system, I highly recommend checking it out at NetPromoterSystem.com. From score to system, one simple question can enhance customer loyalty and employee performance. It’s more than a metric—it’s a way of doing business. It’s about creating a culture focused on the customer.

“Few management ideas have spread so far and wide as the Net Promoter System. Since its conception almost two decades ago, by customer loyalty guru Fred Reichheld, thousands of companies around the world have adopted it – from industrial titans such as Mercedes-Benz and Cummins to tech giants like Apple and Amazon to digital innovators such as Warby Parker and Peloton.”

– From the cover jacket of the recently published book, Winning on Purpose: The Unbeatable Strategy of Loving Customers by Fred Reichheld.

The Net Promoter System separates detractors from promoters. A score is determined by subtracting the percentage of customers who are detractors from the percentage who are promoters. What is generated is a score between -100 and 100. This is referred to as the Net Promoter Score (also referred to as NPS).

Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a measure used to gauge customer loyalty, satisfaction, and enthusiasm with a company that’s calculated by asking customers one question: “On a scale from 0 to 10, how likely are you to recommend this product/company to a friend or colleague?” Aggregate NPS scores help businesses improve upon service, customer support, delivery, etc. for increased customer loyalty.

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To measure employee experience, or let’s say the franchisee experience in a franchise system, and in any organization for that matter, the same question could be asked. These 20 words are so powerful when posed as a question and speak volumes as to the personal experience with a particular company, brand or organization. It can help businesses become better employers and improve employee retention. For the record, the Employee Net Promoter Score is referred to as eNPS.

The Net Promoter System takes things a step further because the question by itself is not enough to make the entire picture clear. So, the first question is followed up by asking the following question: What could have been done differently to make the experience better? Essentially, this question provides an opportunity for the responder to elaborate about the experience, to share their opinion and also to offer suggestions.

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NPS is quite simple.

Detractors fall into the group from 0-6 and considered not likely to recommend the business. The lower the score, the more this group will badmouth the business at every opportunity to do so. A score of 0-4 is alarming while a score from 5-6 could present opportunities to create a more positive opinion and a possible increase in score. I’ve actually had someone say to me, the fact that you’ve called to ask this question moves my experience from a 6 to an 8. As this occurs, at least you know this customer won’t be posting bad reviews. I have actually found customers that move their score up are somewhat likely to return.

A Passive group is next from 7-8 and considered to be ambivalent, meaning they have mixed feelings but not clearly defined one way or the other. Typically, what they really mean is the experience was okay and met their expectations. Most likely this group would not refer the business to others and will not post negative reviews or bash the business. Again, as exemplified above, customers may increase the score just by the fact they received a call. It’s certainly worth the effort, right?

Promoters are the top group. They score the experience at 9 or 10. These customers will be proactive in singing the company’s praises. They are loyal and are great ambassadors. As well, they will also come to the company’s rescue when they see another customer bashing the business. When that happens, it’s a beautiful sight to see, especially on review sites where there’s a piling on effect. Such is the world of what I refer to as, social rubbernecking which is akin to slowing down to look at the carnage from a catastrophic wreck on the other side of the highway.

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Calculating the Net Promoter Score is easy as it’s calculated by: Subtracting the percentage of detractors from the percentage of promoters. (The percentage of passives is not used in the formula.) For example, if 10% of respondents are detractors, 20% are passives and 70% are promoters, your NPS score would be 70-10 = 60.

Bain & Company research has established a strong link between organic growth and a company’s Net Promoter Score.

To establish the correlation between relative Net Promoter Scores and growth, Bain teams identified the relevant competitors in a business and measured the Net Promoter Score (NPS) of each competitor using the methodology and sampling approach in NPS Prism. These relative Net Promoter Scores were then correlated with organic growth measures, such as revenue where public data was available.

In most industries, Net Promoter Scores explained roughly 20% to 60% of the variation in organic growth rates among competitors. On average, an industry’s Net Promoter leader outgrew its competitors by a factor greater than two times.

