Creating Company Culture - Part 2
In part one of Creating Company Culture, I put forth the idea that creating company culture in our business is vital. In this article I would like to delve deeper into the how's and whys and even recommend some reading for you! I listed out six points in creating culture in your company, so let's explore further each of those points.

The first point was that we must acknowledge the importance of company culture. Your culture controls the environment, atmosphere, and morale of the company. Steven Covey talks about paradigms or viewpoints in "Seven Habits". He brings out how we need to have paradigm shifts in order to be successful as a person. We need the same realization with our companies, but even further, we need to see that the culture of our company creates a paradigm for our employees. At one point in his book, Covey relates a story of a visit to a certain hotel. He notices the amazing service and attention to detail in that hotel. As he interacts with much of the staff, he witnesses that this attitude and culture permeates the whole hotel. After talking to the manager he finds out that they have developed mission statements for all of the different departments as well as the hotel as a whole and even the hotel chain.

What I am pointing out here is that culture matters. This hotel had recognized this and then chose a method to enhance and direct that culture into something that produced an atmosphere of amazing service and attention to detail. Obviously you can't do that with just a mission statement. That was just a tool they choose to use. The culture is what created the atmosphere. Company culture creates the lens through which people view their jobs and responsibilities.

So where do you start? I think the best place to begin is to start learning your people. Fingerprints look a lot alike at a distance. But when viewed closely, the unique patterns in each print begin to show. Our people may appear the same, but in reality each one is different. Each one unique in his own way, with a unique set of gifts, talents, abilities, skills and problems. Nowhere have I seen this presented better than in the book "First Break All The Rules". This book confronts the idea that everyone needs to be treated the same way. NO! If everyone is unique then we must treat each one accordingly.

If one person is motivated by achieving goals that help him create a better life for his children, how can we expect to motivate him by matching his donations to Habitat for Humanity? While another person who really enjoys giving back to his community might really be motivated by this, our first person is actually de-motivated and turned off by this. Each person has something different at the core of his being that he values. Knowing your people is the beginning to creating the method to control the culture in your business.

Once you begin to know your people, you need to create vision. To me creating vision within your company is about resonance. You need to create a vision that resonates within your company. I remember a video clip showing a guy blasting a high note with a trumpet which is pointed at a wine glass. He tries a few notes and then hones in on the note that resonates with the glass. Soon the resonance becomes so strong that the glass shatters. The principle of resonance is when a sound played matches the natural frequency of an object, it is enhanced and even amplified. You need to cast a vision to your people that resonates with them. When that vision resonates with them a strong culture begins to form and be reinforced by your people. Their own principles and motivations match up with the vision that you have cast and they can't help but resonate with it!

Start by interviewing yourself. Why are you in business? What are the values that you feel are core to your business? What are the principles? What are your goals? Write a life plan for yourself. By doing this you are identifying your personal vision. Now start matching up elements of your personal vision with the vision for the company. Then begin to match those up with your people. You may need to alter things. Give your people the ability to affect the vision of the company. They don't necessarily need to know they are, but as you are considering the vision and creating it, consider who they are and what resonates with them and allow it to steer you.

When you present your vision, get into the whys and how's. Don't just say - "We want to have great customer loyalty." Give the why! Create enemies and heroes. Give examples. Tell stories. Paint a VISION! You want your people to love coming to work! They want and need to feel like what they are doing is making a difference. The first step to creating that environment is creating vision.

Josh Cochran

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Josh Cochran, RCDD

President of Diverse CTI, Josh has over 10 years of experience in telecommunications and IT services. An expert in the industry he is a Registered Communications Distribution Designer, a certification he has held with BICSI since 2004. Josh consults various national companies and speaks at several national events and conferences. Find out more about Josh.


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