The Power of Community…The Power of Many Moving as One”
I get asked all the time, “How do it get my people to see a piece of paper on the floor and bend over and pick it up?” As a trainer and coach I have to tell you it isn’t because they do not know how. I would not suggest a 5 step process of how to pick up a piece of paper training program. Picking up trash is about pride and feeling apart of something bigger than one’s own self. And what holds true to your trash, holds true to how your people work, interact and take responsibility for just about anything.
If you think about it there has not been a book on top performing businesses written in the last decade that does not address the power of building a strong culture. The tricky part inevitably is how. Community building is the way. As culture is the heart and soul of your business, community is the body of your business...don't take care of it and it will die.
Many organizations believe that once they write their vision and mission and identify their values and ideal market position that the integration into their entire business will just occur. So, they put up a few posters, give out “pledge cards”, share the 5 steps of serving customers and there you go.
Culture needs a place to live and grow much like a garden. You don’t decide what you are going to plant in your garden (define your culture), buy the plants and tools to create your garden (people and training) and then just hope that it grows.
Healthy cultures grow in healthy communities. Communities are different than teams. Teams are functional. They provide specific results to the community at large. Communities serve a bigger and more powerful long term force and their culture is the power of their “fertilizer”. And as we all know some fertilizer is not as good as other!
So, what is a community?
- A Community is a group of people committed to and working towards a higher purpose (vision).
- A Community has common interests (taking fantastic care of each guest)
- A Community has agreed upon goals and is interdependent
- A Community is interactive with each other
- A Community is dependent upon each other and is only as good as the sum of its parts
- A Community is deeply connected and hence when one person in the community is in trouble, others in the community reach out, support and assist in the progress of the member in trouble
- A Community is a group of people who have a common culture
- A Community thrives in the “positivity” of its environment and this “positivity” drives productivity
- A Community focuses on its strengths and leverages those strengths to get to its mission
- A Community is a powerful force
Communities are built on 6 primary pillars and great organizations know and are fanatically committed to work every day to ensure that the pillars are all strong. The power of building these pillars is a lot like compound dividends. The more you invest, the better your investment yields.
The 6 Pillars of a Great Community include:
- A strong sense of connection between the members (employees).
- Clean communication – this is real talk not “nice” talk. This is vigorous conversation to work through problems not polite discussion. Clean communication is easy is good times – the test is in difficult moments.
- Compassion – is giving members of your community what they can have in a way they can have it. Moving from a place of caring. Compassion is leveraging strength not focusing on weaknesses.
- Higher-purpose – is the knowingness that what you do as a member of this community makes a difference in the lives of others and hence your own
- Participation – if people are not participating not only do you lose out on their gifts/strengths and optimal productivity, you also feel the drag of their energy
- 100% Responsibility/Accountability – how are you working and delivering on your commitments and responsibilities to your community.
The power of building a strong internal community is vast. Beyond the fact that people who are happy are 53% more likely to stay with your company than people who are unhappy; community members work differently together. (Source: Harvard Business Journal) They help clean up the mess even if they didn’t make it and have an emotional commitment that no person is left behind. This decreases turnover costs significantly, improves productivity and ultimately drives profitability and asset value. Welcome to the Community.
Next month Renie talks straight about real leadership and its place in your community. Leadership is a behavior not a position and creating an organization of leaders will allow you to build a stronger community and go on vacation!
Renie Cavallari is CEO and Chief Inspirational Officer for Aspire, an international training and consulting company that provides products and services designed to help you optimize revenues and increase profitability. For more information, visit www.aspiremarketing.com or email Renie directly at renie (at) aspiremarketing.com.