Setting the Table for Success

Here’s a question I get often from companies as they begin transforming their companies through the Fundamentals process:  “We’ve figured out our Fundamentals and we’ve figured out the weekly rituals we want to practice, but how do we get our employees onboard?”  I’ll use this blog post to answer that. The Rollout There’s no question that how we roll out the program has an enormous impact on its success.  We could have the greatest set of Fundamentals and the best ideas for how to practice them, but if we simply dump them on our people with no context, it could …

Honoring Commitments

In this blog post, I’d like to provide some further insight into one of the Fundamentals that appears in every single one of our clients.  In fact, it’s one that’s so foundational to success that we practically insist that it be included.  We call it:  Honor commitments. The foundation for trust The first part of this Fundamental is the most important, and perhaps the most obvious.  Simply doing what you said you’d do, when you said you’d do it, is the basis for all successful business relationships.  It’s what allows us to function effectively – knowing that we can count on …

Measuring Performance

In my last blog post, I shared why assessing our current culture, prior to beginning our “design” work, is of surprisingly little value. However, once we’ve rolled out our Fundamentals and are beginning to practice them, assessing how we’re doing is both helpful and important. In this post, I’ll share some thoughts on conducting culture surveys. Survey design Since we define culture in terms of specific behaviors (we call them “Fundamentals”), it’s reasonably straightforward to assess our culture by measuring how we’re doing in consistently demonstrating those behaviors. In contrast, it’s far more challenging to assess our performance relative to “values,” because …

Should you assess your current culture?

A common question I get when we begin to work with a company is “Shouldn’t we do some kind of assessment of our current culture?” And given how common this question is, it’s not surprising that there are a variety of assessment tools on the market for just this purpose. While many of these tools are nicely designed, my answer to this question may surprise you. A design function When we take a company through the Fundamentals Process™ I often describe it as a “design function.” In other words, we’re designing, in an intentional way, the culture we want to …

Get clear on expectations

Get clear on expectations  As most regular readers know, I sometimes use these blog posts to share deeper insights into some of the Fundamentals that tend to find their way into many of our clients’ cultures.  Remember that “Fundamentals” is simply the word we use to describe the daily behaviors that are foundational for an organization’s culture.  When we practice these Fundamentals consistently through weekly rituals, they eventually become internalized.  In this post, I’d like to share some thoughts on one of my favorite Fundamentals.  I call it “Get clear on expectations.”  The foundation of this Fundamental is the recognition that we …

Setting people up for success – Part ll

In my last blog post, I talked about integration – the process by which we get new hires started and assimilated – and explained why this process is so critical to success.  In this post, I’ll share some tips on how to get started in building a world-class integration program in your own company. Start small and be consistent One mistake I frequently see is a company starting out too ambitiously.  They design a fabulous integration program, but it’s too much effort and requires too many resources and so after a few times, they start short-changing it, or sometimes even …

Setting people up for success – Part l

 As most readers know, we use the 8-step framework as a way to organize the steps necessary to intentionally create, drive, and sustain a high performing culture.  In the next two posts, I’d like to explore the fourth of those steps – – integration.  Integration is the word we use for what some companies call “orientation” or others call “on-boarding.”  It describes the process by which you take a new recruit and bring them into your company.  I prefer to use the word “integration” because it implies that you’re assimilating the new person or making them an integral part of your …

Making Your Culture Visible

As many readers know, we organize the steps it takes to be intentional and systematic about your culture into a simple structure we call the 8-step framework. One of the key elements in that framework is communicating your culture throughout the organization, or making it visible. In this post, I’ll explain why this is so important and offer some simple ideas you can quickly put to work. It’s a form of advertising Have you ever thought about why companies spend billions of dollars on advertising? Because it mostly works! The more we see something, the more it starts to feel …

Eliminating the Blame Game

As I do from time to time, I’d like to use this blog post to share some thoughts about a Fundamental that appears in virtually every one of our clients, and for good reason.  I call it “Practice blameless problem-solving” and here’s the way we often describe it: In my experience, this Fundamental is truly a foundational element for every successful organization. Whose fault was it? As you no doubt know, in most organizations (and in our society at large), people often spend more time determining who was a fault than they do actually fixing the problem. At the first sign …

The Power of Cyclical Rituals

What’s the Ideal Cycle?  In my last blog post, I wrote about the power of “cyclical rituals” to create deeper learning and penetration. In this post, I’ll look at the question of how spaced apart our cycles should be. You may remember from a previous blog post that I developed the concepts behind the Fundamentals System™ after an experience I had learning about Ritz-Carlton and the Basics they practice through their Daily Line-ups. These line-ups happen every day in every department and in every shift, all around the world. A different approach My company was an insurance agency, and since we didn’t have departments and shifts in quite …