In other words, a company’s NPS is a good indicator of its future growth. But the relationship is stronger in some industries than in others.

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According to Survey Sparrow, company culture defines the personality of your brand. A typical company culture includes the work environment, values, goals, and ethics. A strong workforce culture will also support their employees, listen to them, and engage with them. If you want to build a strong culture within your company, you have to ensure your employees work to their maximum potential. 

You may be surprised, but 33% of employees don’t believe their personal values align with company values. While 43% of employees are ready to leave their company because of poor culture. That’s why it’s crucial to use an eNPS score to understand what your employees think about your company. With employee net promoter score surveys, you can get a clear idea about your organizational culture. 

As per a study, companies that invested in employees, work culture, and customers grew revenue by 682%. Yes, that’s the power of good company culture and an engaged workforce. It’s important to measure your employees’ expectations, gather their feedback to drive culture.

One final thought. Imagine your Net Promoter Score listed on your profit & loss statement right below the bottom line. Would that get stakeholders’ attention? You bet it would!

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Can your company win by embracing a higher purpose? Yes, and this book tells you exactly how. And I highly recommend it!

In Winning on Purpose, Reichheld argues that the primary purpose of a business should be to enrich the lives of its customers. NPS does this by putting the Golden Rule—loving customers—at the heart of enduring business success. But winning on purpose isn’t easy. Reichheld explains why most NPS practitioners achieve just a small fraction of the system’s full potential and presents the newest thinking and best practices for doing NPS right. He unveils the Earned Growth Rate (EGR): the first reliable measure of what he calls “good profits.”

Delivering an engaging mix of in-depth business examples and moving personal stories, Reichheld distills and advances the essentials of NPS. Winning on Purpose is the must-listen story of the management phenomenon of our time—and your indispensable guide to making NPS the key to your own company’s success.

Have a great day. Make it happen. Make it count!

Help is just a message, phone call, email or text away!

The future may be a bit bumpy for some, more so for others. Knowing who to turn to and when to turn to for guidance and help is important. Having resources at your disposal is also important. So, if you hit a wall, for whatever reason, please feel free to reach out to us for assistance or even if you just need someone to talk to. Please do not hesitate. You can reach Paul Segreto on LinkedIn, by email to Paul@Acceler8Success.com, and by phone or text at (832) 797-9851. Learn more about Acceler8Success Group at Acceler8Success.com and also at Entrepreneurship411.com.

Bring the series to your organization

If you’re interested in having this series presented to your organization, either as a webinar, workshop or conference break-out session, please click HERE for more information. The program can be tailored to your business model, product, service offering and industry segment. It has been resonating quite well with franchise and restaurant brands.

Recession Prep Question: How important is the right culture to business survival?

I’m so glad I have your attention. I say that as I’m seeing significant increases in daily views of recent articles and subscribers at Acceler8Success Cafe. The reason, of course is the current series, ‘Preparing for War: You vs. Recession’. Well, we’re in this war together as it would be very hard to believe that any entrepreneur, restaurateur, solopreneur and any small business owner isn’t already being impacted by economic uncertainty. Preparing to win this war right now is paramount to our survival.

The past two articles in this series centered around positive experiences for customers and employees alike. The two go hand-in-hand like peas & carrots but actually more like peanut butter & jelly. Have you ever tried pulling apart a peanut butter & jelly sandwich? If you have the visual in your mind, you’ll picture the two substances essentially being stuck together.

And if you’re an aficionado of peanut butter & jelly sandwiches as I am, you’ll agree that the two ingredients to this wonderful sandwich are dependent upon each other. If you don’t agree, may I refer you to a section of bread that only has peanut butter with the jelly not having been spread to that corner. It’s just not as good as the rest of the sandwich.

The customer experience is dependent upon the employee experience. The employee experience is dependent upon the customer experience. It’s a simple, yet complex scenario. An employee has control of the customer experience in how he or she interacts with a customer and along with other components of the experience (environment and product), an employee, the one interacting with the customer enhances the experience. This employee is key to bringing it all together.

