Sustaining a high level of success in a company as it matures can be the most challenging part of building a business.
Whether starting a company from the ground up, stepping in to revive an existing brand or managing a department inside of a large corporation, momentum is typically gained by having clear and concise messaging of a company's core philosophies. When these core philosophies and best practices are transferred successfully to every individual in an organization, that is when the true identity of a culture is built.
Company leaders cannot underestimate the value of culture. Those who don’t value ongoing education or the transfer of best practices into their new employee base will find themselves with a watered-down culture and at risk of costly employee error.
As a company grows, it becomes more and more challenging to transfer these core ideals to each and every individual. However, companies that excel in doing so often realize sustainable success.
Look no further than Apple for an example of this “transfer of ideas” concept. When the late Steve Jobs stepped down as CEO of Apple, Wall Street responded negatively and even after record profits for many years, its stock was either down traded or positioned as a hold by the investment community. This angst and concern among the investor community was in large part because Jobs was the intellectual capital, the clear leader and the individual who originated so many of the company’s core philosophies.
The two questions from investors became, “Had Jobs successfully transferred his passion and ideals to the remaining individuals?” and “Could leadership maintain the culture that had made it one of the most influential companies of the 21st century?”
Reaching every last person in an organization and making sure each one not only understands its core values, but also appreciates how the company was built, is a monumental task. This task, however, is critical to ongoing success. Implementing the “transfer of ideas” concept within an entire organization requires tireless employee training and consistent messaging, even when it seems monotonous.
There are three things every leader should execute to ensure everyone within an organization understands and appreciates the company’s history and foundation:
1. The leader must be visible and credible inside of the organization.
2. All messaging must remain clear and consistent.
3. The leader must own the communication around best practices, best ideas and organizational beliefs.
Passion in the delivery of any message cannot be undervalued. The leader of a company cannot simply trust those around him or her to deliver the organization’s core messaging with the same level of passion as they do. The bottom line is that any organization will take on the identity and values of its leader.
What core values and philosophies do you want to transfer inside of your organization? Conversely, what beliefs do you not want to transfer? Before being quick to implement an idea, think it through and bounce it off your closest team members. Do they buy into and believe it will enhance the organization?
Once you decide on what's important, implement it with passion and consistency. Trust that an idea won’t be ingrained into the fabric of the organization the first time it is presented. Getting people to adopt a philosophy is an ongoing task and it has to habitually trickle down from the top through everyday happenings including emails, conference calls, meetings and one-on-one interactions.
Leaders who place value in the “transfer of ideas” increase their odds of building a company with employees who have an aligned focus. Financial and cultural rewards will follow.