Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Setting the Direction, Values, Vision, and Culture

After reading "Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion and Purpose" by Tony Hsieh, I finally "understood" the importance of Corporate Culture and Values.  Having studied Corporate Values and Culture in school you learn the mechanics of what a corporate value is and how to properly define one but the true essence and value can only be understood by being a part of a company that effectively uses these to their benefit.
Basically a corporate culture is what gives life to a company's soul.  The corporate values are the essential nutrients that employees use to feed the company's soul.  As the corporate soul grows, it gives back to the employees; a sense of purpose and belonging.
Great CEO's understand the importance of shepherding, directing, and creating the corporate culture.
So that is why as a CEO I will focus everyone on being "Simply Amazing".  Everyone in the organization will ask themselves if what they are doing, enabling, creating, delivering is "Simply Amazing".  Their bonuses will be tied to how well they execute "Simply Amazing".
For example, all products and features for development will need to be "Simply Amazing".  "Simple" in that anyone will understand how to use and see the value of the whatever is developed.  "Amazing" because what is done is done in a way that was never thought of before but after seeing how it is done everyone is asking why they didn't do it that way in the first place.
Food prep workers will be asked how they can be "Simply Amazing".  How can they prepare food for large groups but tastes amazing?  Sponsor the food prep people going to different restaurants every week to try out the highly recommended foods.  Learn from what is good/new/creative out there and one up them.  Give employees who eat in the cafeteria an easy way to provide feedback.  Give line chefs ownership over food stations and provide a way for people to give real time feedback on the food.
Anyone hired, has to pass the "Simply Amazing" test.  Was the person interviewed "Simply Amazing" in an area of need, problem solving, grit, communication, conflict resolution, etc.
Sanitation engineers have to be simply amazing.  Ask them what they can do to make the experience walking around the premises, conference rooms, bathrooms, locker rooms, etc., "Simply Amazing".  Also, have ways for employees to report spills, messes, annoyances, to the sanitation engineers in real time.
HR has to ensure that employees feel the company is "Simply Amazing". 
Product managers need to prioritize around features that are "Simply Amazing".
Engineers have to think about how to develop features that are "Simple" and "Amazing".
The whole organization from the bottom to top has to be focused on being "Simply Amazing".  As people learn what it means to be "Simply Amazing" the employees will be asked to develop a set of Core Corporate Values supporting being "Simply Amazing".  Because the employees are developing the core values, the corporate culture takes on a life of its own.  Thus creating the virtuous cycle.

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