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 about that road trip right about now? A bit helpless, perhaps?

It can happen at your workplace too

Now imagine that you’re starting a new job with a new company as a customer service representative. It’s your very first day of work. You’re excited. You think of all the possibilities and all of the contributions you’re going to make. You’re thrilled at the prospect of what the day might bring.

Then the phone rings.

It’s an angry customer. They’re very upset with the product they’ve just purchased from your company. They’re irate, they want a refund and they want it fast. You, unfortunately, have no idea what to do about it or how to do it. The company never provided you with a clear set of instructions or guide as to how to handle these types of situations. You don’t know what to say or how to say it. In other words, you don’t have a road map!

Fundamentals are the Road Map

At High Performing Culture, we help our clients create what we call Fundamentals. Fundamentals are the most critical behaviors required for an organization’s success. They’re the codification of what’s expected of every team member and what’s required to create successful outcomes for anything that happens within that organization. Put simply, the Fundamentals are the road map.

Any sales issue, service issue, or production issue, can now be addressed through the lens of the Fundamentals. When this happens, we know we’re going down the right path.

Harness the power of clarity

Imagine again, that you’re that new customer service representative. Once again, you take that call from the angry customer. Only this time you have a road map. Perhaps your company’s Fundamentals include such behaviors as “Listen generously,” “Always do what’s best for customer (in every situation),” “Find a way” and “Deliver legendary service.” Now you have the tools and a framework for how to approach this challenging customer.

Without the Fundamentals, you’re operating in the dark. It’s like going on a road trip without a map. Perhaps this is ok if you have the time to spare and you don’t care when or if you even arrive at your destination. High-performing organizations, though, do care. They understand that results require intention and clarity.

If you’d like to learn more about how to use Fundamentals to create your road map, just shoot us an email or give us a call. You can also learn more from David Friedman’s latest book, Culture by Design.