The 5 Cultures That Determine Your Company’s Success

How healthy is your company’s culture? Your company has a culture whether you make the effort to shape it or not, and as you might expect, it’s better to make the effort to create the culture that will lead you to success than to simply hope a great corporate culture will organically generate itself.

Cultural TransformationsBut culture can’t be static, and CEOs and other executives can’t be static either. Knowing what you and your company stand for and being completely unyielding and inflexible are different things. The world of business is in constant transformation mode, so an adaptable company culture isn’t just nice to have, it’s necessary.

Be aware, however, that constant re-engineering, reorganization, and restructuring in pursuit of efficiency (or the latest management fad) has a questionable effect at best. Adjusting in order to thrive, however, requires competent leadership and commitment to creating the best possible corporate culture. Your company’s overall culture is made up of five building block cultures, each of which must be tended in order to yield the best results.

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About the Author

John MattoneJohn Mattone is an authority on leadership, talent, and culture. An acclaimed speaker and executive coach, he advises Fortune 1000 senior leaders on how to create cultures that drive superior operating results. He is the author of seven books including Cultural Transformations: Lessons of Leadership and Corporate Reinvention, Talent Leadership, and Intelligent Leadership. John is the creator of numerous business assessments, including the Mattone Leadership Enneagram Inventory. For more information, please visit

6 Fundamentals That Underpin Engagement – authentic organizations are high-performing organizations.

We began our research by asking people to describe their dream organization—one that feels authentic and within which it is possible for one’s best self to emerge. We’ve synthesized these ideal organizational qualities and have shown how some workplaces are making the elements of the dream real, inspiring the rest of us in the process.

Put together these multiple benefits – commitment, creativity, understanding, personal development, trust, purpose, and freedom—and you have created the fundamentals that underpin engagement at work. And we know that engagement is correlated with performance.

Why Should Anyone Work Here?The dream organization, then, is also the high-performing organization.

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About the Authors

Rob Goffee is Emeritus Professor of Organizational Behavior at London Business School, where he teaches in the world-renowned Senior Executive Programme.

Gareth Jones is a Fellow of the Centre for Management Development at London Business School and a visiting professor at Spain’s IE Business School in Madrid.

Rob and Gareth consult to the boards of several global companies and are coauthors of Why Should Anyone Be Led by You? and Clever, both published by Harvard Business Review Press.

The Big Picture of Business – Business Success Checklist

When you own and operate a business you need to have certain procedures for an efficient and seamless function. Sometimes the difficulty of managing your time makes for a haphazard operation. An inefficient operation results in unproductive activities which often miss the point and worse yet, result in wasted time and wasted resources.

One of the ways in which you can optimize your business activities would be the focus and attention to detail that a checklist can stimulate. Here is my own business success checklist that will help you optimize your activities for a more efficient and purpose oriented endeavor. Success is inevitable.

Clearly defined purpose.
Having a clearly defined purpose will focus your activities to a customer-oriented perspective. When a business loses sight of the customer and what they really need they often run into difficulties. Your clearly defined purpose can also center the attention and be a source of inspiration for your employees.

Provide leadership.
A leader’s purpose and job is to give direction and purpose and motivate his people. Leaders must also provide support for the emotional needs of their employees while they are at work and even sometimes when they bring personal concerns to the working place. The business absolutely needs energetic and emotionally mature leaders for it to prosper.

Focus on excellence.
When a company is content with being merely mediocre it may survive but it will never do extremely well. The company must have an emphasis on high standards, a desire to create and give value to customers, accountability to the employers and to your customers, and the drive to learn. If these are incorporated into the culture of your company a culture of excellence in all things will soon be prevalent.

Plan for the future.
When your business has contingency plans for future scenarios you will seldom be caught by surprise. You never know when the next big recession will hit. Most successful businesses have planned responses to most scenarios because they took the time to think “What If”. It is important to identify swings and trends so that innovation can remain a strength of your business.

Instill discipline.
This is often an unpopular issue but this is a critical matter. The sharp focus and direction on your objectives and goals can only be maintained with constant monitoring of your procedures and processes. Whether your focus is on customer service, profits, investing, marketing, or company growth a constant awareness of your current position in relation to where you want to be is essential.

Business Success Checklist

1. The business you’re in

  • Study and refine your own core business characteristics.
  • Understand “The Business You’re In” and how it fits into the core business.
  • Design and re-engineering of products-services.
  • Development of technical abilities, specialties and expertise.
  • Utilization of industry consultants or technical specialists.
  • Development of core business supplier relationships.
  • Make investments toward quality controls.

