Great, you have an indication that the culture you want to be working in is not what you desire.  Congratulations, you can’t fix what you are not willing to expose, and it sounds like you have the first step well on your way!  

That is the first step, having data to start with.  In our last article, The Emotional Culture Index we discussed this tool, and the story of Ryan describing how he identified his gaps.  

Having a third-party anonymous tool is a great benefit.  It gives the team a safe space to be more open and objective, without judgement.

1/Share the results

This is the single most powerful step any organization can take.

Taking that graph, overall score or a summary of the statements you have received regarding the culture, is powerful.

Continuing with Ryan, when he brought in the team to debrief the results, it had an immediate positive impact.  You could feel the temperature in the room decrease, simply by the owner acknowledging that there was a gap in the actual way people are feeling in comparison to how they believe they should feel at work.

At this organization, the biggest gap in the unpleasant feelings focused on being informed.  They felt less informed than what they expected.  In contrast, they felt more disorganized, an unpleasant feeling, than what they expected.

When we reviewed this information with the team, the magic started to happen!

2/Be lazy, do not try to fix it!

What?  Finally I want to take some action because I have ideas on how to make it better, and we are saying do nothing?

Not exactly, what we are saying is to leave the cape at home.  No one wants wonder woman or superman to come in and save the day.  The best ideas come from your subject matter experts, your people, the team!

That magic we talked about at the end of step one, is letting the team unpack the results.  When the top leadership acknowledges there is a gap between the desired culture and the one we are demonstrating, where you put energy is key.

The reason you currently have gaps, is rarely due great communication with the team and ideas not working.  

This is the gift of discussion, and an open forum to further understand the gaps.

What Ryan might think the team has a lack of information on could be slightly different than what the team needs.  Even great owners with positive intentions, cannot make as impactful decisions as the team can, when it comes to filling the teams needs!

3/Commit to specific actions with dates

This one does not need a lot of explanation yet follow up may be the most impactful step!

Once you have those key action ideas generated by your team with the powerful facilitation to get you those ideas, we need to commit!  

  • What specifically is the action?  In Ryan’s case, they need start of shift kickoff meetings, with specific pass off information, and what is required for the day.
  • When will it start?  The beginning of next week, Monday at 7AM.
  • Who is responsible?  Ryan took the lead as the owner.  This does not mean he does all the work, this means you can have only one person responsible or no one is responsible.  Of course his General Manager, Safety, Quality and Materials manager will do the brunt of the work, there is no confusion who ultimately has responsibility if this does not get kicked off!

Your actions do not need to be perfect, continuous improvement in culture is an ongoing dynamic journey.  80% ready and launching is better than delaying and never making improvements.   

‘If you want something you never had, you have to do something you’ve never done’.  — Thomas Jefferson

Follow these three steps, and let me know how you made out, as I will let you know about Ryan in the next article!

Leave a Reply