CREATE A CULTURE FOR SUCCESS
GUIDE YOUR BUSINESS WITH PRINCIPLES FROM THE HEART
Bruce I. Doyle, III, Ph.D.
As a transformational leader who has been fortunate to have many exciting assignments in various business environments around the world, I've witnessed a multitude of corporate cultures and operating philosophies, some successful - some not. In today’s environment of corporate mistrust, we are all aware of the damage that the wrong culture can have on the company, the employees, and the retirees.
What's needed is major change in the operating philosophy of many of today’s businesses. Businesses guided with a “heart-based” operating philosophy will create a culture that promotes success, is a great place to work, and provides a model for replication. A “heart-based” operating philosophy would include the following principles.
Principle #1: FOSTER INTEGRITY
Integrity is the most important principle - without it, all else fails. Establishing an atmosphere of openness and trust is vital, especially when it comes to identifying and solving problems. In communications, honesty is essential. Employees appreciate honesty and will likewise extend it to your customers.
Principle #2: CREATE ALIGNMENT
It's the leader’s responsibility to create a shared vision for the business. Having a shared vision provides the opportunity for each stakeholder to align with the vision. Each and every action can then be assessed to determine whether it aligns with the vision or not. Having a shared vision also provides the opportunity for each employee to establish aligning goals that reflect their commitment to the vision. Commitment evokes top performance.
Principle #3: PROMOTE SELF-RESPONSIBILITY
Self-responsibility builds self-esteem and is the product of employees fully realizing that they are the source of their life experiences. Employees operating as source are fully expressing themselves. They willingly contribute their talent and creativity in alignment with the shared vision. They take total responsibility for achieving their goals. They operate from the heart. They enjoy a challenge and always rise to the occasion. They respond well to coaching and encouragement.
Principle #4: FACILITATE INTEGRATION
Fully integrate your business - eliminate those things that invite separation. Improve communication by removing walls and positions of elite status. Make key employees stakeholders in the business. Having something at stake ups the ante on commitment and fosters pride of ownership. Develop multi-functional units where members participate in all aspects of a project - building knowledge and a wider perspective. Reward cooperation and effectiveness. Encourage your employees to dissolve barriers. Keep focused on the marketplace and involve your major customers and suppliers in your vision. Listen to their ideas. Build long term relationships.
Principle #5: CULTIVATE APPRECIATION
Appreciate every employee for their contribution to the business. Appreciate their individual uniqueness and the strength available in the diversity of the group. Appreciate the demands of your customers for higher quality products and better service. Use their demands as benchmarks for improvement. Appreciate the dedication of your suppliers and their interest in your success. Give generously to your community in support of its services to you and your employees. Acknowledge your competitors for keeping you on your toes. Be grateful for your investors and don't forget to acknowledge yourself for having the courage to take a stand for what you know is right.
Build these principles into your operating philosophy and you'll have a culture that “guides from the heart”. Watch the results - you'll be amazed!