Conversely, an employee is dependent upon the customer to interact back with him or her, sharing in the experience, creating a bond. However, only if the employee is of the right mindset, one that is driven by his or her personal experience with the business will he or she be able to effectively interact with the customer. Therein lies the complexity to positive experiences. Only with a strong foundation on each side of the bread can the bread be brought together to create the desired result.

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In order for positive experiences to be achieved, the right culture within an organization is paramount.

Culture lives and breathes in all organizations. It must be nurtured – fed and taken care of. If sick, the virus causing the sickness must be addressed. In the case of cancer, it must be identified, isolated and removed – making sure to properly treat closely affected areas to be sure of total elimination. If healthy, it must continue to be fortified – an immune system built, and new well-being programs developed.

At the end of the day, culture is a work in progress! It must be fluid. It must fill in the cracks and gaps and reach its own level. It must be understood by all. It must be allowed to grow. But it must be managed. The key is whether you do so reactively or proactively!

Recently, I read an interesting article about strategy and its effect on culture, “Why Strategy Matters and How it Influences Culture”. The author brought up several key points:

Does strategy matter?

If you do not think that it matters, then you are in good company. There are many who question the value of strategy. And I see many companies where there is no formal strategy; the informal strategy is to keep doing what has worked in the past or to chase what is fashionable today.

Strategy v Execution

When it comes to questioning strategy there are two schools that are particularly prominent. First, there is the school of execution. The execution school which says that strategy is waste of time. Why? Because strategies are generic-obvious and what matters is execution. The ability to turn strategy into the daily lives of the organization. Clearly, there is some truth in this school. Strategy which cannot be operationalized is waste of time-resource.

Strategy v Culture

Then there is the school that says, “culture eats strategy for breakfast”. Yes, culture is powerful. Culture determines what gets done and how it gets done. A strategy that does not take into account the fit with culture will meet lots of resistance. Getting people to enact such a strategy will be like fighting a guerilla war with an enemy who is patient and cunning. What is forgotten is that culture can be and is influenced-shaped-shifted through strategy.

To see strategy and culture as being separate and distinct is a gross misunderstanding. This misunderstanding arises due to our reductionist-analytical thinking. Strategy and culture are interlinked. Put differently, if you change strategy, you will take actions that will influence the culture. And if you change culture, it will eventually influence the strategy.

Corporate Culture as defined by Investopedia (aka Business Culture, Company Culture, Organizational Culture)

Corporate culture refers to the beliefs and behaviors that determine how a company’s employees and management interact and handle outside business transactions. Often, corporate culture is implied, not expressly defined, and develops organically over time from the cumulative traits of the people the company hires.

A company’s culture will be reflected in its dress code, business hours, office setup, employee benefits, turnover, hiring decisions, treatment of clients, client satisfaction, and every other aspect of operations.

A commonly used definition by Inc. Magazine

Corporate culture refers to the shared values, attitudes, standards, and beliefs that characterize members of an organization and define its nature. Corporate culture is rooted in an organization’s goals, strategies, structure, and approaches to labor, customers, investors, and the greater community.

Positively Memorable Experiences… They’re Not Only for Customers!

Several months ago, I shared my article, “Positively Memorable Experiences… They’re Not Only for Customers“. The focus of that article was on the franchisor / franchisee relationship, but the tenets of a strong relationship are paramount in developing a strong culture regardless of the organization, franchise or otherwise. The following 5 points are from that article and now shared here with some editing, making them applicable to relationships within any organization:

  1. Understanding the true meaning and spirit of relationships. This must be shared and exemplified at every point of contact with all within the organization.
  2. Developing the right culture at all levels. Be careful — culture is also defined as bacteria. This takes time and commitment, and is a reflection of how people, whether employees, suppliers or others, are treated at all times.
  3. Creating an environment of truth, trust and transparency based upon open, two-way communication — the cornerstone of creating the right culture. Think of a three-legged stool that could hold a great deal of weight when fully intact yet would immediately fall under its own weight if one leg was compromised.
  4. Establishing your organization as family. Treat them as such but understand that this is not the typical type of family of yesteryear with subservience to the head of the household. Mutual respect is paramount.
  5. Building an environment whereby all are focused on mutual goals and objectives. All must sing from the same hymnal, and not just for dress rehearsal; be sure everyone has the hymn book; ideally, one that is based upon collaborative efforts.

