A business is more than a collection of assets and liabilities. It is also a group of people, and the way that those people interact always has a large influence on how the business does. A company that has a positive culture will have employees that are invested in the business and want to see it succeed. They will also feel comfortable asking questions and offering solutions for discussion. That will boost the odds of finding a solution to every problem, and cause people to come up with new ways to help the business grow.
Misunderstandings can lead to accidents and other problems, but people are often embarrassed to ask for clarification. Managers should try to foster a culture where people feel comfortable asking any questions that they might have. This will cut down on mistakes in the office and it can make the explainer think about things that they had not considered. Make this change by ensuring that people are never made to feel foolish for asking their questions. Managers should lead by example and feel free to ask questions of their own, since that demonstrates to everyone else that asking is acceptable.
The best results almost always occur when a team looks at a wide variety of options from different perspectives. That allows them to identify the best course of action, and then work through any flaws in the plan. Since people who come from similar backgrounds often have similar ideas, the best way to encourage that system is to develop a diverse workforce. To do so, try to encourage workers to interact with as many different types of people as possible. If you have any ongoing partnerships with other businesses, watch them closely to see if they have any policies that you should adopt.
Too many managers dwell on failures without recognizing success, but it’s much better to do the opposite. Workers will be more motivated if they know that their successes will get noticed. Similarly, focusing on failures without applauding success creates a workforce that is more interested in avoiding public mistakes than in attaining excellence. This is one of the easiest cultural changes for most managers to implement. Simply congratulate workers when they do well, and make sure that any disciplinary actions are kept as private as possible.
Look for Honesty
Honesty is a virtue. People sometimes notice flaws in business plans, but decide not to point them out because they feel that their manager will take any criticism as an insult. That leads to businesses making expensive mistakes that they could easily have avoided. Solve that problem by making it clear that your business would rather have honest discussions than flattery. Be sure to thank people who offer their honest perspectives, and make a point of responding to them in a positive way. If it seems like their perspective is wrong, it isn’t necessary to follow their advice, but it is important to make it clear that you have considered their statements. Doing that will make it clear that they aren’t being ignored, which encourages them to speak up again in the future.
Author Bio: Brian Rees is a media relations representative for FB Solutions. In his spare time, he enjoys writing, music, and spending time outside.
SmartCities Innovation Summit Asia brings together leading cities and their respective leadership to prospect and partner with innovative technology and service providers.
He tames redwood by night and develops businesses by day, but Kyle Golding’s jobs don’t end there. The owner of The Golding Group and Share Furniture is also a venture capitalist and a partner in the 1219 Creative Co-Work Space + Art Gallery. “An organic, natural approach is the best way to get people to connect with your product or service,” says the chief strategic idealist who’s as comfortable polishing business plans as he is sanding gnarled wood.
Those slabs of redwood were destined for the landfill until Kyle Golding rescued them from the dumpster. “The cut-off pieces are the hard sections with knotholes,” says Kyle, who fused the three sections into a table. “I almost cut my hand off a couple times while I sanded out some of the roughness. But I kept as much of the natural element as possible.”
At The Golding Group, Kyle also fits pieces of his clients’ stories together into a marketable platform. “As a business owner, you need to connect with the right audience for all the right reasons,” says the CEO. “People don’t even care what your product or service costs as long as they can associate with you for the reasons they find important.”
“We create systems that allow business owners to focus on the real story and the real audience. That way, they avoid the habit of using a snappy ad campaign to sell something based on price or a list of features that has nothing to do with the actual product or company.”
“The hardest work we do is identifying the real target audience,” says Golding, “and a lot of people are not ready for it because they’re afraid of turning down opportunity.” Kyle, on the other hand, is very comfortable turning down opportunities that do not mesh with his company’s modus operandi. “When we ask clients who their customers are, and they say, ‘Everyone,’ I’m not going to do business with them.”
“That’s because, unless you’re selling oxygen, everyone is not your customer.”
Nailing down the customer base is something Kyle’s been doing since he was a teenager. “I played guitar for a rock group before I started doing sound for local bands on the weekends,” he says. That gig led to the formation of a production company while Golding was still in college. “As an audio engineer I did national and international shows,” he says. “The most challenging tour was for Nine Inch Nails because their audio and video feeds had to sync without the audience hearing the cues for the band.”
These days, Kyle sits behind a desk instead of a control panel. But his decidedly untraditional office is at 1219 Creative Co-Work Space + Art Gallery on N. Classen Blvd in Oklahoma City. “At The Golding Group, we set ourselves apart from other business development professionals because we rely heavily on creativity,” he says. Thus his decision to offer co-working spaces as well as large and small offices for lease on a monthly basis. “My co-workers and I like to be around like-minded people because there’s an energy in that kind of environment. It’s been very good for all of us.”
“Everyone who’s in an office at 1219 started at one of the co-work desks,” says Kyle. Although it’s not an official incubator, business lessons rub off on the lessees as readily as linseed oil lends gleam to a table. “When people move out of the co-work desks and into one of our office spaces,” says Kyle, “their businesses are turning into successes.”
Our favorite of the 5 top tips is from our own Felicite Moorman. Her suggestion is #3: Implement a “power hour”.
As an alternative to breakfast with email, Felicite Moorman, CEO of BuLogics, which designs, builds and certifies wireless solutions for #IoT The Internet of Things, recommends everyone in the company take a “power hour” at 10 each morning.
“A power hour is a deep, uninterrupted dive into the hardest, most challenging thing on their list,” Moorman says. “Our mental energies are at their highest and everyone in accomplishment mode creates an intensity, and respect for that intensity that is palpable.”
She adds that even if you can’t do a team-wide power hour, the tactic provides a great way for individuals to get a feeling of efficacy and efficiency that lasts the whole day.