Let the Fires Burn!

I’ve been very fortunate to work with a number of CEOs and business owners who stand out from their peers.  While most folks in the corner office are busy fighting fires, the ones with whom I work realize that in order to make their organizations world class, it’s sometimes better to let the fires burn in favor of developing a long term, sustainable competitive advantage.

I get that the top job is demanding.  Team members and customers are lobbying for your time.  Board members are looking for numbers and your time.  All three constituencies are important, and it’s not uncommon for all to have problems that they “need your help with”.  In fact, there likely aren’t enough hours in the day to provide all of the support that’s being asked of you – there’s always another issue or “fire” that needs your attention.

Sometimes it’s best to let those fires burn. If you think about it, those fires are often burning because of sub-optimal support structures.  At other times, they’re burning because members of your team didn’t act or decide in the way that you would have preferred them to.

Of course, I’m not a pyromaniac – I’m not a fan of fires, and I certainly don’t thinkthat letting them burn is a great long-term solution.   What I have seen time and time again is that it can be much more beneficial to ensure that your company and your team have a strong cultural foundation in order to help prevent fires before they start.

As I work with business owners across the country in various industries, I often hear that despite recognizing how important their company’s culture is, “we’re just too busy with some major issues or projects to be able to focus on our culture right now”. I certainly respect and understand that pressures and volume of work can be overwhelming and intimidating, and the concept of focusing on a “complex” issue like culture seems like it would just take time and effort that they feel they can’t afford right now.

Your company’s culture affects everything that you do. It affects the quality and quantity of work that your team produces.  It affects the level of satisfaction that your customers experience every day.  It affects the type of support that you receive from your vendors and suppliers.  A strong, well-defined culture drives efficiencies and effectiveness that drop directly to the bottom line by aligning your resources in the direction you want them to head, and by preventing some fires from ever starting.  And when those fires do start, your team is in a much better position to extinguish them quickly and effectively.

What’s more, understanding and articulating exactly what your ideal company culture should look like, and introducing it to the entire organization doesn’t need to take very much of your time or time from your staff – in fact, we’ve made it pretty easy!  Our Fundamentals System is designed to minimize your investment in time while still ensuring that you end up with a very clearly defined culture that’s presented to your team in clear, simple language that is actionable and that will last for years to come.  Our approach is comprehensive and only takes a few hours of your time. In fact, we can have you up and running on a smoother, more effective path in 6-8 weeks.

If you’d like to learn about “fire prevention,” and if you’d like to understand just how easy and straightforward defining and implementing a culture that is best-suited to help you succeed can be, contact us today…

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