In my opinion, the culture of the organization is the number one determinant of the success of that organization. For example, compare Southwest Airlines with most of the others, the US Postal Service with FedEx, or Sears against Walmart. The differences of cultures are clear.
Charles Handy did for understanding organizations what Carl Jung did for understanding personalities as he wrote about the Power, Role, and Team cultures. For more ease of memory, (I love ABC), I use Autocratic, Bureaucratic, and Collaborative. The autocratic and bureaucratic cultures tend to be top-down organizations controlled either by a dominant individual or a set of rules and regulations. The collaborative culture is more of a modern organization, and in most cases, more successful.
Most organizations just allow cultures to develop. The most successful ones take steps to have a plan to have the best culture, and thus the most successful organization. For several years I have been helping organizations move toward more of a collaborative organization and a more successful culture. The move is not easy, but well worth it. I have broken the steps toward that collaborative culture to ten key ones.
Determine what culture you want and set up a plan to get it. You have to start here. It's easy to say that, "we are combination of all cultures," and dismiss the issue. But, some cultures are more successful than others, and we have to determine what we want. More importantly, we have to establish a plan to make that happen.
Look at the organization chart, titles, positions, and teams to determine how to best organize the company. Do you think that there is a difference between the typical bank with lots of different titles for just about any function, and Walmart where almost ever employee in a store is an "associate?" Determining how your organization will handle titles has everything to do with its culture, and eventually its success.
There is nothing worse than silos. and they are very common in the bureaucratic culture. Achieve alignment in your organization through establishing the vision, mission, and values for the company. Then, take that same concept to establish mission, vision, and values for each of the teams. You will be amazed what it's like have everyone moving in the same direction.
Most organizations make big mistakes in their hiring policies. When done correctly, the organization will be hiring people who not only meet the technical specifications, but also have the correct attitude to fit well into the teams. To have the best organization, you have to have the best people.
Many organizations continue to try and motivate people in the same way it was done 30 years ago. Today, employees are very different and successful motivation has to change to recognize those differences. Motivation is not necessarily intuitive, and department managers often do it wrong. This problem is magnified with one department does it one way, and another thinks entirely differently. It's crucial for the organization to have all leaders motivating employees in the same manner.
When we think of it, a huge part of organization's time is spent with meetings. Yet, almost everyone hates going to them. The reason is simple, they are not productive. Using a proven system, I can show you how to have productive meetings that are fun to attend, get things accomplished, and add to the positive culture of the organization.
When organizations have trouble, communication is most often blamed and that is usually correct. With some quick changes and procedures, your organization can have a far improved communications system that people love to use and also promotes accountability. This may be the most important culture improver that costs no money.
There are really only two important things that any organization has to do to be successful, serve the customer well and do it efficiently. Simple, but not always easy. Most customer service issues do not result from having unfriendly employees. They involve having unfriendly systems. I can show you a simple way to improve those systems that is absolutely guaranteed to improve customer service with little or no cost.
The second half of the success formula is to serve the customer in an efficient fashion. Many believe that there is always a tradeoff between customer service and efficiency. Actually, you can have both. I can show you a model to sharply improve efficiency with a system of gradual improvement and metrics. "When we measure what is important, it will improve." Peter Drucker.
The reality is that almost everything about life involves negotiation. The problem is that most people learned negotiation either from a book or experience; however, often those ideas don't work that well. I will introduce a program for successful negotiation that has been proven to work in almost every aspect of business life.
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