Build a Culture That Rocks!

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Last month I attended Summer Brand Camp and I had the pleasure to meet and spend some one-on-one time with Jim Knight, Owner & Founder at Knight Speaker; Chief Executive Officer at Hospitality On Point. Connect with him on twitter @KnightSpeaker. Although I had already met him briefly right after his keynote session titled “Build a Culture that Rocks” at Oklahoma SHRM conference 2013, I couldn’t interview him until the camp. So here it is –

I have seen organizations hesitate to try something new due to the fear of potential changes that can affect their heritage. I was so glad to hear when Jim highlighted celebrating the heritage of an organization yet focusing on its culture and looking at the great future ahead.

He says,

The reality is Heritage is your past. Your company may have a great history and a story to tell to the world. And people love nostalgia, especially the good times, but they care more about a company’s current state. Culture is the ‘Present’. At the core, the culture of a company is really a collection of individual behaviors.

He talks about revolutionizing an organization culture by having right people in place. Every person is unique and they create unique experiences. So focus on character and culture when you hire new people. Use behavioral-based open ended yet culturally specific interview questions that help you understand if the candidate is a right fit for your culture.

Watch it here to listen on how to Create, Maintain or Revolutionize an Organization’s Culture

How to create, maintain and revolutionize an Organization’s culture?
Why hiring the right fit matters?
Thoughts to leaders to become visionaries by caring their heritage and nurturing the culture of the organization?
What’s his advice to the young HR professionals to help their organization elevate their organization’s culture?

Here are the Top ways to create a Culture that Rocks as shared in his session.

Celebrate Heritage, but Focus on Culture – Look ahead to the Future:
Reality is heritage is your past so focus on the Culture that is your present and future.

Be like U2 – Everyone Singing Off the Same Sheet of Music:
He says behaviors are not canned or faked. So leaders should set the tone and standards. Create emotional attachments with individualized services.

People Crave Differentiation – Be the Chocolate:
Don’t always be the same vanilla Ice Cream that everybody has. Think differently, look for opportunities and try to build a unique experience for your customers. A great example for this would be how Starbucks creates a great customer experiences by serving happiness.

Identify 3C Employees who deserve to be in the Band:
Your brand is only as good as the care & attention you give to ensure your employees have Solid Competence, Strong Character and Represent the Culture.

Hire Rock Stars, Not Lipsynchers to amp up the Brand:
Hire people who are really committed, risk takers, want to do meaningful work and contribute to your brand not the lipsynchers.

Communicate to People in the language that they Dream:
He refers to this using the simple example of how Airline Safety care or Ikea Instructions communicate to the readers. Be simple and accurate when you communicate to your people.

Bring the Blowtorch & Create an Army of Giants:
He says mentorship is the new training. Seek out opportunities to teach, inspire and motivate your people. Put people on a path to eventually take their next job – create ‘promotable’ people. Great leaders produce great leaders.

Treat Employees like they are Volunteers- Love the one’s you’re with:
Recognize your people for the great work that they do. This will help you build great morale and repeated positive performance. So go ahead and ‘Thank’ your people.

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