Success is found in “the Culture”
Potential in the Nutrient Value
Lets pretend for the next few minutes that you are a Farmer, but instead of growing rabbit food, hogs or cows, you are growing your business. Really. I am talking about bib overalls, tractors pulling a variety of machinery for tilling, seeding, fertilizing, pest control, weed control, harvesting, shipping and hauling. You get my point.
“No likeness,” you say. Oh contraire. The similarities are astounding. There is nothing that a business owner does that a farmer does not also do. In fact, I would suggest that farming is much more complex and demanding than the average business simply due to being climate dependent. This dependency adds another layer of responsibility to fund next years crop before the current one is even harvestable.
Farming, to me, is a great metaphor for any owner or leader of a company, simply because growing a business takes the same types of both central and peripheral focus, just from a different perspectives.
What are you focused on right now? I would put money on it being a HR or people challenge, even if you disagree. And my perspective is that your employees impact the client experience more than anything else, including product. And that is what people value, the experience.
Leadership roles of a farmer and business owner
- Strategic planning and management of all things; it varies with the crops and livestock, annually.
- Resource management – budget, finance, land nutrient value, and facility management.
- Adapting to changes in product, service, demand and climate
- Research for expansion
- Responding to issues unanticipated (natural disasters)
- HR – personnel and talent development
- Celebrate new milestones
All are very similar with one exception. And, that exception is the nutrient value or growth potential found in the “medium” in which you are growing the business. The “Medium” of most farmers is soil or hydroponic. Both have specific nutrients that support the growth of the plants and consumable portion it produces.
However you, the business owner, have a different medium in which you grow your business and it is called the business culture. The nutrient value of the culture shows up in the employees, vendors and consumers as the collective-mindset; including attitudes, motivations, backgrounds and attractiveness of the company. The business culture impacts every relationship that is created, before during and after you open and close your doors.
In every business the medium or culture is a highly integrated blend of knowledge, experience, systems, background, attitudes, values, mindsets and intentions of each member of the organization. It becomes the medium in which employees feel nurtured, appreciated, listened to, encouraged to grow, and stretch into more than they were before working with the company.
When essential nutrients, such as appreciation, are missing or insincere, you are remiss to expect employees to be fully engaged and naturally caring of customers. What they witness, feel and experience from owners and leadership, they then model and reflect to others. When ownership, leadership and management are disengaged from each other and staff, most staff interactions with each other and customers will mirror what they witness and experience with leadership and management. They were trained to model.
What disengagement and valued experiences specifically am I talking about?
- Incongruity of company purpose with company offerings and service.
- Confusion between what is said and expected of everyone, without exception.
- Poor training and staff development – assuming learning on own time without compensation.
- Expecting experience, then hiring inexperience and expecting someone to fill gaps.