Ever been part of a really great organization - whether it be a company, non-profit, or community group? An organization that just seems to be chugging along, knocking down barriers, getting things done, and everyone wants to be a part of it?
Those fortunate enough to experience a powerhouse culture know the incredibleness (I don't think that's a word) of what a group of people can do. There seems to be no bounds, the future is always on everyone's mind and it's hard to find a frown in the place. (To those of you who haven't experienced one, seek out these organizations, read articles and books about them, discuss them & model your businesses after them. They exist. Trust me.)
These truly great organizations recognize what I like to call the "Wheel of Culture," they feed it, and leadership spends every waking moment trying to make it better.
The "Wheel of Culture!"
Some quick definitions for you (so we're all on the same page)
PEOPLE - they're the humans in your office :)
WHY - Simon Sinek, author of the book Start With Why, defines WHY as "the purpose, cause, or belief that inspires you to do what you do." (btw...money is not a why)
CULTURE - PEOPLE x WHY = CULTURE. CULTURE is the culmination of all of the events, thoughts, ideas, practices, language, actions, decisions, etc. that shape an organization.
So what is the Wheel of CULTURE? The Wheel is made up of these three elements: the PEOPLE, the WHY, and the CULTURE. Each element is intrinsically linked to the other two and is constantly improving, constantly in motion. Think about those really great organizations I talked about above, I guarantee they're "rollin' the Wheel of CULTURE"...and it all starts with their leader.
When a leader is able to identify their WHY, communicate their WHY, and act & make decisions in ways consistent with their WHY - great things happen!
When that same leader is able to gather other individuals who believe in that WHY, you start to lay the foundation for a tremendous CULTURE!
Tremendous CULTURES are inherently stable, with each part of the wheel improving off the other two parts. PEOPLE feed the WHY & CULTURE; the WHY feeds the PEOPLE & CULTURE; the CULTURE feeds the PEOPLE and the WHY. The system is regenerative, and like a bike in motion, it wants to stay upright, it wants to attract great PEOPLE, it wants to share & further its WHY and it wants to touch the hearts & minds of as many PEOPLE as possible...all it requires is a little pedaling.
Cultures are like bikes - the great ones are inherently stable - they want to stay great.
How do I get my organization's "wheel" moving?
2.) Communicate, Communicate, Communicate your WHY - Integrate your WHY into everything. Into your hiring process, "on-boarding," advertising, internal newsletters, company slogans, the company picnic/annual meeting, etc.. Everyone in your organization should know your WHY, and should be emotionally charged when it is talked about. When you're able to emotionally connect with PEOPLE, connecting with what they believe, you're able to go far!
3.) COACH YOUR PEOPLE! - I'm happy to say that in 2015, more dollars will be spent on learning, training & development than in any previous year...BUT, too often dollars are spent on bland, ineffective company-wide training (you know, the 2-3 day "leadership" training you're required to attend every year). In order to develop our PEOPLE, we must coach on a one-on-basis. We must take the time, and money, to dedicate ourselves to our PEOPLE.
4.) Get out of your CULTURE'S way! - When you have great PEOPLE and a great WHY, get out of the way! As mentioned above, great CULTURES are regenerative. Abolish the countless committees, silos, useless meetings, redundancy, lack of autonomy, etc.. Simply FOCUS ON YOUR PEOPLE, FOCUS ON YOUR WHY, and watch tremendous things happen!
The funny thing about "price" and "value" is that if given the choice, savvy consumers will always select value over price. Whether they're buying carrots or a car, people who are able to see added value (and afford it) will pay more.
Unfortunately for those in business (any business), we don't do a great job of highlighting the value we bring...at least I hope that's the case and not that we just aren't "bringing it."
"Bringing it" (Value)
Regardless of what biz you're in, you must provide enormous value to your customers...because if you don't, someone else will. The world has gotten a lot smaller, people have options, marketers have broad presence and everyone is after the same slice of the pie.
All too often, in an attempt to garner more clients or sales, or head off new competition, we'll drop our prices. Dropping prices is both the easiest thing to do, and the hardest. Keep in mind, once the market becomes accustomed to lower prices, raising them is a slow and arduous task.
If your only means of achieving a competitive advantage is by cutting prices, you've already lost the game.
3 Quotes/Ideas that I love & live by
1.) Always give more than you receive!
2.) The only people worried about price are those not providing enough value!
3.) Provide so much value that your customers will fear they aren't paying enough!
*note: these are applicable in your personal life & relationships as well
Traditional vs. Value-Based Pricing Mindsets
A "traditional"-pricing mindset causes us to continually ask the question "am I charging too much?" Conversely, a "value-based" pricing mindset that recognizes your value, the value of your time & the tremendous value you bring to the customer, causes you to ponder "am I charging too little?"
Keep this in mind the next time you set your prices, review your prices, are up against a new or existing competitor willing to slash their prices. Think about your customer, how you can add more value than the guy/gal down the street, and then communicate, communicate, communicate that to the customer!
husband + father + pilot + Leadership Coach | Consultant + startup fan + reader of personal #development, company #culture & leadership books