Company Culture — Communication

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.

Make announcements

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.

Get input

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.

But, hey, what the Hell do I know anyway?  I’m just a Big Red Car.


8 thoughts on “Company Culture — Communication

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  2. Followed JLM through disqus all the way into a big red car. I’m from Detroit so that works ;-). Great article, I particularly like the “three more good questions” approach. Force yourself to be transparent.

    RDJ 😉

      • Dad? Lol, jk. Moved to DC area awhile back and never looked back until recently. There is nothing like the frosty mornings, sparking lakes and aggressive drivers (va/md area people can’t drive for shit).

        Did you know/can you believe they are teaching kids to hold the steering wheel at 8 and 4. What is the world coming too?

    • .
      Old wine, new bottles.

      Value is created when order is made from chaos.

      The startup ecosystem is the greatest example of institutional chaos wherein entrepreneurs use VC fuel to make the engine operate smoothly — orderly. It is the business of making order from chaos.

      Just the smallest bit of seasoning guides the participants to see the value of developing Vision, Mission, Strategy, Tactics, Objectives, Values and Culture as part of the building blocks of any enterprise.

      Doing it up front is just wisdom and experience speaking. Good luck but you are making your own luck, aren’t you?

      Well played!


      • .

        The Big Red Car is the author of the blog, The Musings of the Big Red Car.

        The Big Red Car is owned by The Boss, who is a 33+ year CEO and company founder, President, Director and entrepreneur.

        The Big Red Car writes the blog. Do you believe that?


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