Smartie-Pants was onto something. What he was helping us do encouraged the group and me. And I could feel that excitement as I entered the building the next day.
I started my day by reading about the next step in our business building process. According to Good to Great, it is vitally important to have the right people in the right spot in your company. Having a person doing a job that he or she isn’t ideally suited for enables the organization to be good but not great. The author talks about how each company is like a bus driving to a destination. It goes on to explain that we must first begin with “who” rather than “what” when it states:
“The executives who ignited the transformations from good to great did not first figure out where to drive the bus and then get people to take it there. No, they first got the right people on the bus (and the wrong people off the bus) and then figured out where to drive it. They said, in essence, “Look I really don’t know where we should take this bus. But I know this much: If we get the right people on the bus, the right people in the right seats, and the wrong people off the bus, then we’ll figure out how to take it someplace great. (pg. 41)”
Having the right people on the bus allows the company to easily change direction and move the bus to its proper destination. Also, the right people hold within themselves a sense of motivation that allows leaders to lead rather than manage, further propelling the company toward greatness.
With all that in mind, our group embarked on the next step in the process with Smartie-Pants. We imagined that if we had all the right people, in the right seat, on the Crystal D bus – what characteristics would those individuals possess? What words would describe their actions?
Through a lengthy and very fun series of exercises, Smartie-Pants helped us define the five key characteristics that clearly describe how the people on the Crystal D bus behave. Those words became our corporate values and also allowed our new purpose statement to come to life.
Smartie-Pants told us that these words themselves, and how we define these words, would be the basis for all of our decisions going forward. If we used these characteristics as a guide, our bus will get to wherever it needs to be.
This process was so fun and enlightening. For the first time, I thought of my company as a person possessing a personality. I watched the group grow in excitement and listened to how they defined our company. For the first time, I learned about what it meant to each of them to be part of Crystal D.
I realized that these people truly cared about Crystal D in the same way I did. I felt a sense of unity and togetherness that had not previously existed. If this energy could be injected into the entire company, I was all-in. Having a sense of camaraderie like this, but on a larger scale, was attractive to me.
Here are our values and how we define them:
- Integrity – We do what we say we will do.
- Quality – We have the unyielding persistence to improve.
- Respect – We treat people how we want to be treated.
- Commitment – We are dedicated to the ongoing viability of the company.
- Passion – We have the burning desire to achieve in all we do.
These values have been around for quite a long time now. They are just part of the environment. But when we first introduced them to the company-at-large, there was a lot of resistance and skepticism. I wondered how to deal with that. Crystal D wasn’t “more” yet.
The question that had been left untouched in our conversations was “more of what?”
Who is driving your bus? Was it like that at the beginning? I’d love to hear YOUR story! How did you develop the values of your organization?