Strategy

Great company culture doesn’t happen by accident

Pixar’s focus on culture reminds us of how explicitly an organization’s structures and activities can impact its behaviors and attitudes and the significant role company values play in driving employee engagement. A great read for those that are looking to better understand the power of culture and reconcile the mindful effort it takes to cultivate and sustain – even among an employee pool of high performers. Unsure about how […]

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    How should you improve your business? Ask your worst customers.

How should you improve your business? Ask your worst customers.

Customer insight is one of the most important elements of a successful business model. Given the direct impact this relationship has on your success, customer insight should guide every initiative launched in the name of growth. Too many organizations don’t check in enough with their customers, understand their needs and how well they are being met. As a result, they make changes to their business model that don’t result […]

The Point of Continuous Improvement

Happy Friday! This is an oldie but goodie. A funny reminder that at the end of the day, CI efforts should focus on improving the means by which the business interprets and meets the needs of its customers. The impact of this effort is strongly enhanced by first taking the time to figure out what your customers want and expect. When was the last time you conducted a Voice […]

Poor Performance Is Often About Poor Process

Cuts in headcount are too often made with short term goals in mind. Somehow those with traditional management views consider this among the easier tacts to take when looking at cutting costs. I will grant them that it is one of the faster solutions in that regard. I would hope that these layoffs represent a last resort for Levis Strauss. I imagine that if they are truly experiencing a […]

What are you empowering employees to do?

I agree that Nordstrom’s market defining customer service is as this article suggests, the result of employees empowered by automony which is tempered by standards. But to have this kind of impact, standards can’t be created in a vacuum. And this level of service doesn’t happen by accident.

 

I believe this level of service and the standards that enable it, wouldn’t be as distinctive or impactful if they did not […]

5 Employee Engagement Sins

Harvard Business Review’s article, “Storytelling That Moves People” , has resurfaced again recently. Though it’s been over 10 years since it was first published, I’m struck by its still very relevant message and how eloquently interview subject, writer and director Robert McKee, describes both the components and power of a good story as well as the qualities of a good storyteller. Organizations are desperately in need of both. Employee […]

Dispelling Performance Myths

I believe that everyone comes to work every day to do his or her best. Sometimes life and work can get in the way, but I believe that in general, when people are given a chance to “do good” they step up to the challenge.

 

I didn’t always think this way. In all of my years of observing the way organizations went about improving performance, management consistently placed the blame on […]