Want to Build a Culture that works

Are you looking for a formula to get your team to do their job? Do you ever wonder why they just don’t get the culture? I watched a leader reinforce culture just last week. 

Some of you know I sell for a collection agency.  I was meeting with a small Critical Access Hospital. and During the Q & A portion of the interview, I heard the CEO mention their “Calling Group” evenings. I had to learn a little more. It seems that once or twice a month they get cheese and cracker and all of the Department Heads and the C – Suite join the Business Office to make collection calls.

Did you see that deft piece of wizardry? The CEO, the CFO and the Head of Nursing making collection calls with the Business Office staff.  (Let me point out that in over 25 years I have never seen this).  I asked why. The CEO said, “I can’t ask my people to do something I am unwilling to do.”

What does all of this have to do with culture? There is a story about Gandhi and a woman brought her son to him and said, “Tell him to quit eating sugar.” Gandhi said come back in a week. She did and he told the boy, “Stop eating sugar.” The woman was all upset and “Why did you make me wait”? Gandhi said, “I had to stop eating sugar first.”

All too often I see managers act with a sense of entitlement with their team. If you are a sales manager how long has it been since you helped your team set up the booth at a trade show? If you are the manager of a restaurant have you served on the line recently?

Let’s go back to this small hospital. Do you think that any of the Staff in the Business Office can say; “I don’t feel like making that collection call?” If you want to make a culture change stick, try modeling the behavior and culture versus just talking about it. It may not be easy but it is pretty simple.

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