Some may refer to the above as being great in theory, and not really practical. But just think what could happen if every touch point were seen as another opportunity to create or enhance positively memorable experiences. How would that change the culture of your organization? How would that lend credibility toward growing your organization? Think of the ripple effect. Live it and breathe it every day for optimum results!

The Experience Factor

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The ‘Experience Journey’, which I also refer to as an ‘Emotion Circle’ is a simple way to gauge and improve any type of relationship. Keep in mind, all relationships have an experience factor. All interactions have an experience factor. Every touchpoint also has an experience factor. Even digital touchpoints have an experience factor. And especially, culture within an organization has an experience factor. Take some time to let that all set in.

Tomorrow we will take a deep dive into the ‘Experience Journey’. I believe you’ll see how it all ties together – customer experience, employee experience, culture – and how this simple graphic will be a priceless point of reference for organizations of any size.

Have a great day. Make it happen. Make it count!

Help is just a message, call, email or text away!

The future may be a bit bumpy for some, more so for others. Knowing who to turn to and when to turn to for guidance and help is important. Having resources at your disposal is also important. So, if you hit a wall, for whatever reason, please feel free to reach out to me for assistance or even if you just need someone to talk to. Please do not hesitate. You can reach me right here on LinkedIn, by email to Paul@Acceler8Success.com, and by phone or text at (832) 797-9851. Learn more about Acceler8Success Group at Acceler8Success.com and also at Entrepreneurship411.com.

Bring the series to your organization

If you’re interested in having this series presented to your organization, either as a webinar, workshop or conference break-out session, please click HERE for more information. The program can be tailored to your business model, product, service offering and industry segment. It has been resonating quite well with franchise and restaurant brands.

Culture: A Work in Progress

I do believe, in many, if not most cases, the level of business success contributes to the decision on whether or not a high performer is let go because their style is detrimental to the culture. In the case of a high performer in a business that is barely making it, that high performer probably stays. This situation works for the immediate time being but not for long-term growth. It’s difficult to build a team in this scenario.

A high performer with a bad attitude in an environment with other high performers, probably should go. But not without trying to get the person in line first. Bad attitudes are detrimental to team building. However, often times a bad attitude actually develops as a result of how people are treated by management, or by a particular manager. There are various other scenarios as well.

Culture lives and breathes in all organizations. It must be nurtured – fed and taken care of. If sick, the virus causing the sickness must be addressed. In the case of cancer, it must be identified, isolated and removed – making sure to properly treat closely affected areas to be sure of total elimination. If healthy, it must continue to be fortified – an immune system built, and new well-being programs developed.

At the end of the day, culture is a work in progress! It must be fluid. It must fill in the cracks and gaps and reach its own level. It must be understood by all. It must be allowed to grow. But it must be managed. The key is whether you do so reactively or proactively!

Recently, I read an interesting article about strategy and its effect on culture, “Why Strategy Matters and How it Influences Culture”. The author brought up several key points:

Does strategy matter?

If you do not think that it matters, then you are in good company. There are many who question the value of strategy. And I see many companies where there is no formal strategy; the informal strategy is to keep doing what has worked in the past or to chase what is fashionable today.

Strategy v Execution

When it comes to questioning strategy there are two schools that are particularly prominent. First, there is the school of execution. The execution school which says that strategy is waste of time. Why? Because strategies are generic-obvious and what matters is execution. The ability to turn strategy into the daily lives of the organization. Clearly, there is some truth in this school. Strategy which cannot be operationalized is waste of time-resource.