2. Running the business

  • Objective analysis of how the organization has operated to date.
  • Formalize the organizational structure.
  • Document practices, procedures, operations and structure in writing.
  • Communicate policies and procedures to employees.
  • Physical plant is regularly studied, updated and modified.
  • Distribution standards are documented, practiced and measured.
  • Time management and “just in time” concepts are applied.
  • Plans are in writing to address inventories and reducing surplus.
  • Legal compliance and precautions plan is annually updated, with measurable goals.
  • Outsourcing, privatizing and collaborating plan is annually updated, with realistic, measurable goals.
  • Purchasing plan (with processes and vendor lists) is in writing.
  • Repair and maintenance contracts are routinely maintained.
  • Purchase and lease of equipment plan is annually updated, with measurable goals.
  • Continuous quality improvement plan is annually updated, with measurable goals.

3. Financial

  • Cost containment is one (but not the only) factor of company operations.
  • Each product-service is budgeted.
  • Long-term investments plan is annually updated, with realistic, measurable goals.
  • Assets are adequately valued and managed.
  • Cash flow, forecasting and budgeting are consistently monitored.
  • Written, consistent policies with payables and receivables are followed.
  • Strategic Plan includes provisions for refinancing, equity and debt financing.
  • Accounting firm utilization plan is annually updated, with realistic, measurable goals.
  • Banking and investing plan is annually updated, with realistic, measurable goals.
  • Payables plan is annually updated, with realistic, measurable goals.
  • Receivables plan is annually updated, with realistic, measurable goals.
  • Finance charges are negotiated.
  • Insurance plan is annually updated, with realistic, measurable goals.
  • Benefits plan is annually updated, with realistic, measurable goals.

4. People

  • Corporate culture reflects a formal Visioning Program.
  • Employees know their jobs, are empowered to make decisions and have high morale in carrying the company banner forward.
  • Top management has as a priority the need to develop and practice People development, skills and team building responsibilities.
  • Human Resources program is active, professional and responsive to the organization.
  • Incentives-rewards-bonus plan is annually updated, with realistic, measurable goals.
  • Personnel Policies and Procedures are written, and distributed to all employees.
  • Each employee has his-her own Position Results Oriented Description plan.
  • Training plan is annually updated, with realistic, measurable goals.
  • Professional development plan is annually updated, with realistic, measurable goals.

5. Business development

  • All members of top management have Business Development responsibilities.
  • Company has and regularly fine-tunes a communications strategy.
  • Sales plan is annually updated, with realistic, measurable goals.
  • Marketing plan is annually updated, with realistic, measurable goals.
  • Advertising plan is annually updated, with realistic, measurable goals.
  • Public relations plan is annually updated, with realistic, measurable goals.
  • Research plan is annually updated, with realistic, measurable goals.
  • Marketplace development plan is annually updated, with realistic, measurable goals.
  • Creative collaborator-vendor plan is annually updated, with realistic, measurable goals.

6. Body of Knowledge

  • Consultant plan is annually updated, with realistic, measurable goals.
  • Performance reviews are conducted annually updated, with realistic, measurable goals.
  • Company learns how to benefit from changes.
  • Organization predicts and stays ahead of trends.
  • The company leads the industry.
  • Everything that goes on outside our company affects our business.
  • Willingness to invest in research.
  • Commitment toward collaboration and working with other companies.
  • Maintains active government and regulator relations program.
  • Maintains active community relations program.

7. The Big Picture

  • Shared Vision is crafted, articulated and followed.
  • Ongoing emphasis upon updating, fine-tuning and improving the corporate culture.
  • CEO accepts and ideas and philosophies with employees and stakeholders.
  • Creative business practices are most welcome here.
  • Strategic planning is viewed as vital to business survival and future success.
  • Outside-the-box thinking does indeed apply to us and will be sought.
  • The organization maintains and lives by an ethics statement.
  • The organization subscribes to continuous quality improvement ideologies-processes.
  • Maintains active crisis preparedness and prevention program.

About the Author

Hank MoorePower Stars to Light the Business Flame, by Hank Moore, encompasses a full-scope business perspective, invaluable for the corporate and small business markets. It is a compendium book, containing quotes and extrapolations into business culture, arranged in 76 business categories.

Hank’s latest book functions as a ‘PDR of business,’ a view of Big Picture strategies, methodologies and recommendations. This is a creative way of re-treading old knowledge to enable executives to master change rather than feel as they’re victims of it.

Power Stars to Light the Business Flame is now out in all three e-book formats: iTunes, Kindle, and Nook.

The Big Picture of Business- Evergreen Business Strategies. Digest of Take-Aways From 36 Articles.

Last month, we celebrated the third anniversary of this magazine. My article was about the significance of anniversaries as important milestones. I am the only columnist who has been in every issue of this magazine. My articles reflect the Big Picture of Business. After that, the niche writers cover their areas.

