Recently, we were reminded of a very important lesson in business: culture, supported by process, drives everything. If you walked into your company today and asked any given employee what is most important to the business, would they all have an answer or answer the same?
This is what Joe Calloway, author of “Be The Best at What Matters Most,” discussed last week with Julie May, CEO of bytes of knowledge (b:ok), and Garry Hornbuckle, b:ok’s Director of Web and eLearning Development. At a speaking engagement at the Cool Springs E|Spaces in Nashville, Joe told business owners to simplify the way they thought about business. It’s not about the “wow factor;” it’s about being the best at what brings the most value to your company.
Joe states that your business will outperform its competition every time if you a.) focus on being easy to do business with, b.) clarify expectations and build a culture around quality and c.) replace random acts of “wow” with consistently excellent service.
Joe invited bytes of knowledge to speak as an example of a company that gets it right. bytes of knowledge founder, Julie May, spoke about her realization that the company needed to go great or go home. For Julie and her team, this meant starting internally with b:ok’s company culture and clearly defining who they were and what types of services they offered.
In doing so, b:ok re-invented itself and created a talented team that was unified through b:ok’s mission to teach employees the backbones of business. Julie knew that if her team could better understand a client’s need for technology, and the real problems clients were facing, they could deliver effective solutions each and every time.
Joe also used Julie as an example when stating that, “If you are a leader, it is your job to talk about your culture – all the time.” Just putting up a culture chart on the wall and checking it off your to-do list won’t work. You need to ensure that your culture is being reinforced in every action, every day. Without the core of your business having a solid goal to work towards, you will not consistently outrun your competitors, and your business is likely not to succeed.
With regards to the “wow factor” concept, Joe left us with a great example. In looking at Southwest Airlines, people do not fly with the airline because its flight attendants sing funny songs and make the flight more pleasant, they fly because Southwest is reliable, easy to do business with and consistently delivers a sound product. The funny songs are just the cherry on the top, or the “wow factor” that can be focused on once the culture and focus are solidified.
If you missed Joe Calloway’s talk, we suggest reading “Be The Best At What Matters Most.” Be sure to check out Chapter 14 for the story on bytes of knowledge and how one company is living Joe’s advice, and reaping its benefits.
The chapter is available for free download on the bytes of knowledge website here: http://www.bytesofknowledge.com/article/free-e-book-download.