Strategy v Culture

Then there is the school that says, “culture eats strategy for breakfast”. Yes, culture is powerful. Culture determines what gets done and how it gets done. A strategy that does not take into account the fit with culture will meet lots of resistance. Getting people to enact such a strategy will be like fighting a guerilla war with an enemy who is patient and cunning. What is forgotten is that culture can be and is influenced-shaped-shifted through strategy.

To see strategy and culture as being separate and distinct is a gross misunderstanding. This misunderstanding arises due to our reductionist-analytical thinking. Strategy and culture are interlinked. Put differently, if you change strategy, you will take actions that will influence the culture. And if you change culture, it will eventually influence the strategy.

Corporate Culture as defined by Investopedia (aka Business Culture, Company Culture, Organizational Culture)

Corporate culture refers to the beliefs and behaviors that determine how a company’s employees and management interact and handle outside business transactions. Often, corporate culture is implied, not expressly defined, and develops organically over time from the cumulative traits of the people the company hires.

A company’s culture will be reflected in its dress code, business hours, office setup, employee benefits, turnover, hiring decisions, treatment of clients, client satisfaction, and every other aspect of operations.

A commonly used definition by Inc. Magazine

Corporate culture refers to the shared values, attitudes, standards, and beliefs that characterize members of an organization and define its nature. Corporate culture is rooted in an organization’s goals, strategies, structure, and approaches to labor, customers, investors, and the greater community.

Positively Memorable Experiences… They’re Not Only for Customers!

Several months ago, I shared my article, “Positively Memorable Experiences… They’re Not Only for Customers“. The focus of that article was on the franchisor / franchisee relationship, but the tenets of a strong relationship are paramount in developing a strong culture regardless of the organization, franchise or otherwise. The following 5 points are from that article and now shared here with some editing, making them applicable to relationships within any organization:

  1. Understanding the true meaning and spirit of relationships. This must be shared and exemplified at every point of contact with all within the organization.
  2. Developing the right culture at all levels. Be careful — culture is also defined as bacteria. This takes time and commitment, and is a reflection of how people, whether employees, suppliers or others, are treated at all times.
  3. Creating an environment of truth, trust and transparency based upon open, two-way communication — the cornerstone of creating the right culture. Think of a three-legged stool that could hold a great deal of weight when fully intact yet would immediately fall under its own weight if one leg was compromised.
  4. Establishing your organization as family. Treat them as such but understand that this is not the typical type of family of yesteryear with subservience to the head of the household. Mutual respect is paramount.
  5. Building an environment whereby all are focused on mutual goals and objectives. All must sing from the same hymnal, and not just for dress rehearsal; be sure everyone has the hymn book; ideally, one that is based upon collaborative efforts.

Some may refer to the above as being great in theory, and not really practical. But just think what could happen if every touch point were seen as another opportunity to create or enhance positively memorable experiences. How would that change the culture of your organization? How would that lend credibility toward growing your organization? Think of the ripple effect.

Live it and breathe it every day for optimum results!

Ask Franchisees, “Would you do it all over again?”

Validation and multi-unit ownership are strong indicators that positively memorable experiences exist within your franchise system. Another way to confirm the existence of these experiences is simply to ask your franchisees: would you do it all over again? However, as a franchisor you must first earn the right to even be taken seriously if you ask this question.

As you head down the path of creating positively memorable experiences with each and every franchisee, be sure to consider ALL touch points – even those beyond the obvious mediums of in-person, by phone and via email. Think digitally!

How do you interact with franchisees on Facebook? How do you come across to your franchisees in LinkedIn discussion groups? Is there common courtesy? Are you proud of each other’s actions within these platforms?

Many will refer to all of this as being great in theory, and not really practical. But just think what could happen if every touch point were seen as another opportunity to create or enhance positively memorable experiences. How would that change the culture of your system? How would that lend towards growing your brand? Think of the ripple effect.

