Big Red Car here. Bit gloomy and light rain but we love it here in the ATX.
So we are back on the issue of Company Culture.
It goes without saying that communication is the glue that holds the elements of a great Company Culture together.
Communication is a two way street
The CEO is the individual within the company that the folks want to hear from. That makes sense, no?
The CEO is the keeper of the flame as it relates to Vision and Mission and Values. From Vision flows Mission flows Strategy flows Tactics flows Objectives flows Values resulting in the Company Culture.
Remember this little gem? Sure you do. Click on it to see it at a bigger scale.
So it makes sense that at every company gathering the folks want to hear the CEO articulate the Vision and attendant niceties which flow from a precise and well-crafted Vision.
This is a huge opportunity for the CEO to reinforce the basic building blocks of the company.
But remember that communication is a two way street and the CEO should hear from the folks at the same time.
First, the clever CEO will make any global announcements or make a specific comment honoring a specific team member.
Promotions, new offices, honors, schools, training — put it all out there and celebrate these successes.
This will begin the communication in a positive and uplifting manner.
Testing the building blocks
During this period of contact, the CEO should prod and test to see whether everyone knows the Vision, Mission, Strategy, Values of the company. Not necessary to focus on Tactics and Objectives, just make sure you know that the folks know the big picture.
Go around the room and get a bit of dialogue about what everyone understands about these important subjects.
A smart CEO will go around the room and ask folks — “Well, what’s new in your world?”
It will take a few folks to blurt out some stuff but then you will learn who has gotten married, engaged, divorced, had a son return from the Marines, had a grand daughter, had a baby or had a husband who got promoted. Or, had a relative who died.
Done well, you will get a peek into the fabric of your team’s real lives — their life outside work. Where the real living takes place.
This is a critical element because when the folks provide an insight into their own lives, they are really opening up to receive your message. They are entrusting you with an insight into their souls. Treasure it and respond accordingly.
Hey, CEO, do not tell them that your kids’ college tuition at Harvard is high or that you are having a dickens of a time getting the warranty work done on your Beemer — right? You understand the importance of tone and the common touch, right?
Give me an AMEN, please, CEO! “Amen, Big Red Car.”
Call for questions on anything and be prepared to answer them fully and truthfully. Don’t hide anything.
Once you get a few good questions, announce — “We’re not going back to work until I get three more good questions.” You will get them.
This is real transparency and communication and it will pay a huge dividend in building trust between the leaders and the team.
Make it work.