As most readers of this blog know, an essential element of the Fundamentals System™ is the process of using “rituals” to sustain the teaching and practice of your Fundamentals over the long run. When an action is turned into a ritual, or a habit, it becomes easier to sustain because it no longer requires effort to maintain; it becomes practically automatic. In my next few blogs I’ll offer some tips on using this powerful concept to your advantage as you work to institutionalize your culture.
Leverage existing rituals
The first thing I always teach companies about creating rituals is to take advantage of, or leverage, rituals that already exist in your company. For example, we often recommend that you start every meeting by making the first agenda item be a brief discussion of the Fundamental of the Week. We don’t suggest creating a separate meeting simply to talk about the Fundamental – after all, who has time for yet another meeting? Rather, if we take advantage of the meetings that already exist, it really takes no extra effort and barely any extra time. We’re simply taking a few minutes of the meeting where people are already in attendance.
Most clients I’ve worked with that are in construction or manufacturing practice regular safety rituals. Every week, and in many companies, every day, the team members gather for what is often called a “toolbox talk.” During this brief meeting, they review a safety topic and usually conduct some type of job hazard analysis to look out for potential safety issues. When I ask the leaders if this is hard to remember to do, they always tell me, “No. It’s just what we do.” That’s the power of a ritual.
In companies like the ones I described above, they could easily tack 5 minutes on to their Monday toolbox talk and use it to discuss the Fundamental of the Week. By leveraging a ritual that’s already deeply embedded in their operation, they’re able to easily incorporate the Fundamental of the Week.
Most already have rituals
Most companies have a variety of established rituals – from weekly sales meetings, to regular management meetings, to daily standup meetings, to shift meetings or toolbox talks. Taking advantage of these existing rituals is simply easier than trying to establish new ones. The more effort we have to put in, the harder it is to sustain. This is one case where the path of least resistance is usually best.
If you’d like to learn more about how you can use rituals to deepen the teaching and absorption of your culture, just give us a call or shoot us an e-mail. We’d be glad to help.