In 2014, the theme for my Vistage groups was All That Matters is Culture. We talk about culture a lot in Vistage and we have several speakers that focus on this topic. Certainly we can all agree that focusing on culture creates a more consistent workplace. I say consistent, rather than harmonious, because as we learned from Vistage speaker, Edgar Papke, each culture is different – The important thing is to know what your culture is, hire accordingly and ensure your culture (inward facing) is consistent with your brand (outward facing).
And…when we went around the table at the end of the year, two of my CEO members shared that they had their best year yet (both had been in business 15+ years). When the other members asked the reason, both said, without hesitation, “because I focused on culture more than anything else this year. I got rid of the cancers. Everyone who is with my company today reflects the culture. I see it, the customers see it, and frankly to my surprise, the bottom line shows it”.
In one case, one of the CEOs fired his #2 producer. A risky move, so he thought. In fact, he even expected a down year as a result. He decided the risk was worth it.
Good thing he took the risk because… he was one of the CEOs to report the best year ever.