Winning Culture’s: Don’t blame the staff – who’s running the show

I listen with interest to many CEO’s  complain about the performance, accountability and attitude of their staff.
In most cases these CEO’s are so focused on being busy and doing it all themselves, that they are missing out on some basics. 

Here are 4 quick tips to fix general performance issues:

  1. Get clarity around what success looks like for you and your customers, eg  “we make the car go faster”.
  2. Define and manage to a culture set. Call it values or call it a manifesto but define it, lead by example and act when it’s not lived up to. Hire and fire based on this culture set. Otherwise your good staff will run away.
  3. Lead rather than manage: Start with hiring smarter people than your self and then delegate.
  4. Set up an advisory group to help challenge and keep you on course and be accountable to your own plans. Too many people get hung up with titles and labels Governance, Boards, advisory groups, compliance just get started.

Two companies that have experienced explosive growth: Tradme and Atlassian have clear culture sets (shown below).
How would you describe the culture of your team? 
If you do not define it and live it – it will evolve to the lowest common form.

The Trade Me Manifesto   –Follow the links to Rowan Simpson’s blog  for more detail

#1: Create great websites and people will tell their friends
#2: Be like electricity
#3: Let the server run the business
#4: Empathise
#5: Make people feel safe
#6: Talk straight
#7: Hire people smarter than you
#8: Be informal but serious
#9: Measure everything
#10: Just try stuff

Atlassian’s Values   – more on Atlassian

        Create useful products people lust after


           #1      Open company, no bullshit
           #2      Build with heart and balance
           #3     Don’t fuck the customer
           #4     Play as a team
           #5     Be the change you seek

1 thought on “Winning Culture’s: Don’t blame the staff – who’s running the show

  1. Great post Mark. I think consistency around #2 is really important to embed the values into the organisation. Unfortunately there are too many values posters pinned up on noticeboards that do not accurately reflect the culture within those businesses. When management actions (or more likely, inactions) and decisions do not reflect the published values then a whole new set of ‘real’ values emerge which may, unfortunately, include mediocre performance, zero accountability and indifferent attitude.

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