1-Measure & Benchmark Business Culture:
While every business leader uses culture as a way to define and describe various aspects of their business, few understand the data driven science behind it. Most see culture as a lot of warm and fuzzy words that resemble Jello when you try to get your arms around it. Much of the psychology behind culture is loaded with big words, complex theory and academic psychobabble. No wonder it’s hard for so many to figure out and most pragmatic business leaders write it off as noise. At the same time these smart business leaders waste untold trillions fixing symptoms while root causes of under performance remain alive and well in their corporate cultures.
The truth is, smart business scientists at the Harvard Business School, the University of Michigan and others have done research that’s resulted in the ability to actually measure all the elements of a business culture with numbers. These are valid scientific instruments. They’ve also been able to connect the dots between a business culture and sales revenues, employment growth, shareholder value and profitability. All of this being the case, the process, while very scientific and accurate, is still loaded with lots of complex language, academic jargon and even a bit of psychobabble. That’s where the guys at Excellent Cultures come in. They know how to gather the data from your folks, trim out all the complex jargon and cut to the chase of how to measure your corporate culture. They can benchmark it against the best excellent business cultures in the world and show you the gaps. So, you get fast breakthroughs without a trip to a log cabin in the mountains or volumes of consultant speak and reams of flip chart paper. It’s actually a lot like a doctor who knows how to use and read an MRI that looks deep below the surface of your body and tells you what’s really ailing you. You don’t care about all the science and medical jargon. You want to know what to do the fix the problem at the root and you pay good Docs big bucks to fix it. That’s what the Excellent Cultures guys do for your business.
2-Change How Leaders Lead:
The Research validates that over 70% of all leaders lead in a manner that causes defensive behavior in their people. This is like working hard to get your folks to do just the opposite of what you’re asking them to do and not realizing that they’re doing it backwards. The truth is that if you asked 100 leaders to own up to leading backwards, not only would no one raise their hands but they would all be telling the truth. Yes, leaders who lead backwards do it subconsciously, without realizing it. While 360 reviews often reveal some warm and fuzzy feedback that you think would help these leaders turn it around, there exists a deeper truth. Warm and fuzzy 360 review feedback doesn’t change how leaders lead any more than getting an X-Ray or MRI from your doctor without taking the prescribed treatment helps an ailing patient get well.
The advanced business advisors group at Excellent Cultures use cutting edge scientific instruments that cut to the core of what your leaders are doing unknowingly that’s being received backwards by your people and causing the negative reactions. Remember, perception is reality when people are concerned. Once they have the data, they deliver it in private with business coaches who aren’t trainers or consultants but seasoned business leaders who have run successful businesses. These guys cut to the chase of what needs to change to get fast results, coach your leaders with simple actionable criteria, engage their direct reports in taking ownership in the process and a beautiful thing occurs. Positive results, co-accountability and fast changes take place. They then help you put a data driven accountability process in place to make sure the leadership improvements not only cause positive results, they continue and sustain themselves.
3-Secure Employee Engagement:
Human beings are built to resist change. This is why both the Harvard and London University Business Schools have documented that 70+% of all business change initiatives fail to deliver desired results. Most common cause: they focus so much on the change process or system and selling their people on why it will work. They forget that inside of every employee is a genetic system designed to resist every change coming down the pipe that’s working faster and harder than the corporate sales pitch to defeat the initiative. Like the most common factor in a medical organ transplant is rejection of the new organ. So the most common factor in any business change initiative should be rejection. The research actually proves that people in businesses have become more skillful at head nodding and smiling throughout the sales pitch while internally rejecting the needed changes than they have adapting to the new changes.
Excellent Cultures Breakthrough Thinking Workshops address first and foremost, the primary reasons that people resist change. Secondly, (through the forum of guided experiential self-discovery where true ownership occurs) each participant is engaged in the data driven self design of the culture where they truly want to work and will give their all to see positive business change. Then they learn to understand the science that identifies how to actually take action on making the changes that they choose to make to contribute to the overall success of their desired business culture as well as personal and professional changes that are near and dear to their own heart. Much like Sports Psychologists and other professional coaches help their clients break through barriers to performance, your people start taking accountability to go after making changes that make a true difference and they own the process as well as the results.
4-Business Process Sustainment:
Most leaders do this step first because it’s the part of the iceberg that’s visible, easy to see and address. Yet, it wasn’t the top of the iceberg that sunk the Titanic. It was the bottom 90% below the surface that did the sinking. Any business leader who’s ever been around the block once knows that you can tweak business systems and processes all you want for small incremental improvements, maybe even a significant breakthrough or two with Lean or 6 Sigma process improvement. Yet, when your people are resisting changes like human beings are built to do and the new processes require changes implemented, the tendency to return to the old performance standards are high. Look at it like the number of New Year’s resolutions that actually stick for the long haul… pretty low, huh? Conversely if you go after addressing and changing the culture elements that 1) resist change and, 2) fuel sneaky corporate politics and then, address and deal with conflicts rather than hide them and, embrace accountability rather than point fingers or cause people to default to working in silos instead of teams, you will experience larger breakthroughs that can stick long term.
Try asking a CEO to recite the company’s mission statement without reading the company’s web site or looking at the gold framed relic on the wall. Not going to happen. While the CEO may recall a couple of shared values that are near and dear to her hearts, operationalizing them into measurable behaviors that the company’s people live everyday on the job is another story. While a few good leaders can even identify the measurable behaviors and send them down, getting them truly co-owned by every employee on a free-will basis where they volunteer to be held accountable is the trick. Excellent Cultures Secret Sauce addresses this 90% of the iceberg below the surface (larger business culture) first and foremost. This co-owned focus and application is what causes Business Process Improvement to become Business Breakthrough Sustainability.
The Excellent Cultures guys then help you put data driven sustainment processes in place that get everyone living your mission, vision and values, every day. We don’t even care if your CEO can recite your mission statement (Truth, is your employees can’t either). When all your people live it every day, who cares what the warm and fuzzy words say, it’s the action that counts. Finish up by redirecting your recognition-systems and business processes so they also reward the culture you and your people have agreed on and now you have a keeper. You not only get both fast results as something beautiful happens…sustainability.
Outcomes You Can Expect
Engaged employees who have a fundamental belief and passion to be all that they can be and do all that they can do both in life and on the job.
Empowered leaders who understand and utilize leadership methods unique to their own personal style that cause immediate positive performance results, increased employee engagement and associates who are motivated to outperform previous contribution levels.
Ensured long-term success of your best and most valued people; increased teamwork and spirit, and new systems and processes to sustain high performance.
For data and statistics on consultants improving business performance take a look at our client case studies. Our clients see amazing measurable results because we use data driven tools and proven scientific processes in our business strategy consulting services developed from over 30 years of experience.
The most important first step of the Excellent Cultures culture transformation is an assessment by our strategic planning business consultants to identify the right plan and process for maximizing your people and organization.