Keeping It Fresh

By David Friedman, CEO/Founder

In late October, we held our 5th annual High Performing Culture Summit, bringing together more than 90 leaders for two days of best practices sharing, learning new content, and networking.  Without a doubt, it was our best Summit yet, and we’re already deep into planning for the next one.

As I sit here reflecting on what I learned, there are two things that stand out most.  First, it truly is remarkable, and gratifying, to hear the stories of how powerfully the Fundamentals System™ is transforming people and companies.  Company after company shared amazing stories of how their people have been impacted and how they’re simply operating at a level that they could never have otherwise achieved.

How do we keep it fresh?

But the second thing I learned is something I honestly hadn’t given enough serious attention to.  Let me explain.  The most common question I heard at the Summit was some version of, “We’ve been practicing our Fundamentals for a few years now.  What can we do to keep it fresh or to liven it up?”

As our regular readers know, one core element of the Fundamentals System™ is the use of rituals to help us consistently engage in and practice the Fundamentals in a sustainable way.  In fact, it’s the rituals that keep this from becoming yet another “flavor or the month.”  But how do you keep rituals from become tired and meaningless?  Here are 8 suggestions:

  1. Create interaction. If you simply recite the Fundamental of the Week (FOW) in a meeting, and there’s no interaction, it loses its meaning.  Ask people questions to get them engaged.  The more people participate, the more meaningful it is.

  2. Vary the voice. Use a sign-up sheet to have more employees take ownership for authoring the weekly message.  Ask various employees to lead the discussion in an upcoming meeting. 

  3. Use different media. Rather than just email, consider using video to send a weekly message about the FOW.  Video is easier than ever to produce, and it allows people to share more emotion, individuality, and fun.  Our mobile app, CultureWise, creates many new ways for people to engage in the Fundamental each week.

  4. Create an award. Many of our clients have rewards to recognize people who demonstrate their Fundamentals well.  Some even have peers vote on the employee who best embodies the Fundamentals over a specified period of time.

  5. Create a game. Simple games or contests can create fun ways for people to engage in your Fundamentals.  Early next year, we’ll be releasing a “gamification” capability in CultureWise that makes it easier than ever to set up and run games.  These kinds of fun competitions can create new excitement.

  6. Create a culture committee. A number of our clients have created a committee of employees to take ownership for the Fundamentals and to come up with ideas and activities.  Often peer-driven activities get better participation than management-led ones.

  7. Roll it out again. I recently participated in a rollout for a company that had been practicing their Fundamentals for more than 3 years.  Doing the rollout again allowed us to go far deeper on the Fundamentals and injected a huge boost of renewed enthusiasm about the value and impact of consistently practicing Fundamentals.

  8. Revisit your Fundamentals. While I’ve not typically been a proponent of reviewing the Fundamentals themselves and making changes, I’ve come to see that this can be very effective in some cases.  Last year we helped one of our clients to update their Fundamentals (after 5-6 years of practicing).  An employee committee participated in the effort and we rolled them out again.  While the changes weren’t major, refreshing the Fundamentals had a significantly positive effect.  Noted the company’s President, “Every few years we give rooms in our house a fresh coat of paint.  Why not do the same for our Fundamentals?”

If you’d like to learn more about how to practice Fundamentals or how to refresh your practice, just give us a call, click the button below, or consider joining us at Summit 2020.

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