Weekly Business Idea

July 28, 2017 – Is Your Culture Important?

Posted on | July 28, 2017 | No Comments

Main Idea:

When growing up did you play well with others?  Were you able to play with someone else in the 3×3 sandbox?  Do people work together well at your business?  Have you ever walked into your business and people were fighting with each other?  Or worse, what happens when there is a silent sabotage campaign going on?  Did you want to just shut the doors and walk away?

Expansion of the Idea:

This morning, I was reminded of the need for businesses and organizations to create the right culture to grow.  On page 1 of the Wall Street Journal, there is a link to a story about the fight between two senior White House aides.  As I was reading the story, I knew that nothing good is going to come out of Washington, DC until a large number of people figure out how to play in the same sandbox.  It has been that way for a long time and it might be that way for a long time in the future.  It doesn’t matter if you are Democrat or Republican.  It is good to disagree and debate ideas.  But until the culture is restored to one of mutual respect, it is pretty likely that very little will be accomplished.  (At least until they reach rock bottom.)

The same is true of our businesses.  Businesses that struggle frequently don’t have alignment between the owners or leaders and the employees.  There might be distrust.  Or, everyone might have their own agenda.  Employees aren’t sure of what they are supposed to do.  They don’t know where the business is going.  They may not know why the business exists.  They just know their little slice of the business.

On the other hand, some businesses have a clear purpose and goals.  These are communicated and communicated and communicated to the whole team.  They work together.  These businesses might struggle but they do so as a team.  When there is clarity and alignment, the odds for success go up significantly.  Team members are looking to improve their performance as well as that of the team.  They are focused on the big picture and are not as worried about their own future.  Alignment is a result of communication which then further aligns the business because the communication becomes two-way.

Creating the right culture is extremely hard.  It requires a significant investment of time in people.  It might mean that you have the wrong people.  Your systems might have to change.  You might have to be more open and vulnerable.  However, the benefits are worth it.

As Patrick Lencioni says in his book, The Advantage – Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else in Business:

“Organizational health will one day surpass all other disciplines in business as the greatest opportunity for improvement and competitive advantage.”

Places to Start:

  1. What is your culture?
  2. Does the team work well together?
  3. Are you achieving your goals?
  4. Does everyone know what your goals are?
  5. Is communication open or do people hold things back?
  6. Discuss this with your team.  Even great teams focus on continual improvement.

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    These weekly ideas are brought to you by FitzGerald & FitzGerald P.C. For more information about how to use these ideas with your small business contact Tim FitzGerald at trfitz@fitz-net.com.