Average Doesn’t Work in any Area of LIfe!

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I Love this quote from Grant Cardone. So many business leaders don’t inspire their Company and tribe (staff and end users of the product or service).  If you aren’t creating a culture and work environment that people really enjoy then you are missing a great opportunity. John Spence recently outlined in a presentation to The Results Group team that attracting and retaining top talent is the real challenge that CEO’s face. That in todays fast paced change, technology growth and globalisation one of the biggest strategic advantages can come from a  company culture that engages and challenges and creates great services, one that clients love and that staff love providing. No one can steal your team culture because it is unique.

A colleague of mine,  Bruce Cotterill spoke recently at an ASB Business Banking event and outlined why every year we have to be “20% better than last year just to stay still.” He meant as a company, as a leader, our products & services, team members personally, we all have to be 20% better each year. That way we stay ahead of the competition who is getting better each year. We stay ahead of the new competitive products that erode market share and we leverage technology instead of being drowned by its constant evolution.

Anthony Leighs (CEO and Founder of Leighs Construction) spoke to our Christchurch CEO Leadership Group about the importance of having a culture that delivers with Pride and Passion but is committed also to being excellent. Getting better and better is important the people he leads and they love being part of it.

So average is one thing every Company and Organisation (and CEO leading it) must be aware of. If an organisation is blind as to what clients really think, is not investing in future leaders and developing people and getting better then the end is probably not far out of sight.

Never do average. Be restless, challenge your team to be restless. What your story?

Making The Jump: Strategy

As one of the biggest Business Strategy Companies in NZ it is always an interesting time when we review our own. Over the next two days our team will all be together in Auckland as we train, celebrate success, reconnect as a tribe (after all that is what Company culture is!), have fun, review and reset our Strategic moves and action priorities.

Going into the conference we know exactly what all of our clients think of us, how they rate our people, our services and how we can improve it even further. We have researched and worked on who our target markets should be, we are in the process of reviewing our brand story and marketing tools. We are in a good space and have confidence in our data which in turn will allow us to discuss, debate and align to the key decisions we need to make. In 2012 & 2013 we were lucky enough to have John Spence facilitate our Strategy. One of our Core Values is “Live what we teach” and so we too incorporate our own framework and tools as we run and grow our own business. We have the same challenges.

Strategy isn’t that hard. As Jack Welch puts it “you pick a general direction and implement like hell!” The challenge is to execute the strategy in amongst all the noise of “Business as usual.” Thats what we do as core business for our clients and it is what we are good at as a company, accepting that you have to constantly work at it.

I’m really looking forward to hanging out with our team, to the fun, the discussions and to aligning as a tribe to the “Leap of Faith” we need to take in order to move our strategy forward.

How is your strategy? Is it simple? Do your people know what it is? Do they know their role in it? Are you on track?

The gap....between who we are and who we want to be.
The gap….between who we are and who we want to be.

The Cookietime story: 30 Plus Years of “Smiles”

Last night the The GM of Canterbury based Company Cookietime Ltd spoke to over 40 of our clients at a networking function. He told the fantastic and entrepreneurial story of over 30 years of history. (Link here so see some of the images: Cookietime Presentation). You can hit their website to find out more about their culture, Vision and philosophy of being part of the community. (Link here to their website www.cookietime.co.nz)

CTLLincoln Booth has been leading the company for eight years and it has been a fun, challenging and successful period as the privately held Company has grown and evolved. In 2013 Cookietime was voted as one of the top three of New Zealands most trusted brands. In itself a major achievement.

I have been lucky enough to work with Cookietime over the past three years as they plan, execute and achieve fantastic results. The culture is one of fun (work hard and play hard), opportunity is found in every situation and they seek to execute relentlessly. A recent retail opportunity in Japan has brought a new era, new challenges and new successes as the brand starts to push well beyond the borders of New Zealand. Their annual, 100 day and team framework really makes them a high performance team and high performance company. Clever people at the top of their game.

The Cookietime story is an awesome one to be a part of and I am looking forward to the next chapter being published.

Culture Eats Strategy For Breakfast

Culture Eats Strategy For Breakfast

Building a great company culture is a significant Strategic Advantage. Competitors can steal your ideas, technology and copy systems or the way you do business but they cannot steal your culture. Further if you have culture that your people love then your competitors cannot steal your people either.

I am often asked “How do we build a culture?’. There is no easy answer except to say it is a conscious decision, it is a process that is continually worked on, it is planned, it involves heavily the desires & input of those in your team. Leaders plan for and enable the culture by making it a priority and something they protect and actively encourage and grow. Your people are the culture so they have to buy in and be part of it.

I am lucky enough to work with clients who are iconic NZ brands, clients who are in the top 10 places to work in the country (year in year out) and many who have workplaces full of committed, highly engaged people.

What do they all have in common? Culture is a big part of their Strategy, they commit time and resources to it and they live and breathe it. They have fun, they work hard and they have very high levels of accountability. Their team helps deal with those who don’t fit or don’t perform.

Culture brings a common language and set of beliefs (values and purpose) to a group of people.

Click on this photo to link & hear John Spence talk about the “Elements of a Winning Culture”.

Culture absolutely eats strategy for breakfast. It is a strategy!