Culture vs Strategy
Depending on how long you’ve been in business and what trials you’ve faced to this point, you will read this from one of two perspectives. There’s really no middle ground on this topic but once you understand and fully comprehend this concept your business will never look or feel the same.
My first discovery occurred when I was in an aggressive growth period and I started compromising some really small things in effort to hit sales goals. Now I’m not talking anything that would be illegal or wrong but sometimes it’s the little things that matter. I’m talking about respecting others time by showing up and running meetings on time, working 7 days a week and expecting the team to do the same thus burning the candle at both ends, etc..
I’ve always considered myself a leader of integrity but if you don’t install and demand a culture that aligns with your belief system, be careful, as it might look good on the outside but the foundation will have cracks.
Now the good news is, after my brief experience in this I would say culture is my #1 priority and is one of the first things I do when consulting clients to discuss and evaluate theirs. Here are a few ways to install the right culture in your business.
- Eat Family Style: Aside for your spouse & kids, your team is just like family. Don’t be ritualistic about this, but take one or two days a month and order in some pizzas, BBQ, or some Chinese food and sit and have lunch family style. Ask about everyone’s family and just enjoy time together. As you progress in your business and your team grows, this is a good way to be productive and have some working lunches as well.
- Celebrate Birthdays: Pick someone to create and keep up with a birthday calendar. Now this is not me in our office as I will forget every time… But put someone in charge and give them a budget to spend. On each birthday bring in lunch of the birthday girl/boy’s choice and get a cake and card from everyone. Sing happy birthday and celebrate with them.
- Coffee is for closers: I’m a coffee addict so this isn’t an issues in my office, but if you don’t’ have a coffee pot get one now! Add to the supply list to keep it stocked and ask for flavor requests. Maybe even ask everyone to add to the inventory as they can but I would make it a point to get the machine and keep it stocked as much as possible.