There’s no magic bullet for creating a successful organization.
And being successful isn’t just about having a great product or service. Or having the best prices. Or the coolest logo, sexiest name or swankiest office building. It’s about people. Specifically the people who work at your company.
I was catching up on my reading during a recent flight and came across a couple of quotes in Inc. Magazine on the subject of successful companies.
Fred Wilson, a venture capitalist and principal at Union Square Ventures said, “You have to start with culture, values, and a commitment to create a fantastic workplace. You can’t fake these things. They have to come from the top. They are not bullshit. They are everything.”
Patrick Lencioni, author of the best-selling book “The Five Dysfunctions of a Team” and former vice president of organizational development at Bain & Company, calls it the “healthy organization.” Defined as an environment where people can thrive, without unnecessary dysfunction, confusion and politics. It requires a cohesive team, clarity, communication and reinforcement.
Successful businesses need good products and services. They need to price themselves competitively. There’s a strategy to having an eye-catching logo and memorable name. But I’d argue that a business is setting themselves up for major struggle if they don’t also invest in the people side of their business.
I overheard a conversation recently that went something like this:
I need to order some cupcakes for a party at work. I’m going to order them from [name withheld] Cupcakes. I know they will mess the order up. In fact, I’m 75% confident they will make a mistake.
Is this an isolated incident? Or is it what’s really happening in the marketplace? Some other cupcake company is going to realize “if we hire great people, train them well, and recognize their hard work, we’re gonna sell more and make more money. And probably put [name withheld] Cupcakes out of business.”
I know we’ve all heard the mantra “People are Our Greatest Asset.” And even though the mantra is well worn, deep down inside we know it’s true. We don’t have to speak the words. We just have to demonstrate that we believe it.
Image courtesy of Nancy Newell [Simutis]