This is the second part of the anniversary celebration. It seems fitting to reprise key take-away comments from the last three years, as a digest to apply to ultimate business success.

The biggest problem with business, in a one-sentence capsule, is: People exhibit misplaced priorities and impatience, seeking profit and power, possessing unrealistic views of purpose, and not fully willing to do the things necessary to sustain orderly growth and long-term success.

What organizations and individuals started out to become and what we’ve evolved into being are decidedly different things. The path toward progress takes many turns, expected and unexpected. How we evolve reflects the teachings, experiences and instincts that are not part of formal education.

Take ownership of planning programs, rather than abdicate them to human resources or accounting people. Predict the biggest crises that can beset your company. 85% of the time, you’ll prevent them from occurring. Challenge yourself to succeed by taking a Big Picture look…while others are still thinking and acting small-time. Your biggest resource is a wide scope…and the daring to visualize success and then all of its components.

An Institutional Review is a look at activities that contribute to an organization’s success and well-being. This transcends a traditional audit and identifies factors that already contribute well to the organization, rather than simply looking for ways to cut, curtail or penalize. It is more than just trimming the fat and criticizing incorrect activities in the organizational structure. This review is the basis for most elements that will appear in a strategic plan, including the organization’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats, actions, challenges, teamwork, change management, commitment, future trends and external forces.

Finely develop skills in every aspect of the organization, beyond the scope of professional training. Amplify upon philosophies of others. Mentoring, creating and leading have become the primary emphasis for your career. Never stop paying dues, learning and growing professionally. Develop and share own philosophies. Long-term track record, unlike anything accomplished by any other individual, all contributing toward organizational philosophy, purpose, vision, quality of life, ethics, long-term growth.

Niche consultants place emphasis in the areas where they have training, expertise and staff support for implementation…and will market their services accordingly. An accounting firm may suggest that an economic forecast is a full-scope business plan (which it is not). A trainer may recommend courses for human behavior, believing that these constitute a Visioning process (of which they are a small part). Marketers might contend that the latest advertising campaign is equivalent to re-engineering the client company (though the two concepts are light years apart). Niche consultants believe these things to be true, within their frames of reference. They sell what they need to sell, rather than what the client really needs. Let the buyer beware.

No entity can operate without affecting or being affected by its communities. Business must behave like a guest in its communities, never failing to give potlache or return courtesies. Community acceptance for one project does not mean than the job of community relations has been completed. It is not ‘insurance’ that can be bought overnight. It is tied to the bottom line and must be treated accordingly, with the resources and expertise to do it effectively. It is a bond of trust that, if violated, will haunt the business. If steadily built, the trust can be exponentially parlayed into successful long-term business relationships.

The hot new idea is to focus on depth-and-substance…not on flash-and-sizzle. Those who proclaim that hot ideas make good coaches, then they are vendors selling flavors of the month…not seasoned business advisors. If coaching is based only on hot ideas, it is nothing more than hucksterism. Coaching must be a thorough process of guiding the client through the levels of accomplishment.

Customer Focused Management is a concept that goes far beyond just smiling, answering queries and communicating with buyers. It transcends customer service training. In today’s highly competitive business environment, every dynamic of a successful organization must be toward ultimate customers. Companies must change their focus from products and processes toward the values which they share with customers. Customer Focused Management goes beyond just the dynamics of service and quality.

One learns three times more from failure than success. One learns three times more clearly when witnessing and analyzing the failures of others they know or have followed. History teaches us about cycles, trends, misapplications of resources, wrong approaches and vacuums of thought. People must apply history to their own lives-situations. If we document our own successes, then these case studies will make us more successful in the future.

There comes a point when the pieces fit. One becomes fully actualized and is able to approach their life’s Body of Work. That moment comes after years of trial and error, experiences, insights, successes and failures. As one matures, survives, life becomes a giant reflection. We appreciate the journey because we understand it much better. We know where we’ve gone because we know the twists and turns in the road there. Nobody, including ourselves, could have predicted every curve along the way.

Success and failure…it’s a matter of perspectives. Out of every 10 transactions in our lives, five will be unqualified successes. One will be a failure. Two will depend upon the circumstances. If approached responsibly, they will become successful. If approached irresponsibly, they will turn into failures. Two will either be successful or will fail, based strictly upon the person’s attitude. A 90% success rate for a person with a good attitude and responsible behavior is unbeatable. There is no such thing as perfection. Continuous quality improvement means that we benchmark accomplishments and set the next reach a little further.

Professionals who succeed the most are the products of mentoring. The mentor is a resource for business trends, societal issues and opportunities. The mentor becomes a role model, offering insights about their own life-career. This reflection shows the mentee levels of thinking and perception which were not previously available. The mentor is an advocate for progress and change. Such work empowers the mentee to hear, accept, believe and get results. The sharing of trust and ideas leads to developing business philosophies.

