I recently read an article that further validated what we already know about the importance of cultivating a strong company culture …
Here’s what REALLY grabbed my attention:
“Companies with strong cultures have seen a 4x increase in revenue growth” …
“Companies that appeared on Fortune’s annual 100 best companies to work for list also see higher average annual returns, with cumulative returns as high as 495% compared to 156%” …
To read the full article on Forbes.com, click HERE.
There are very few elements that continue to contribute to business success like culture does.
How I KNOW this to be true …
We have a team member that recently came on board with Business Nitrogen that has worked with some of the top direct marketers in the industry. After working with us for a few months, she told me that in the last 24 years, she has never seen or experienced a company culture like ours before …
The difference compared to other companies was literally night and day.
This is not the first time I’ve heard something like this, either from members of our team or from our clients.
Can you say the same?
If not, here’s some unsolicited advice. Start looking inward at your existing culture so you can start making necessary changes now before it’s too late.
If this happens to be a new area for you, here’s how I explain the architecture of company culture to our clients …
I describe 3 vital pillars that equate to culture. They include core values, core purpose and a BHAG (big, hairy, audacious goal).
In a recent Infinite Business Newsletter, I gave you my tip on how our company created our BHAG before focusing on any of the other components of culture. We did this because I found it easier to keep the end goal in mind when designing the foundational elements that would directly and intentionally support it.
Then we focused on our core values.
Core values are the set of beliefs that should guide your decisions, unite your team, and define what your business stands for. Most companies have three to five core values, but there really is no limit.
Creating core values is NOT as easy as it sounds.
If that’s been your experience, try this exercise:
Ask members of your core team to identify two team members they feel are key players in the business. These people should embody the heart and soul of the business. Ask them to write down the summary of “why” this person is on the list. Then have them write down the person’s characteristics that stand out. The common words and phrases are the perfect starting point for the core values discussion.
If you don’t have a team, ask a trusted confidant to help you. Mine was Bob Sears. Not only is he my colleague, he has known me for 12+ years, and he is a trusted friend.
It took us weeks to create our core values … I remember getting on Zoom calls with him hours at a time to brainstorm and collaborate on this.
After we created what we thought our core values were, we’d both post them somewhere where we could see them multiple times a day.
We kept looking at them to determine what needed to change for them to be 100% “true”. We’d ask ourselves: Do these accurately represent who we really are?
We both committed to getting them 100% right (however long it took). And you’ll know when you’ve got them right when there is no question at all in your mind.
This might help too … Check out our core values below:
It’s the implementation phase where things usually fall apart when it comes to core values….
After creating their core values, business owners usually tuck them away in a drawer never to look at them again.
Or they are put on display with no explanation of what they mean or why they are there.
Here’s the thing …
In order for your core values to truly make an impact and become a vital piece of your company culture, they have to be brought to life.
They need to become living, breathing principles that everyone in your company strives to live by every single day.
For example, we have weekly meetings in our company with the sole purpose of reviewing and exercising our core values. Each member of the company participates and examples are given how our core values were exercised the week before.
Your core values should also be what your team holds each other accountable to each and every day.
More specifically, we practice Diagonal Accountability at Business Nitrogen.
If a member of the team doesn’t get something they need from another team member, they have no problem addressing it with them (even if that person is me). No one on our team avoids an impending conflict, or feels threatened by accountability. We all look at it as helping one another be successful.
Open, honest, and transparent communication is KEY in our company culture. It’s the only way to successfully overcome any challenge we encounter.
I’m very proud of our entire team here at Business Nitrogen. And in order to grow and nurture a high-performing team like ours, we are very intentional about who we “invite in”.
As a result, our hiring criteria is heavily based on our core values. Plus, it’s also a great way to attract the “right” candidates.
During our interview process, we repeatedly communicate what our core values are, and what they mean to us as a company.
This allows each candidate to clearly understand what they will be measured against and held accountable to if they get to join our team. If at any point we don’t feel a candidate resonates with our core values, we stop the process.
Last but not least, our core values also qualify our clientele. If a prospect doesn’t align with our core values, they are not a right fit client for us. If they are a right fit, this also acts to establish clear expectations for everyone.
Like I mentioned earlier, there are very few elements that continue to contribute to business success like culture does.
Start working on creating your core values and make the commitment to see it through.
As always, I’m just a reply away if you need help.
To your success,