Here are six key points to creating positively memorable experiences in a franchise organization:

  1. Understanding the true meaning AND spirit of interdependent franchise relationships. This must be shared and exemplified at every point of contact with franchisees.
  2. Developing the right culture at all levels. Be careful- culture is also defined as bacteria! This takes time and commitment, and is a reflection of how people, whether franchisees, employees, suppliers or others, are treated at all times.
  3. Creating an environment of truth, trust and transparency based upon open, two-way communications – the cornerstone of creating the right culture. Think of a three-legged stool that could hold a great deal of weight when fully intact yet would immediately fall under its own weight if one leg was compromised.
  4. Establishing your franchise system as family. Treat them as such but understand that this is not the typical type of family of yesteryear with subservience to the head of the household. Mutual respect is paramount!
  5. Building an environment of bottom-up profitability and growth with ALL parties to the franchise agreement and other related agreements focused on mutual goals and objectives. All must sing out of the same hymnal, and not just for dress rehearsal – so be sure to give them the hymn book.
  6. Positively Memorable Experiences – Live it and breathe it every day for optimum results!

As National Small Business Week comes to an end, I’d like to give a shout out to small business owners – entrepreneurs, moms & pops, franchisees, sole proprietors – for paving the way for future generations by keeping the American Dream alive. It’s through your hard work, persistence, dedication and commitment that you continue to improve business at the local level.

With your own money and time, you’re actually field-testing new ways of doing business – marketing, technology and other – continuing to innovate and explore across many industry segments.

Taking risks, you continue to invest in growing areas while also helping to revitalize once great areas. And, whether you know it or not because you’re often in the shadow of big business and Corporate America, you are the backbone of this great nation.

You, all of you, each of you are the spirit of Entrepreneurship and free enterprise that has made this country great and will continue to keep it great for decades to come. For all of that, and for all that you do, I thank you!

And as Mental Health Awareness Month continues, I’ll leave you this week with the following:

“Don’t be too hard on yourself. There are plenty of people willing to do that for you. Do your best and surrender the rest. Tell yourself, “I am doing the best I can with what I have in this moment. That is all I can ever expect of anyone, including me.” Love yourself and be proud of everything you do, even your mistakes, because your mistakes mean you’re trying.

If you feel like others are not treating you with love and respect, check your price tag. Perhaps you subconsciously marked yourself down. Because it’s YOU who tells others what you’re worth by showing them what you are willing to accept for your time and attention. So, get off the clearance rack. If you don’t value and respect yourself, wholeheartedly, no one else will either.”

– Unknown

A Few Thoughts on Developing Corporate Culture

According to author, Kris Dunn in her blog post, Keys to Developing Corporate Culture, “Corporate culture is all about really what you value as a company, what you value in terms of how you serve your customers, how business gets done, and what you value from a performance perspective across your talent base.” Although he concedes that there is no single definition that could be overlaid across all of corporate America, Dunn stresses that, at its core, culture represents the manifestation of the guiding principles that underpin every part of your company.

“Like style,” Dunn says, “you kind of know good culture when you see it.”

Culture is less about “free soda and ping pong tables” and more about performance, Dunn argues. Keeping a fun workplace atmosphere may be part of the image that your company presents, but what culture should actually be built on is an unrelenting focus on factors that “create a DNA map of the type of employee that a company looks for.” Find the characteristics that lead to high-performing team members, and your company becomes stronger and more successful.

A while ago, I had shared Dunn’s blog within various LinkedIn groups and posed two questions, “What are your thoughts on developing corporate culture? Would you be willing to let go of top performers if their management style is detrimental to your culture?” Here’s what various members of the groups had to say…

“There is no question that any company is only as strong as their weakest link. Too many leaders wait too long before they let poor performers or those with poor attitudes go. They are afraid of legal repercussions or more commonly, those “difficult conversations.” The biggest error is not clearly knowing and expressing the caliber of work expected from the team, giving the team the tools to be successful, and them holding them to account. Leaders don’t consistently document performance. They wing it. Just because someone is in charge doesn’t mean he or she has the knowledge or training on how to create and implement a company culture that endures and helps the company thrive.”

