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 ...

Things are just fine right now, or are they?

By Rob Wolff, Senior Consultant Many of the CEOs/owners whom I speak with about their cultures are usually pretty satisfied with their current state.  They often indicate that they’re making money and their employees seem to mostly be doing the right things.  In their estimation, things are good enough and so working on their culture isn’t much of a priority.  In fact, they have other more pressing issues that they barely have the time to address. Why Invest Time on Culture? Given their relatively stable situation, many wonder why they should spend much time on culture.  The answers here can ...
High Performing Culture

5 Reasons to make culture a priority

By David Friedman, Founder/CEO Everywhere you look these days – from the business journals to the sports magazines – people are writing and talking about culture. Organizations of every type have realized the powerful role that culture plays in success, and rather than relegating it to an HR initiative, the best ones have made it a key strategic priority. In my observation, there are 5 key drivers for this shift in prioritization, and one or more of these apply to virtually every one of us. To stand out and win business Most of us exist in pretty commoditized industries, where …

You Culture | High Performing Culture

Your Culture Should Be Completely Unique, Right?

By Jake Friedman, Consultant Wrong. Don’t reinvent the wheel. Use best practices. These type of maxims are liberally dispensed in most aspects of business, but when it comes to culture, there’s often some hesitancy to apply the same concepts. Shouldn’t your culture be completely unique to your company? Wouldn’t the behaviors your employees need to practice be different from the ones that the next company practices? Actually, no. In fact, I’d argue quite the opposite. For the most part, the large majority of behaviors (or “Fundamentals,” as we call them) being practiced in a world-class company are likely the same …

Culture 2018 | High Performing Culture

Culture 2018: The Year in Review

By Senior Consultant, Bill Kaiser It’s time to take our last look at 2018 as we wind down and then gear up for the excitement that lies ahead in 2019. I hope that 2018 has been an outstanding and rewarding year for you both personally and professionally. And I wish you massive success in 2019! I wanted to provide you with a summary of the “Blogs of 2018.” A convenient collection of the titles, brief summaries, and links to our Culture insights of this past year. We enjoy sharing and learning together and look forward to continuing the same in …

The road to High Performance | High Performing Culture

The Road to High Performance Requires a Map

By Senior Consultant, Al Curnow Imagine that you’re going on a road trip to someplace you’ve never been before. You’ve filled the car with gas, brought your sunglasses in case of road glare, and even packed a few snacks for the ride. The only problem is, your mobile phone isn’t working. You don’t have access to Waze, Google maps or any other method of GPS. Worse, you threw out all of your old paper maps. Since you cancelled your AAA membership, you can’t go there and ask for a triptik (if they still even offer them). How are you feeling …

Giving the Gift of Culture | High Performing Culture

Giving the Gift of Culture

By Senior Consultant, Rob Wolff We’re now in that stressful period between Thanksgiving and the end of the year when most of us start to feel the pressure of the “Giving Season.” I don’t know about you, but I seem to feel an underlying sense of panic each year to find gifts that are new and exciting, and that top whatever I’ve given in prior years. There’s also some pressure (admittedly all self-imposed) to make the “right” gift personal – something that reflects the needs and wants of the recipient. Most of us have plenty of people on our gift …

A Different Point of View on Assessment

A Different Point of View on Assessments

By Founder/CEO, David Friedman As we begin to work with our clients on implementing the Fundamentals System™, I’m sometimes asked whether or not we should do some sort of “assessment” of the culture first. My answer may surprise you, as it’s one of the many places where we tend to buck conventional wisdom. But as I explain why, I think you’ll see the point clearly. Traditional thinking would suggest that before we can know where we’re going, we first have to clearly understand where we are today. And so companies will often do surveys of their employees, asking for their …