We continue with Anne-Claire Broughton. She is Principal of Broughton Consulting, LLC, Durham, NC. Her many publications include the Business Action Guide Series of innovative employee engagement practices (with The Hitachi Foundation). Anne-Claire is active with efforts to educate retiring business owners and their advisors about the possibility of employee ownership as an exit strategy. She also shares innovative employee engagement practices to help business owners thrive. In addition, she is President of EarthShare North Carolina’s Board of Directors, an active amateur musician, and parent of a teenager.
Anne-Claire Broughton is Principal of Broughton Consulting, LLC, Durham, NC. Her many publications include the Business Action Guide Series of innovative employee engagement practices (with The Hitachi Foundation). Anne-Claire is active with efforts to educate retiring business owners and their advisors about the possibility of employee ownership as an exit strategy. She also shares innovative employee engagement practices to help business owners thrive. In addition, she is President of EarthShare North Carolina’s Board of Directors, an active amateur musician, and parent of a teenager.
A young chef finds her passion for cooking again, a factory worker’s marriage improves because he’s talking more with his wife, and an owner regains her energy and love for business as she finds a renewed purpose and a vision for her company.
These are a few of the stories I heard while interviewing the gang at Zingerman’s for the first few episodes of the Inspired and Intentional business podcast.
This episode is going to be a brief overview of the top lessons learned and to also point out a few resources I’ve learned of while getting this podcast going.
1. There’s an art to this whole culture thing. To creating and thinking about organizational development. Really thinking through how your people, customers, suppliers and community experience your company. Are you adding benefits beyond pay, product/services and taxes? Why should you?
2. People will make up stories in a vacuum. Fill in the holes with truth, openness, and authenticity. Work through what they need to know by putting yourself in their shoes and thinking through what they worry about. What questions will they ask you?
This really goes beyond the simple issue of being open during a crisis. This vacuum is filled day by day via the building of trust within the team. You can’t be open in a crisis and expect people to believe you, you have to open all the time. During the good and the bad.
This topic came up during the discussion of numbers, salaries, profits and what the owners are making, and why certain decisions are made. If they don’t understand numbers and how a company makes a profit and generates cash…on a daily basis, they will make up stories about where all that money is going. (Probably to the government and the bank! : )
3. Collaboration and consensus doesn’t mean you have to agree all the time and always see eye-to-eye on all decisions. Collaboration does need the parties involved to share values and vision. It also doesn’t mean that every decision has to be by consensus or by democratic vote. Just be clear on how the decisions are being made and who’s involved in the process.
4. Systems help employees consistently perform their best when they otherwise don’t feel like it.
5. Dissent – come up with ways to encourage it. There’s the “what’s working/not working” meeting or the open forum method.
6. Create a system for change. Some call it Kaizen and some continuous improvement. Zingerman’s calls it Bottom Line Change.
7. The importance of a vision. So many of the issues brought up would come down to vision. Do your systems support you vision? Do you HR practices support the vision? People are engaged when they’re clear on the vision, take part in creating it, and understand the role they play in making that vision a reality.
Clarity, communication, and consistency are the 3 “C” words I would use when working with my vision.
Please leave your suggestions for interviews, companies, and resources in the comments below or on one of the following channels:
A process for nurturing change within your organization
Succession planning and what keeps Amy inspired to keep improving
Here are the questions for this week’s episode:
Amy said that they’re more innovative than entrepreneurial at this stage of the business, because entrepreneur to her implies more risk and boldness. When they innovate, they’re not putting the business at risk as much. At what stage is your company? Do you need to take a few more risks?
Amy talked to bottom line change. Their process, as outlined in the interview (I know there’s more involved here, get one of Ari’s books and see all the details.). Big thing I got from this: if you have an idea for a change realize that you’re going to need to sell this idea to the interested parties. (Maybe teach your team sales and negotiations even if that’s not their primary role.)
What inspires you to keep improving? Or, are you inspired to keep improving or innovating. She talked about new ideas just coming to her all the time. Do you have that? If not, how can you re-engergize that within yourself?
Have you consider succession planning and the future of your organization? How can you continue the vision?
I would love to see your answers at one of the many Inspired and Intentional outlets:
Make the case for the change you are proposing. (Who, what, when, where, and why. IE the reasons you want or believe this change needs to happen.)
Create a draft vision for it. Remember, this means: what does it look like after the change is in place.
Start shopping it around and sharing it with people. I believe the current buzzword for this is socialize the idea. This step should reveal the inevitable resistance to the proposed change. You want resistance because if there’s no resistance then people may not be paying attention or they don’t care how it is. Resistance shows a commitment and engagement to the process.
Once the idea has some energy and acceptance, gather a “microcosm” of people from around the organization to help you determine who to tell about the change and how to tell it. This is your marketing team. They help reveal the parties that this may affect that you’ve not thought of.
Develop first steps and start the change.
Throughout the process, people will challenge it to see if it fits the vision of the company and business unit.
She talked about a training compact and setting clear expectations for the new hires. Also, that training is a two-way street and both parties are responsible. Do you have a system for new hires to take responsibility for their own training. More importantly, are you able to adapt to the various ways people learn.
Amy presented a couple ways to get dissent to bubble up in the company. Either a “working, not working” set of questions during meetings. Or, to hold an open forum where ideas are presented and then teams share their likes and dislikes, thus allowing anonymity. What have you done that has helped bring up a diversity of viewpoints in order to get to the most unique and strongest ideas?
In regards to your process for discipline/performance reviews – do you consider the following:
The dignity of the person?
How would you like to leave?
What would like the story to be?
Do you want to tell people or have us do it?
4. Keeping the momentum up for a long term vision. How can you break down your vision into smaller bite size pieces to keep the momentum and focus on the long-term goals?
I would love to see your answers at one of the many Inspired and Intentional outlets:
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Next week we’ll continue our talk with Amy Emberling. She’ll cover entrepreneurship vs innovation, a process for organizational change and introduce me to Pavlova.
Thank you for listening and until next week, be inspired and intentional.
The inspired and intentional businesspodcast is copyright 2015 by it’s owner. The music is Funk Game Loop, Kevin MacLeod Royalty Free from Incompatech. Thank you for sharing your talent.