Your entire business is a system. The recipe for an excellent organization includes the right people, a good plan, the will to excel, a philosophy of continuous improvement, and high-performance business systems and processes. The resulting culture produces an organization with lasting value—one that you can sell, replicate/franchise, or let someone run for you.
Creating a culture of excellence is like creating a brand; it takes some time, but when it catches on, it is quite remarkable! Transforming your organization, Mr. or Ms. Business Owner, is your number-one task. It is the Master Skill!
In describing great companies, Jim Collins said:
“The best companies never transform to greatness in ‘one fell swoop.’ There is no single defining action, no grand program, no one killer innovation, no solitary lucky break, no miracle moment. Sustainable transformations [to greatness] follow a predictable pattern of build-up and breakthrough. Like pushing on a giant heavy flywheel, it takes a lot of effort to get the thing moving at all, but with persistent pushing in a consistent direction over a long period of time, the flywheel builds momentum, eventually hitting a point of breakthrough” (Good to Great).
This transformation to greatness—becoming a culture of excellence—requires steady dedication to the development of effective business systems and processes. There is no other way!
What is Your Culture?
An organization’s culture includes its values, goals, behaviors, language, organizational structure and relationships, ways of talking, dressing and interacting, traditions and rituals, logos and symbols, technologies, processes, and methods for improving behavior and performance. Like snowflakes and fingerprints, no two business cultures are the same.
I’ve seen business cultures of oppression and fear, cultures of disorganization and chaos, cultures with high frustration and turnover of people—all reflecting the values and leadership style of owners and managers.
I’ve also seen cultures characterized by enthusiasm and loyalty, stewardship and accountability, mutual respect and trust, systemized and professional operations, where people love coming to work—all reflecting the values and leadership style of owners and managers.
Culture Determines Success
Thomas Watson Jr., former CEO of IBM said, “The basic philosophy, spirit, and drive of an organization have far more to do with its relative achievements than do technological or economic resources, organizational structure, innovation or timing (Randy Pennington, Results Rule!, 8).
Surround yourself with “disciplined people who engage in disciplined thought and who take disciplined action” (Jim Collins). When your people are working individually and collectively at their highest potential—even when you are not around—you will have created a remarkable organization.
YOU are the leader, and you set the pace. It is up to you to break through to a high-performance culture, a culture of discipline, a culture of excellence—the natural consequence of creating effective business systems and processes.
So spend an hour in the Zone today, and begin reaping the benefits tomorrow. Every day you wait is costing you money, and much more!