In our business, not one person can be above the values or culture that we have established. Most franchises, good ones at least, have that culture built into the fabric of their operations and in everything that they do. It’s one of the reasons that people invest in therm. It is what helps make them successful. I have had to relieve some top performers before because their method or interpretation of our culture was not in alignment with what was important at the client level and the staff/store level. It looks on paper like it may be painful to the business, but in each case, it was the best decision for the business. Ours is an owner/investor model so day to day is run by an on-site manager so it isn’t always apparent at the 5000-foot view. To answer the question above, if members of our management teams at the store level is not in alignment with our culture and they are successful, it is generally in spite of themselves and our stores and staff are bigger than any one individual or leader.  Make the move and upgrade.”

“If the answer is no, then you have no culture, and culture doesn’t matter to you. Being a top performer is a part of our culture. Diversity is part of our culture. Acceptance of diversity is part of our culture, but style isn’t culture. If style is part of your culture, maybe your culture is superficial? We used to call that an office full of empty suits. If diversity, acceptance of diversity, and being a top performer aren’t important cornerstones of your culture, you may have a dysfunctional culture. The answer has to be yes. It’s a trick question, right?”

We’re looking forward to additional thoughts and perspective. What are your thoughts?

Culture Is A Work In Progress

Work in ProgressI do believe, in many cases, the level of business success contributes to the decision on whether or not a high performer is let go because their style is detrimental to the culture. In the case of a high performer in a business that is barely making it, that high performer probably stays. This situation works for the immediate time being but not for long-term growth. It’s difficult to build a team in this scenario. A high performer with a bad attitude in an environment with other high performers, probably should go. But not without trying to get the person in line first. Bad attitudes are detrimental to team building. However, often times a bad attitude actually develops as a result of how people are treated by management, or by a particular manager. There are various other scenarios as well.

Culture lives and breathes in all organizations. It must be nurtured – fed and taken care of. If sick, the virus causing the sickness must be addressed. In the case of cancer, it must be identified, isolated and removed – making sure to properly treat closely affected areas to be sure of total elimination. If healthy, it must continue to be fortified – an immune system built, and new well-being programs developed.

At the end of the day, Culture is a work in progress! It must be fluid. It must fill in the cracks and gaps and reach its own level. It must be understood by all. It must be allowed to grow. But it must be managed. The key is whether you do so reactively or proactively!

Recently, I read an interesting article about strategy and its effect on culture. Key paragraphs and link to the article follows…

Does strategy matter?

If you do not think that it matters, then you are in good company. There are many who question the value of strategy. And I see many companies where there is no formal strategy; the informal strategy is to keep doing what has worked in the past or to chase what is fashionable today.

Strategy v Execution

When it comes to questioning strategy there are two schools that are particularly prominent. First, there is the school of execution. The execution school which says that strategy is waste of time. Why? Because strategies are generic-obvious and what matters is execution. The ability to turn strategy into the daily live of the organization. Clearly, there is some truth in this school. Strategy which cannot be operationalized is waste of time-resource.

Strategy v Culture

Then there is the school that says, “culture eats strategy for breakfast”. Yes, culture is powerful. Culture determines what gets done and how it gets done. A strategy that does not take into account the fit with culture will meet lots of resistance. Getting people to enact such a strategy will be like fighting a guerilla war with an enemy who is patient and cunning. What is forgotten is that culture can be and is influenced-shaped-shifted through strategy.

To see strategy and culture as being separate and distinct is a gross misunderstanding. This misunderstanding arises due to our reductionist-analytical thinking. Strategy and culture are interlinked. Put differently, if you change strategy, you will take actions that will influence the culture. And if you change culture, it will eventually influence the strategy.

Read more HERE.