The Second Secret to Owning a Successful Business:
As I highlighted in “The Secret to Success in Owning a Business,” the special sauce to having a successful restaurant, small business, or non-profit resides in three simple, but profound ideas: Leadership, Culture, and Strategy.
Last time we focused on leadership, the ring leader. Now, let’s focus on the elephant under the big tent.
Everyone is talking about it, but few have a complete understanding. There is an expression “culture eats strategy for lunch.” Similarly, as Dr. Chris Kolenda so appropriately said in a recent post, “culture always collects.” Don’t underestimate the power culture has over your business.
CULTURE IS ALWAYS ON THE MOVE.
In a 2017 blog post entitled the 2020 Workplace: The Future Workplace Trends to Know Right Now“, Nikos Andriotis did a great job doing what we should all do if we are hoping to be proactive, instead of reactive. The business environment is constantly changing, and with it, the culture within. Niko’s blog itself is case and point, promoting “the most-affordable and user-friendly learning management system on the market.” Since when did how we learn our jobs efficiently and effectively make so much of a difference? It’s a fact. The world is rapidly getting smaller. It’s getting progressively hotter. And if you’re not ahead, you will find yourself behind faster than ever before!
And like a plant that has all the sunshine, water, and soil nutrients it needs, your business’s Sustainable Growth relies upon a healthy culture. An unhealthy culture steals away the very sunshine, water, and nutrients necessary, and adds a powerful herbicide to quickly choke out your business’s Sustainable Growth. So, what does a healthy culture look and feel like?
If it is the restaurant culture we are thinking about, we can probably visualize a healthy culture, right? It should:
- Be inviting and keep customers coming back for more
- Reward values like friendliness, cleanliness, expediency, and precision.
- Maintain accountability by disciplining behaviors such as dishonesty, disrespectfulness, and laziness
- Retain talented and engaged employees by incentivizing and motivating programs and processes.
Sustainable Growth will never come if you are not continually striving to be better in aspects of your culture.
Quick-action Steps to Sustainable Growth.
Here are three small things that may serve you well in your endeavor to be the best in your business:
- Do a quick mental assessment of your business culture: How happy and motivated are your 1) employees? 2) customers? 3) you?
- Ask your team what they think about the culture (even better, have someone else ask and capture feedback). Any trends? Any negative surprises? Anything positively noteworthy?
- Lastly, reflecting on what we have envisioned a healthy culture, list 3-5 tangible things that are keeping you from increasing the health of your culture.
So, how is your business’s culture?
- Do the location and your people say everything you want them to say? Are they saying something you don’t want it to say? How do you know?
- Are your employees well-versed in reflecting the culture you would like? If not, where you do start? We have many tools and resources that can help you get where you want to go! Check us out!
- If you are unsure of the message your culture is sending, it is worth the time and effort to get help from someone outside your organization.
Tackle this critical task today before the unhealthy aspects of your culture eat the positive aspects of your strategy and leadership for lunch.
LET’S GET OUT THERE AND DO IT!