This month we've discussed the importance of defining the value you want to realize from your business and how to generate a baseline of your business today. In the next two weeks we're going to continue to look at building a business of value from two perspectives: if you're looking to sell your business soon (within two years) and if you're looking to build a business of value to sell or transition later in your life.
Business Owner Newsletter - Page 14
If you accepted our challenge last week, you should have a clear idea of what Value Realized means to you. While making a list may not seem like you've achieved much, having a clear understanding of what you want your business to do for you is the first step in designing a business of value.
We've often quoted Michael Gerber's famous words that the only reason to own a business is to sell it! Of course it isn't as simple as opening a business one day and selling it for huge profits the next day. Owning a small business is a journey towards that destination, a journey of being the problem solver day in and day out, of being the worrier, and being the one ultimately responsible for all outcomes.
From reading our articles the last few weeks you have a better understanding of why workplace culture matters and that it exists in every business (intentionally or by default). This week we want to outline the next steps to designing (or re-designing) your workplace culture. Just like most items that happen in a business, it should be designed by you, the business owner. Whether you just opened your doors or just celebrated your 25th business anniversary, you have the opportunity to design (or re-design) your workplace culture to match the values of your business, to set the expectations of leaders, and attract the talent needed.
This month we are looking into the workplace culture of a business. The previous weeks we worked to describe workplace culture and some ways it can be influenced. The most important aspect of workplace culture is the leadership of the business. How leadership demonstrates culture is how it is modeled through the managers, employees and then replicated through the treatment of customers.
This week we will look at the five dynamics of workplace culture, and examine what influences workplace culture the most:
“There is only one boss. The customer. And he can fire everybody in the company from the chairman on down, simply by spending his money somewhere else.”
- Sam Walton
Every business has a workplace culture. Workplace culture is difficult to point out or describe. It may be easier to describe the air we breathe. We know air exists and we understand our bodies respond to it differently depending on its qualities. Consciously or unconsciously we respond differently if air is clean and refreshing, or when it is polluted with toxins, allergens, or smoke. We may smell a bad odor that is harmless and just unpleasant for a while. We may walk into a smoke filled room and decide to leave. Or, we may not even know about the toxic air we are breathing until we get sick. It may take a few minutes or even several years of experiencing poor air quality before we realize the symptoms. Yet, most of the time we never think about it. However, if it is cut off, if we are underwater, or just have a cold, then we are aware of how important air and breathing is and at times may even be desperate to get it.
The last four weeks we talked about resolving conflicts. However, the lack of conflict within your business isn't always something to be excited about. In fact, it might be a warning sign. Conflict helps your business innovate. It helps you test and challenge assumptions you make before implementing new ideas or even products. No conflict could mean that your business culture isn't embracing conflict and you could be missing out on opportunities.
This month, we've talked about how you can collaborate with others when there is a conflict. As we've repeated many times this month, conflict resolution STARTS with you, but it's not just about you or just about how your business operates. There are other parties involved. This week we want to focus on how your business can be prepared to work with your team when there is a conflict.