Wide Boulevards And High Curves
One of the secrets to MOD Pizza’s success is not just their efforts to value all employees. It’s the culture that enables their company to produce that type of environment.
In spite of the struggles of operating during the pandemic, the company appears to be doubling down on their culture.
A culture that allows room for employees to be themselves and make the necessary decisions for the customer.
It’s what CEO Scott Svenson calls “wide boulevards and high curves.” Meaning that they trust their employees enough to give them “wide boulevards” to work within until they break that trust.
“If you jump a curve, then you can’t be a part of the team anymore,” Svenson says.
They don’t over regulate with tons of policies, instead deferring to a culture based on basic values and an understanding that employees are empowered to take the necessary actions. “The culture we’re developing often has a life of its own.”
Svenson said that this type of response has extended to other aspects of the company. For example, there is no company rule for how an employee should respond if a customer comes in to complain about food or service. The end result, he said, should always be that the customer should leave happy, but how they get there is up to the employee.
This type of culture has been around for decades. It’s similar to the”simultaneous loose-tight properties” that Tom Peters and Robert Waterman highlighted in their early 1980’s tome “In Search of Excellence”.
In an age of diversity, changing management structures and finding better ways to lead teams, this method still proves itself, even if it’s a trendy pizza concept filled with Milennials and iGen workers.
Giving your team a large enough sandbox to play in creates a delta above the average companies and allows you to be more inclusive, connected and vision-focused. It’s not a new concept, but a proven one that continues to be proven effective.
Allow your people the wide boulevards and high curves to work in. Let their personalities come out, their creativity to take root, and for them to do what is right without you or policy getting in the way.