Excellent post on creating great company values (versus lame ones) & challenges behind “living them” by the Twilio CEO. Encourage you to check out the article below.
“CULTURE is a word that Silicon Valley and startups everywhere toss around all the time,” says Lawson. “What does it really mean and how does it relate to VALUES? What I landed on is that culture is living your values.
Values are written words, and your culture is how you actually live those written words.”
“Our values are in motion, specifically through a three-stage lifecycle that gets us to the next stage of growth. First, we articulate our values, then live them and finally, test them.”
Love these two values the most (see the picture below):
1) “Empower Others: Make Heroes. Unleash the greatness of others inside and outside the company.”
2) “No Shenanigans: Be thoughtful. Always deal in an honest, direct, and transparent way.”
Values are for guiding behaviors and helping people make decisions that everyone will support and feel proud about.
Values are really really hard to get right and usually take iteration. But it’s worth investing in because the positive/negative consequences are massive.
Anthony & I get into a “meaty” conversation on his fantastic human resources podcast (E1B2 Podcast -Employee 1st Business 2nd) on the challenges w/ employee engagement, employee experience, culture building, teamwork, new employee onboarding, & other HR areas.
“In today’s episode, we cover the following topics ( Why teamwork is the most important company asset and least understood. We also discuss why and the cost/impact strategies and tools to build it. We also conduct a deep dive into Why 99% of onboarding is broken and what to do about it; what matters the most as it pertains to onboarding new employees? Finally what brands need to care about the most from a psychological perspective during the onboarding process!)”
Elon Musk sent out an internal email to Tesla employees on what great communication looks like and the chain of communication. I find this a fascinating read and worth discussing. It’s definitely controversial and can be challenging to pull off. Here is his email:
“There are two schools of thought about how information should flow. By far the most common way is chain of command, which means that you always flow communication through your manager. The problem with this approach is that, while it enhances the power of the manager, it fails to serve the company.
Instead of a problem getting solved quickly, where a person in one dept talks to a person in another dept and makes the right thing happen, people are forced to talk to their manager who talks to their manager who talks to the manager in the other dept who talks to someone on his team. Then the info has to flow back the other way again. This is incredibly dumb. Any manager who allows this to happen, let alone encourages it, will soon find themselves working at another company. No kidding.
Anyone at Tesla can and should email/talk to anyone else according to what they think is the fastest way to solve a problem for the benefit of the whole company. You can talk to your manager’s manager without his permission, you can talk directly to a VP in another dept, you can talk to me, you can talk to anyone without anyone else’s permission. Moreover, you should consider yourself obligated to do so until the right thing happens. The point here is not random chitchat, but rather ensuring that we execute ultra-fast and well.”
What’s the main takeaway for me: Managers shouldn’t be bottlenecks, silos and/or “information-stoppers.” Anyone should feel safe, able and comfortable reaching out to anyone else company-wide. It’s completely inefficient to always have to run something through a chain of command instead of problem-solving it yourself.
That being said…
Know your company culture (and values) and what’s acceptable (and what’s not)
Weigh the consequences of going around people
Managers can be very helpful by being a sounding board, “war-gaming” a strategy/plan, being your advocate and much more
Individuals should also go back and loop-in people because excluding them entirely causes its own set of issues
An individual’s skill level on emotional intelligence, communication, teamwork, empathy, feedback and more will go a VERY long way to help navigate what Elon Musk mentions
“Best Things in Life Are Free.” That’s the classic song in MadMen when Burt Cooper dies. It’s signifies the #1 asset and “secret sauce” that leaders typically overlook.
People value and are starving for true connection, complete trust, & teamwork with people who deeply care.
It’s that emotional bond that enables us to accomplish and create the seemingly impossible.
It’s also what brings the very best out of us individually and collectively.
People after the fact point to success as the stock price, profit, sales, etc. But that completely misses the mark. That’s the effect, not the cause.
The gold is in first creating the unbreakable foundation for “the together team.” It’s not to get distracted by process, strategy, etc. Because then leaders make lack of time excuses why they built the foundation on sand. We know what happens over time when they do (and the huge financial cost and emotional turmoil for poor teamwork).
Coco Chanel said, “The best things in life are free. The second-best things are very, very expensive.”
When leaders and managers behaviors and actions prioritize the business over the team, it requires them to pay a very expensive price.
Here’s the video from MadMen that’s worth a watch: https://lnkd.in/e8gD2HF
Honored to be the keynote speaker at 2019 HR Symposium for the Columbus, Georgia SHRM Chapter on October 24th 2019. The theme is: RIDING THE RAPIDS OF HUMAN RESOURCES. Grab your life vest and join hundreds of HR professionals from all over the State of Georgia and east Alabama at our 11th annual fall Symposium as we learn to ride the Class VI rapids of HR! This year”s event will feature several high impact speakers, concurrent sessions, and much more.
My interactive keynote presentation will be on building high performing teams and engaged cultures. Attendees will be playing Cards Against Mundanity in small groups to experience how to build high levels of trust, closeness, and teamwork in minutes.
Here’s an overview (and more information on my keynote speaking can be found here):
Think about the best team you’ve ever been on. The team that was the most collaborative, connected, and productive. How did it feel to be connected to something bigger and feel like you could accomplish anything? What if you could recreate that feeling and success on every team you were on? What if you could accomplish this across your entire company?
That feeling (and success) you just thought of is the most powerful business asset. It’s the foundation for a highly successful “culture and people strategy.”
In this interactive presentation, attendees will learn how to “dial in” to the right behaviors to build a high performing culture and maximize teamwork and employee engagement in minutes. They’ll also play the Cards Against Mundanity game (in small groups) so they’ll experience how these strategies will work for them (including how to skyrocket trust in minutes).
Attendees will walk away with deep relationships with other attendees and be much more engaged at the conference.
The presentation based on research studies where participants built their closest relationships in their lives with a complete stranger.
HR professionals can also use these strategies with hiring, new employee onboarding, conflict resolution, trainings, and many other areas.
More than 25,000 employees have played Cards Against Mundanity at Amazon, Southwest Airlines, Ernst & Young, Google, Gillette, Microsoft, Oracle, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Worldwide Express, CareHere, Oklahoma City Thunder (NBA team), Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Novartis, Merck, Vonage, and many others.
1. Learn the “secret” strategies to quickly maximize engagement, teamwork, culture-building and employee retention.
2. Discover how to build high levels of trust both internally and externally with third-parties to instantly create great working relationships, reduce conflicts and maximize productivity.
3. Walk away with best practices tools (including a free copy of Cards Against Mundanity PDF version) that can they can implement right after the session to improve company culture and employee engagement.
4. Use the strategies from the session to influence others and get more buy-in for HR initiatives.
3.0 HRCI Recertification Credits & SHRM PDCs will be applied for those attending.
I had a chance to briefly meet the HR Rockstar, Wendy Dailey, at HR Florida 2019 at the end of August. We got a chance to speak for a little while on the phone a few weeks earlier on teamwork, trust, employee engagement, and a few other topics.
“Here we are again, still, talking about Employee Engagement. Constantly. The TOP conversation in HR. And why? Because we continue to get it wrong. Any why do we continue to get it wrong? Because we are looking for that One Thing. Just tell us what to do, we seem to be asking the speakers, the writers, but make it quick and easy because we’ve got a lot of “real” work to do.
But here’s the not-so-secret secret: Employee Engagement means work. Ongoing works. There is no one-and-done for employee engagement. Engagement isn’t about foos-ball, after-work drinks or potlucks. All of those come out of the one thing you must do. You need to TRUST your employees and gain their trust.”