You become what you are. It is almost cliché. We hear it on every sports-broadcast these days… “These guys have a culture of winning – It’s built into their organization”. Even though its cliché, it’s still so important that we all want to know how to get it or make it. Here’s how we think about building a winning green industry business culture.
Values are virtues. At our company the key values are SERVICE, DISCIPLINE, RESPONSIBILITY, PRODUCTIVITY. In simplest terms everyone is focused on:
- Making the customer happy.
- Following a process to consistently deliver on that promise.
- Taking the initiative and using creativity to do their job.
- Working as long as it takes (nights or weekends)… all to make the customer happy.
Values are who you are and who you want to be. They can make you the best… or a mediocrity. What are yours?
Leaders reinforce the value through example… especially in the way they treat employees, partners, vendors and customers. I am the company’s chief officer and salesman.
On a recent sales call with one of our staff, I was actively talking the prospect OUT OF BUYING our product. After the call she said that in all her years she had never seen a sales person do that. In fact a day later the prospect called me and said the same thing. Why did I do it? It was the right thing to do… the product was not a great fit. Sure I could have closed the sale… but later on they may not have been very happy. Our #1 value, as you recall… make the customer happy.
Most people want to be part of something great. They want to invest their valuable time and energy in the pursuit of personal as well as larger organizational goals.
The trick is to find people who share your values, and then look for relevant experience or the ability to learn what you do. It is easier to teach people your business, than it is to teach them values.
So how do we hire people who share our values? We first interview for our stated values. We try to involve as many people in the process so we get a good feel that a candidate “is like us”… and they fit it. Only then do we look at job and educational experience to determine if the candidate is worth pursuing.
Values, leadership and the selection and nurturing of our people are central to our efforts to build a culture that will drive our business success. Nothing is more important or worthwhile. Life is short… we want to spend our time in the pursuit of greatness with great people – or fail in the effort.
If you want to be the best, focus on culture from the start.