Practicing the “Human Touch”

By David Friedman, Founder/CEO The other day I received a birthday card in the mail.  It had no personal note in it, but did have the business card of the person sending it.  He’s a mortgage lender who secured construction financing for us 12 years ago when we were building our house.  I haven’t spoken to him or heard from him since that loan, other than an annual birthday or holiday card with his business card (and sometimes a list of the awards he’s won).  Here’s the ironic thing:  he likely thinks he’s keeping in touch with me and increasing …

Show Me the Numbers

  By Melanie Booher, Senior Consultant Good business leaders are often praised for their strong financial prowess, ability to drive numbers, and steadfastness in obtaining results. Metrics are their holy grail.   Great business leaders are also people-minded. And while it can be difficult to measure softer items (like feelings, empathy, engagement, camaraderie), they do matter and they do impact results.  I’ll never forget the time this lesson really stood out: As the HR leader at a small firm, I had worked hard to secure approval from our CEO granting everyone 1/2 day off (and in a billable environment this is …

How to Write Effective Fundamentals

By Jake Friedman, Consultant Two weeks ago, my colleague, HPC Senior Consultant Bill Kaiser, wrote about how to brainstorm the behaviors (we call them “Fundamentals”) that drive success in your organization, and why that’s important to do well if you want your culture to become a sustainable competitive advantage. Today, I’ll talk about how to effectively write those behaviors so that they’re able to be taught and understood clearly by your people. Together, these two activities, brainstorming and writing behaviors, make up the first step in the Fundamentals System’s 8-step framework for driving a high performing culture. Explanatory descriptions Each …

How do your employees perform?

By Bill Kaiser, Senior Consultant Your people are the difference. Sometimes that sounds sing-songy because in many organizations it’s an inauthentic claim.  In high performing cultures – it’s gospel. How your people behave and perform, day in and day out, is the only sustainable differentiation you have. That means you have to be intentional and systematic in defining the employee behaviors that drive, and are fundamental, to your continued success. In fact, this is one of the most important premises on which the entire Fundamentals System is built – and it’s Step #1. Who should be included As HPC Founder …

Culture: The Key to Recruiting and Retaining Top Talent

By Al Curnow, Senior Consultant  In the May 2nd  issue of our blog, my colleague, Rob Wolff, wrote an important piece on the topic of Culture as a Strategic Initiative. Given some recently announced labor statistics, I wanted to take a deeper dive on one of the elements Rob had touched on in his piece—recruiting and retaining top talent.  The U.S. Department of Labor announced last month that the unemployment rate was now down to 3.6%!  This is the lowest level since 1962.  While you may have already been feeling the sting of a tight labor market, the screws have …

Culture as a Strategic Investment

By Rob Wolff, Senior Consultant Although the economy is, by most measures robust and healthy right now, organizations of every size continue to struggle with managing capital budgets and investment strategies. A healthy economy doesn’t always mean an abundance of available capital; therefore, businesses owners and CEO’s continue to face the challenge of deciding where the biggest impact and return is likely to come from. A recent survey of small and midsize business owners showed that Productivity Improvement, Recruiting and Retention, and Marketing are among the top areas vying for investment. This should come as no surprise, as these are …

When’s the “Right Time” for Culture? Yesterday.

By David J. Friedman, Founder/CEO Having written two books, given more than 400 workshops, delivered scores of keynote talks, and presented to hundreds of companies, I’ve probably explained the Fundamentals System™ to more than 10,000 leaders.  In nearly every case they’ve been astonished by the simple elegance and practicality of the approach.  And yet, as simple and powerful as the approach is, they don’t all implement it.  Why? The most common explanation I hear goes something like this:  “We believe in this and it makes all the sense in the world, but we’re so swamped right now and have several …

Closing the gap between expectations and performance

By Jake Friedman, Consultant  Last Friday afternoon I picked up my son from school and then drove a couple minutes down the road to the closest Chick-Fil-A. While perhaps not the healthiest option, our end of the week trip for ice cream or a milkshake was quickly becoming one of his favorite traditions, and I enjoyed it as well. I ordered a shake, thanked the woman taking my order, and as all Chick-Fil-A employees do when thanked, she replied, “My pleasure.” This simple two word reply is a hallmark of Chick-Fil-A’s well-earned reputation of excellent service in an industry (fast …

Are Your People the Difference?

By Bill Kaiser, Senior Consultant I just returned from a speaking opportunity at a conference hosted by a very successful roofing material company. They gathered their top roofing contractors from around the country to celebrate and reward their performances in 2018 – specifically for buying/using a great deal of their product. The general manager of the host company started off the conference with an interesting PowerPoint presentation (I know, often an oxymoron) recapping 2018 and forecasting 2019. He discussed numbers, trends, innovative products, and his staff. He then introduced the company president to speak to the honored guests.  He gets …

Coaching and Culture | High Performing Culture

Coaching and Culture – What We Can Learn From March Madness

By Al Curnow, Senior Consultant Buckle up. March Madness is here.  It’s the best time of the year.    For any college basketball junkie, this is a time of pure bliss.   In two weeks, the brackets will be set and we’ll become inundated with games from dawn to dusk.  While there’ll likely be a few Cinderella stories among the games, the men’s and women’s tournaments are typically dominated by many of the traditionally strong programs (think UCONN or Tennessee among the women’s programs, or Duke and North Carolina among the men).    What is it about these programs that make them perennial …