Visioning is the process where good ideas become something more. It is a catalyst toward long-term evaluation, planning and implementation. It is a vantage point by which forward-thinking organizations ask: What will we look like in the future? What do we want to become? How will we evolve? Vision is a realistic picture of what is possible.

About the Author

Hank MoorePower Stars to Light the Business Flame, by Hank Moore, encompasses a full-scope business perspective, invaluable for the corporate and small business markets. It is a compendium book, containing quotes and extrapolations into business culture, arranged in 76 business categories.

Hank’s latest book functions as a ‘PDR of business,’ a view of Big Picture strategies, methodologies and recommendations. This is a creative way of re-treading old knowledge to enable executives to master change rather than feel as they’re victims of it.

Power Stars to Light the Business Flame is now out in all three e-book formats: iTunes, Kindle, and Nook.

The BIG Secrets of Enthusiastic Emotional Engagement.

What is engagement?

Better stated, how can you engage other people to become interested in you and your product or service? Dale Carnegie (How to Win Friends and Influence People) says by becoming interested in them. And he’s partially right.

The reality, and the secret of engagement is that BOTH people must be mutually engaged and mutually interested, and BOTH people must be intellectually stimulated and emotionally connected. Otherwise it’s just a conversation that will be forgotten, unless the salesperson is taking notes. #notlikely.

What is the secret ingredient of engagement?

The key to deepening a sales conversation, or any conversation for that matter, is to connect emotionally. Favorite teams, kids, college create emotion when spoken about, and the feelings and or situations are mutual.

The secret ingredient of engagement is emotion. Emotion is a key link to rapport, relaxation, and response. Emotion takes conversations deeper and becomes more open. The desire to talk and reveal becomes more intense. It pushes you to trade stories and discover similarities.

To help you get the picture of why engagement and emotional engagement are so important, and how to start the process, I am offering two examples and scenarios:

1. FIND THE LINK! What do you have in common with your prospect? That will build rapport and lead you to a sale faster than anything.

Contrary to popular belief, ‘Customer types’ don’t matter. That’s right, take your amiable, driver, tightwad analytic types and toss them in the trash. My favorite type of customer is one that has a wallet with a credit card in it. Oh wait, that’s everybody.

Here’s the challenge… If you spend 30 minutes trying to figure out what type of person you’re dealing with, and then all of a sudden discover you both like model trains – or your kids both play soccer in the same league – or you both went to the same college – or you both grew up in the same town – or you both like the same sports teams – you will most likely make the sale no matter what type of person he or she is.

Personal things ‘in common’ lead to a friendship, a relationship, and lots of sales.

2. FIND THE MEMORY! If you can find one thing about the other person, and do something creative and memorable about it – you can earn the appointment, build friendship, create smiles, and make a sale.

I was courting a big client in Milwaukee. Found out the guy liked chocolate and was a Green Bay Packer fan. The next day I sent him a Packer hat full of chocolate covered footballs. The next day I was hired. Coincidence or luck? I have no idea. I just continue to do the same type of thing as often as I can, and continue to make sales.

I was courting a big client in Seattle. Found out the guy liked baseball. Sent him a Louisville Slugger baseball bat with his name engraved on it. Needless to say I hit a home run (sorry for that).

INSIGHT: To establish the ultimate long-term relationship and to be memorable in the service you perform, you need personal information about your prospect or customer. Information that provides you with insight, understanding, and possible links. (And, oh yes, lots of sales.) The difference between making one sale and building a long-term relationship lies in your ability to get this information.

BIGGER INSIGHT: The more information you have, the better (and easier) it is to establish rapport, follow-up and have something to say, build the relationship, and gain enough comfort to make the first sale, and with consistent follow-through, many more.

BIGGEST INSIGHT: If given a choice, people will buy from those they can relate to. People they like. People they trust. This stems from things-in-common. If you have the right information, and use it to be memorable, you have a decided advantage. Or you can decide “It’s too much work, I can make the sale without it.”

This philosophy gives the advantage to someone else – your competitor.

About the Author

Jeffrey GitomerJeffrey Gitomer is the author of The Sales Bible, Customer Satisfaction is Worthless Customer Loyalty is Priceless, The Little Red Book of Selling, The Little Red Book of Sales Answers, The Little Black Book of Connections, The Little Gold Book of YES! Attitude, The Little Green Book of Getting Your Way, The Little Platinum Book of Cha-Ching, The Little Teal Book of Trust, The Little Book of Leadership, and Social BOOM! His website,, will lead you to more information about training and seminars, or email him personally at [email protected].