Category Archives: #ThursdayThoughts
The biggest task, most impactful initiative or largely brilliant strategy might seem like it has the biggest influence on your organization.
Any task, initiative or strategy has definitive goals, metrics and skills that drive them. In the end these “big things” become practices, procedures and policies.
Howver as more and more companies realize the neccessity of culture not only driving strategy, but being a strategy, it becomes imperative that the “little things” that drive culture go farther in driving stratgeic results.
A strong cadence of “do your job” can only go so far. If not coupled with the little things that strengthen and reinforce culture – such as simple acknowledgement, thank-yous and just connected conversations – people will not be refreshed or recharged to push further in your strategy.
Think of the marathon runner. 26.2 miles and many of them run that in just over 2 hours. Just determining to run and make that time is the task at hand, but runners and trainers know that can’t happen by sheer will.
That’s why there are people to hand cups of water to these athletes. If not for the small gesture of water, runners will be depleted of fluids which will eventually cause other problems, such as depleted oxygen, change in bloodflow and/or cramping and other maladies.
The little cup of water here and there over 26 miles may not seem like much, but the ability to provide a runner with just a few ounces of precious liquid makes a bigger impact than the determination of pace to cross the finish line.
Find the little things for your people. It goes farther than you think.
In Michael Lee Stallard’s book “Connection Culture“, he alludes to three types of organizational culture.
Those cultures are: control, indifference and connection. Here’s my thoughts on each one:
Control based cultures are where the demand for task excellence is preeminent. Micromanaging at any scale persists. And the fear of reprimand, performance improvement plans, demotion or job loss exists in perpetuity. People are not valued in these companies, but rather commoditized.
Cultures of indifference are where the voice of the employee is disregarded. Open door policies are mere semantics, or great for attracting angel investors money into the company. Employee concerns are countered with directives to figure it out or work harder. Changes are not made from the voice of those who don’t have the degree or level of knowledge to offer any valuable input.
Connected cultures are different. These companies ascribe not only a high value on their people (for real and not for show) but also allow their voice to be heard, and a part of the process. But even more, a connected culture shares a strong vision with all employees. It’s not sufficient to be first in a market, to merely win, but to have a strong enough shared vision that enriches both monetarily and communally with everyone as to what the impact of the organization will have for the improvement of all involved, customer, leadership, employees and community.
Connected cultures serve the vision, value and voice of their people first, knowing that the investment in created connected individuals and teams far surpasses any task excellence and superior performance metrics.
The demand for high performance only lasts as long as the motivational fear can carry the spirit of their people. But the organization that has a deep connection culture will always persist and find success in the best and worst of times. Connected people are statistically more committed and productive versus those people in companies that are driven to be committed and productive.
Are you fostering a culture of control, indifference or connection? The choice is up to you. As well as the results from that culture as well.
One of the toughest things for us as hunmans is to objectively learn at every opportunity.
We tend to be defensive when things don’t go our way. Our pride tells us “I’m fine, it’s everyone/everything else”.
When things are going well, we think we’re in a good place, and fail to find out how to be better.
At every instance, we should always be learning.
We should learn where new opportunities are, what is trending, and how to be more effective.
We should learn where to make the biggest impact and how to connect with others on a deeper level.
But the most important thing we should always be learning about it ourselves and how we can improve.
Most of the challenges we face are how we respond to situations, and how our action feed into them before they occur.
If we spent our time learning the art of self-awareness and always be learning about ourselves, we will gain mastery of the most elusive part of leadership – our own EQ.
Always learn about the world around you, but more critically, learn about the world that is within your own heart and mind.