Is your culture working for or against you? In other words, is your culture facilitating or hindering your ability to achieve your organization’s desired results? Answer the following questions to perform a Culture Quick Test:
|•||Is your current culture unable to produce the results you’ve promised?|
|•||Will your current culture have difficulty delivering the results you need in the future?|
|•||Are there actions your people need to stop doing because those actions just don’t get results?|
|•||Are there actions your people need to start doing because those actions are needed to achieve your desired results?|
|•||Are the right (necessary) experiences, beliefs, and actions being hindered or impeded by your current culture?|
If you answered “Yes” to three or more of the above questions, you need to shift the way your people think and act now, not later. Changing your organization’s culture is not an option—it’s an imperative!
Culture depends on results and results depend on culture. You can build a company culture around any set of desired results: market dominance, sales growth, technological excellence, ease of customer interaction, best-in-class quality, or stable earnings, just to name a few. Once the target results are clear, you should move quickly to create a culture that produces the necessary experiences, beliefs, and actions to achieve those results.
Consider CPI’s classic culture change story. Cardiac Pacemakers Inc. (CPI), a leader in cardiovascular technology, was “going 90-mph down an icy road and heading toward a cliff,” according to its CEO Jay Graf. The company had experienced historic sales growth, but two formidable competitors were about to introduce new products that could eclipse CPI’s. Making matters worse, CPI’s new product development capabilities had seriously waned in recent years. Graf was faced with a major turn around that would involve rebuilding the company’s new product development capability. Graf and his team made the case for change from the current results (R1) to the desired results (R2) and communicated it throughout the entire organization. As management led the way, the rest of the company felt empowered to get on board and take accountability for making it happen. Within two years, CPI created what industry observers described as “a new product-development machine” that produced 14 new products in 14 months, doubling sales and increasing the stock price nine-fold.
For more information about clearly defining the shift from R1 to R2 that can speed up culture change and thereby speed up results, we invite you to join the Accountability Community at www.ozprinciple.com, where you can review actual client case studies.
Accountability Community is a registered trademark of Partners In Leadership, Inc.
Recent studies have shown that over 50% of people who leave their jobs, leave because of poor relations with managers. One in four workers describe their workplace as a “dictatorship.” Only half of all workers claim their bosses treat them well. Seven out of ten workers are either actively or passively disengaged at work. Needless to say, when leaders and managers fail to practice what they preach, walk the talk, or take accountability for modeling the behavior they expect from others, they risk creating a work culture of contradiction, cynicism, and disengagement.
Leaders and managers who exemplify taking accountability for achieving results are more likely to inspire and encourage their people to take greater accountability for achieving results. When it comes to taking accountability for results, example is everything, and leaders would do well to remember the sage advice of Albert Schweitzer: “Example is not the main thing in influencing others, it is the only thing.” So what can you do if your boss is not setting a good example of taking accountability for results?
Share some Focused Feedback: “Can I share some feedback with you that I think will help us get better results?” Share both appreciative and constructive feedback. Don’t be one-sided. Present a well-rounded, reasonable point of view. Frame your feedback in terms of impact on results. Most people don’t appreciate it when you beat around the bush, and they rarely like it when you talk behind their backs. Be candid, clear, courageous, and caring. Let them know that you really care about their effectiveness as a leader and about the results of the team.
To learn more about being a good example of taking accountability for results, we invite you to join the Accountability Community at www.ozprinciple.com, where you can review actual client case studies.
Focused Feedback, and Accountability Community are registered trademarks of Partners In Leadership, Inc.
Recently the senior leadership team of a mid-cap manufacturing company started questioning whether they would be able to achieve the Key Results they’d committed to achieve six months earlier. Specifically, they believed they could achieve their profit goal because of a spike in sales at the beginning of the year, but they had serious doubts about achieving their operating expense goal. Revenues had declined steadily since the first of the year while operating expenses had increased in response to the revenue erosion. After much debate about whether operating expenses should be cut to meet the goal or allowed to increase to preserve the company’s future, the CEO took a hard stand. “If we cave-in on our Key Results now, when times are tough, we’ll never build the Culture Of Accountability we really want and need. Not meeting our operating expense goal is not an option. We have to make the hard choices about what to spend and what to cut. Our Key Results matter—we have to keep asking What else can we do? in order to achieve them.” The debate was over. Members of the senior leadership team conceded to do whatever was necessary to meet their operating expense goal for the year. And they did.
In the end, personal and organizational accountability mean accepting full responsibility to achieve results, i.e., Do It. If you don’t Do It, you will never reap the most valuable benefit of full accountability: overcoming your circumstances and achieving the results you want. Irrespective of the many benefits that accrue from applying the other three steps—See It, Own It, and Solve It—results only come when you put all four steps together and passionately, proactively, and persistently Do It!
That’s right, Do It means embracing full responsibility for results and remaining answerable for progress toward those results, regardless of your prevailing circumstances. Sometimes hard choices have to be made to achieve results. Remember, the proof of accountability lies in the achievement of results, short-term and long-term. To learn more about the relationship between results and accountability, we invite you to join the Accountability Community at www.ozprinciple.com, where you can review actual client case studies.
Culture Of Accountability, See It, Own It, Solve It, Do It, and Accountability Community are all registered trademarks of Partners In Leadership, Inc.