Culture First, Everything Else Second!

Strong culture drives success

Strong culture drives success

Having spent the last few years working with a multitude of companies from various industry sectors many of which were experience massive growth all of them had one problem in common – the wrong people in their business.  There is a tendency with businesses that need people in a hurry to hire anyone that closely fits the bill from a skills / experience point of view thinking that their problems will be solved ….. wrong!!

In all the reading that I have done over the years (which is extensive) and in the business conferences that I have attended, the leading business thinkers views on this are quite clear, get the right people “on the bus” (Jim Collins analogy for a business in his book Good to Great) that are aligned with the company, then worry about which seat they are going to sit on (which job role are they best suited too).

Aligned Staff

So what are we talking about when we say aligned staff?  Staff, subcontractors, suppliers and anyone else that deals with the business should have an understanding of the true purpose of the business, what it is trying to best in the world at and where it is trying to get too.

  • A business’s purpose – every Business Owner / CEO should have clarity around the passion or purpose that drives the business forward.  With this clarity it makes it easy for everyone within the business to make the right decision within their job roles to ensure the business is always achieving it’s purpose.
  • Best in the world at … – to achieve the purpose of the business, every Business Owner / CEO needs to understand the “one thing” that the business needs to be best in the world at to ensure the purpose is achieved.  It is then important for them to relay that to everyone in the company, let them understand what being the “best in the world at” within their job roles actually means, if the right staff are on board they will “get it” and do what they can to ensure it happens.
  • Where’s the business going? – allowing the staff and any external contractors to understand where the business is going will then allow them to make their own decisions as to whether they want to be part of that journey.
  • Core Values – the belief mechanisms by which the business operates.  A Business Owner / CEO needs to have absolute clarity around these because the hardest thing to manage in business is someone who does not align with those core values.  If behaviour and / or attitude does not reflect those of the business thus they usually generate a huge amount of stress for those around them that are aligned.  Those conversations with misaligned people are never easy because they push against your own values.

The culture of the business is something that needs to be continually worked on, it needs to be led from the top meaning it is down to the Business Owner / CEO to practice what they preach and a continued emphasis needs to be fostered.  Do this within any business, people will love it or hate it, those who hate it will “get off the bus” on their own accord, a sure way to move on the “terrorists” in the business.  Those that love it will do what they can for the business, are a lot happier, more engaged and productive leading to a greater profitability, so why wouldn’t you spend the time to get this stuff right?