As a business coach, I talk to thousands of business owners each year who are looking for guidance on how to shape their company culture for growth and independence. They understand the importance of company culture, but often struggle to shape it in a meaningful way that benefits both their company as a whole and their team members.
So, today I wanted to share with you the single most powerful thought exercise you could do to get your company culture on the right track.
Most business owners I speak with have at least an idea of what they want their company culture to look like. But very few take the time to sit down and get clear on the specifics. So the first thing that I recommend for all business owners, is to sit down for about an hour and write down what they want their company culture to look like. I suggest turning off your phone and email client, and really focusing on the bigger picture.
Here are a few questions that you will want to consider and put in writing:
What values do you wish to make a priority in your business?
How would these internalized values show up in their day-to-day behavior?
What would an outside observer notice about the feel of your company while spending a day in your offices?
How will you incorporate these values into your onboarding process?
How will you incorporate these values into your existing processes and procedures?
Once you have your vision down on paper, it’s time to take a hard look at your current company culture and how it fits into that vision. This is one of the hardest things for a business owner to do, as there is often a disconnect in what they “want” and what is the actual reality.
If you were an outsider looking in, where would you notice the observed culture aligning, and not aligning with your desired culture?
How do you yourself, as a business owner, fit into the company culture?
Let’s say that you want to encourage your employees to manage their own time and give them the ability to focus on the big picture items that fuel growth for your business. But you are constantly micro-managing their time making it almost impossible to set aside any focus time to work on large projects. Your actions are directly contradicting the company culture that you want to work towards. Or perhaps you, yourself struggle with setting aside focus time and rarely if ever make it a priority. Your actions are helping shape the way that your employees manage their time and energy.
Take this feedback and insight and use it to refine your written vision of your company’s culture. Talk with your team about this vision. Get their thoughts and input and check in every quarter to see if anything has changed. This is a process that unfolds over several months, not a “sit down one time” event. But the effort is well worth it in the end.
Published on: Feb 13, 2020
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