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Building a Winning Culture – Join Our #MTtalk!…

Please Join Us!

What: #MTtalk
Where: Twitter
When: Friday, September 14 @ 1 p.m. EDT (5 p.m. GMT/10:30 p.m. IST)
Topic: Building a Winning Culture
Host: @Mind_Tools

“People want to be given responsibility to help solve the problem, and authority to act on it.”
– Howard Schultz, Executive Chairman of Starbucks

About This Week’s Chat: a Trip to the Store

A while ago I was shopping in a local hardware store when I overheard the owner say to one of his employees, “I don’t pay you to think. I pay you to get the job done.” To say I was dumbfounded is an understatement.

As I was doing my rounds though the store, I couldn’t help noticing that none of the employees looked too happy to be there. The owner strutted through the aisles as if he was looking for an opportunity to pounce on them.

The cashier that helped me at the exit was sullen and unfriendly. Her attitude reminded me of what Stephen Covey said: “Always treat your employees exactly as you want them to treat your best customers.” Was the cashier unfriendly because it was her nature? Or was it because of the way the owner treated her?

As I left the store I realized the only reason it survives is because it has a monopoly in the area. It’s definitely not the friendly service or welcoming atmosphere!

So, if that’s how it felt to me as a customer, what was it like to work there every day? What happened to employees who made mistakes? Did the storeowner ever consider employees’ ideas? Would they even dare to share their ideas?

Building a Winning Culture

I’m quite certain that if I asked the storeowner whether he’d like his store to have a winning culture, he’d say “Yes.” But I’m not sure that he’d be willing to put in the long-term effort it would require.

Building a winning culture doesn’t happen all by itself. It’s the result of a collective effort put in by leaders, managers and team members.

But what does a winning culture look like? There are many definitions and thoughts about it, but some common themes emerged in many of the resources that I looked at:

  • Communicating regularly and transparently is crucial.
  • Every person is a team member and has an important function to fulfill.
  • Team members need to trust each other.
  • Encouraging team members to try new methods or come up with new ideas will keep the company “fresh.”
  • Give people responsibility and authority, and hold them accountable.
  • Learn from past mistakes.

In our poll this week, we asked what you think is most important when you’re trying to build a winning culture. The option that garnered the most votes was “transparency,” closely followed by being “open to change.” Click here to see all the options, and the results.

In our #MTtalk Twitter chat on Friday, we’re going to talk about building a winning culture. We’d love you to participate in the chat, and the following questions may spark some thoughts in preparation for it:

  • What does “a winning culture” mean? Who wins?
  • What do you see as the individual professional benefits of working in a winning culture?
  • What does a winning culture look like to people outside of the company?
  • Why is it important to learn from past mistakes when building a winning culture?
  • Who is responsible for building and maintaining a winning culture?
  • How can you contribute to creating a winning culture?

Resources

To help you prepare for the chat, we’ve compiled a list of resources for you to browse.

Developing Your Team
Deal and Kennedy’s Cultural Model
David Rock’s SCARF Model
The Competing Values Framework
How to Build a Culture of Trust
Understanding Workplace Values
The Psychological Contract
Helping People Flourish at Work

How to Join Our Chat

Follow us on Twitter to make sure you don’t miss out on any of the action this Friday! We’ll be tweeting out 10 questions during our hour-long chat. To participate in the chat, type #MTtalk in the Twitter search function. Then, click on “All Tweets” and you’ll be able to follow the live chat feed. You can join the chat by using the hashtag #MTtalk in your responses.


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