Ask 10 random people in your organization “Who is our customer?” How many different answers would you get? Ideally, the answer is the same. There is only one customer. Your strategy, resources and goals and objectives must be aligned around a singularly defined customer.
Lack of customer clarity creates organizational challenges that extend far beyond customer service. A lack of clarity and alignment about the customer leads to confusion and uncertainty about critical organizational priorities. A consistent definition of customer, can break down silos, unlock lost productivity and empower your people.
Just as every person has a personality, every single organization on the planet already has a culture. But what people really mean when they say they want to embed culture at work is that they want to create a positive culture. One that, combined with the people and the products or services that are sold, makes for an entity that is bigger, stronger and more impactful than the sum of its parts. In my view, the route to achieving this elusive mix and cultivating it into whatever shape it may turn out to be, is best served by an ethos that supports and nurtures a concept that is an almost universal goal – happiness.
Leaders today know that employee engagement is the key to high performance, so let’s look below the surface and see what’s really involved in creating an engaged workforce. One definition of engagement includes both the aspects of emotional involvement and commitment. You will want to keep those two aspects in mind as you continue to read my comments on this critical subject and understand why “heart” matters so much when it comes to engagement.
A popular post I wrote for TLNT.com last year on organizational culture change is still on the first page of google search results for that topic.
I approached a training video company with course content based on that post and they felt culture is a topic best suited for top leaders. They explained that training video sales are higher if the content fits first line managers and individual contributors.
I explained the culture fundamentals that apply to top leaders also apply to work teams of any size since they are sub-cultures with behavior that’s also driven by cultural rules.
From that insight, the culture content was simplified and the WE WIN framework was born!
Think of the last time you bought a product you were very excited about. Maybe it was the iPhone 6 with its sleeker look, improved features and screen size that forces you to buy pants with bigger pockets. Maybe it was the Lululemon yoga pants that are comfortable and stylish at the same time. Or maybe it was the new driver that you think will help your golf game and knock a couple of strokes of your handicap. What did you feel when you bought those items? Probably a sense of excitement, a sense of anticipation and maybe even a sense of pride and emotional attachment
Now, let me ask you how you felt that last time you were exposed to the strategy of your organization. Did it feel similar to some of the emotions triggered above? Or did it feel more like that class in college with the really boring professor … where you tried to retain just enough information to pass the test or sound intelligent if called upon? If it is the latter, you are unfortunately not alone. Engaging employees in strategies is simple not done well in many companies. Yet these same companies are often great at launching new products or services to their customers.
A lot can be gleaned by how we launch products and services effectively and applying it to how we launch and implement our strategies. I believe it is one of the most cost effective ways to improve organizational performance available to companies today.