Cultivate The Culture You Want – Establish Some ‘Rules’!


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There’s a lot of talk about ‘culture’ in business at the moment – and it’s nearly all very negative! Lots of people have expressed their concern and disgust of the ‘culture’ that has been created in Barclays Bank and the banking industry as a whole. In fact The Governor Of The Bank Of England, Mervyn King, launched a scathing attack on “deceitful” investment banking and called for a “real change in the culture of the industry”.

There’s talk of ‘changing the rules’ for these businesses and many people suggest that it’s not about ‘rules’ as this won’t change a thing. I disagree. IT IS VERY MUCH ABOUT RULES’!!! Not necessarily about legislation, but about the ‘Rules’ that the leaders set, live by and use to drive (and reward) performance.

It’s about creating a culture that delivers the behaviours that you want and one business leader who has clearly done that is Paul Lindley of’Remarkable’ business Ella’s Kitchen that continues to go from strength to strength! There’s a great article in The Sunday Times about Paul’s approach and particularly how he’s shaped and embedded the culture that he wants in his business.

Over the last 6 years Ella’s Kitchen has grown to nearly 50 employees in the UK and the US and plans to sell a billion portions of it’s 100% organic baby foods that come in handy packs for complete ease of use.

“We are just a family. I am just a father like any other,” he says. “That individual experience is part of our story and that’s a great way to connect people to the brand. That’s why we try to be informal in how we market to people — because that’s how families talk to each other.”

So he has embarked on ‘formalising’ the processes and to make sure customers know it’s from the same people and made to the same values. “Any entrepreneurial company as it grows will find it needs some structures in place” says Paul and he goes on to explain how he has made a big effort to embed his own values throughout the organisation. “Now, if I get knocked over by a bus, these values will still be integrated into the business, so to the outside world it will not be relevant and internally it will keep its sense of purpose.”

Paul’s approach is a great one (well, he is from Sheffield and a Blade!) and an excellent example of Characteristic #5 of The 7 Characteristics of 3D Businesses – Create An UBER Culture! He’s consciously worked hard to establish a clear set of ‘values’. No, not a list of nice words to put on posters or in a plaque in the reception (Enron had that by the way!), but a set of ‘Rules’ that help reinforce and develop the culture that he wants, and has built the systems and processes to reinforce those ‘Rules’.

The key ingredients of an UBER culture are:

  • Everyone Understands what’s expected of them and behaves accordingly and consistently as a result
  • Systems and processes are Built to reinforce and support those values and behaviours
  • People are Engaged, Empowered and Encouraged to deliver them
  • People are Rewarded and Recognised for doing it!

Can’t help thinking that Barclays leaders could take a leaf out of Paul’s book and start establishing the UBER culture that they want!

A starting point might be for them to download our latest toolkit which expands on the key elements of UBER culture, and crucially helps them see how they measure up – The answers they get might not be pleasant, but at least they could start doing something about establishing and reinforcing the appropriate ‘RULES’ now!

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Andy Hanselman
Hi there! I help businesses and their people create competitive advantage by 'Thinking in 3D'! That means being 'Dramatically and Demonstrably Different'! I research, speak about, write about and work with businesses to help them maximise their sales and marketing, their customer service and their customer relationships.


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