Because I’m a business coach you may be surprised to hear that all of my key team members meet with a business coach themselves on a regular basis. Which may sound strange coming from a company that teaches others how to grow and scale their businesses through business coaching. But having our team go through the same program that our clients go through is a very important strategic cultural element of our business, which is something that you may want to include in your own business as well.
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Strategic Cultural Elements Explained
I like to use the example of 1-800 flowers when I explain what a strategic cultural element is. My friend and co-author of one of my books, Jeff Hoffman, once toured a 1-800 flowers facility in New York and during that tour he walked up to a random worker and asked them “what are you doing today?” And the worker answered: “I am working on the trucks. I’m replacing oil filters on all the trucks because if we do that, we’ll actually get another 10% fuel efficiency, which will let us lower prices so we can sell more flowers.” Well Jeff thought for sure that was a staged answer, so he tried it again with another worker at the plant. Same question. Someone in the accounting department. “What is it that you’re doing?” And the person answers: “oh, I’m making sure that we’re charging the right expenses to the right places so that when we look at the P&L, we’re able to cut expenses so that we can reduce the price of flowers so that we can sell more flowers.” And he continued asking people throughout the day with similar results.
So for the company, the most important cultural element in the company was to sell more flowers. Everything that you did as a team member, revolved around that very simple but powerful idea. Culture shapes behavior automatically and if done correctly can be a powerful growth driver.
Applying Cultural Elements To Your Business
In your own business, you want to start thinking about how you can apply the same principle to your business. For us, we teach people about systems and controls and help them learn how to create an owner independent business. So everyone on my team learns how to create, use and leverage the tools that we give to our own clients. It’s ingrained in the culture that in order to be productive and get ahead you need to create systems and controls. That is just how it should be done, and when teaching others it comes from a place of great understanding and knowledge.
We tell our clients that they need a coach to grow faster. So of course we have coaches for our key leadership team. We tell other people to do a quarterly strategic action plan. Guess what we do every quarter? We create strategic action plans every quarter. Our leaders even go through the leadership training courses that we offer our clients. We’re doing the things that we tell our customers to do because we believe that is the best way to grow.
Now think about the one cultural element that if your team, including you, integrated into your daily lives that would have the greatest positive impact on your business. That is where you should be focusing your attention, whether it’s selling flowers or fixing rooftops.