Sam Walton's (Made in America: My Story) rule No:10 is Swim upstream.
"Go the other way. Ignore the conventional wisdom. If everybody else is doing it one way, there's a good chance you can find your niche by going in exactly the opposite direction. But be prepared for a lot of folks to wave you down and tell you you're headed in the wrong way."
He built the first discount store in a town with less than 50,000 population and from 1 to 8 to hundred stores in US, and now in North America and overseas. He totally proved a lot of skeptics wrong and made the competitors baffled. Walmart is truly an American success story.
Reflecting on his life and experiencing the sickness brought by cancer, he bemoaned, "I don't know that anybody else has ever done it quite like me: started out as pure neophyte, learned his trade, swept the floor, rung the cash register, installed the fixtures, remodeled the stores, built the organization, etc."
It takes a lot of courage to swim upstream, where there are less pathways made out for the traveller. Beware of the people that you listen to and seek counsel with, a wrong advice can bring down faster down the drain. Commit to your enterprise and wholeheartedly believe that it will happen for you.
There is a prevailing misconception that only those that are in Fortune 500 companies have a corporate culture.
Small organizations have culture too. Every organization has culture if its made up of people. People have culture.
Culture is anything that governs behavior. It could be the founding principles, values, beliefs, ethos, and assumptions about the organization. It could be how the Founder thought the business should be. It could be anything that is accepted tacitly but never consciously questioned.
While culture is never stagnant, it could get stale and could be fossilized into something that your organization is fighting against. It could be a tradition devoid of any pragmatic and practical use for the organization. It could be a culture fighting a new strategy that is bent on bringing new and fresh perspective with the way things are done. It could be anything that is made to become the standard of behavior of people in the organization.
Culture cannot be static and immutable. It has to grow and flourish in the service of the company's goals and objectives. It has to be tended as people and culture go along together in creating the best company/organization where people prefer to work, invest, and support through patronage and client loyalty.
Show me your office culture and I will show you who you are!
If you are the best at what you do, then you are the expert.
Then, stop doing these things to undermine that.
1. Asking people about what to do next.
2. Accepting bad advice from people that do not have the credibility or success for themselves.
3. Asking people to give you the chance. You are not auditioning.
4. Having self-doubt all the time.
5. Getting intimidated in front of people with PhDs, and other initials in their names.
6. Getting intimidated with people in high positions.
7. Trying to be somebody else's that you are not.
8. Creating opportunities for people to doubt you.
9. Agreeing to every one's opinion no matter how incredulous it is.
10. Complying instead of negotiating for your interest.
When we talk about disruption in our economies, we rarely talk about how these changes impact on our careers and professions. Disruption is the new normal. It is becoming trite and tired already. The reason why organizations get disrupted is because they fail to anticipate the obvious- the sea of change that is enveloping their very existence.
If you are not innovating, you are not growing. And if you are not growing, you will be disrupted. Innovation in my vocabulary is not about invention. Innovation is the engine of disruption.
Have you heard lately that Payless is closing all of its stores in Canada, some in US and Puerto Rico? According to the news, the reason for the closure is that the prior reorganization was ill-equipped to account for the current retail realities -which means that the management made a big mistake by not accounting for the growing online shopping in Northern America.
It is quite revolutionary that the buying patterns of the public has led to massive reorientation and bankruptcies of major retail players, Sears, ToysRUs, Macy’s, to name the recent ones that have folded or beginning to fold up.
While Payless caters to the lower segment of the market where price is a sensitive issue, it wasn’t immune to the competition that is happening online when buyers shifted the way marketing, merchandizing, branding and promotions, distribution, delivery, payment systems, and customer services are done with retail. Big box companies are beginning to see the follies of the mantra, “big is big.”
What should be obvious is the Walmart remains the number 1 competitor in industry. Walmart is trying to succeed in the online shopping space where Amazon remains the industry leader with selling things online. Amazon and Walmart is up to the races to the future of the marketplace. Let's see who will win but at present, these two companies have shown that it pays to be adaptable and to listen to your customers!
Value-based governance and leadership is the newest breakthrough these days.
The underlying belief that the values of the staff and stakeholders match the values of the company and therefore, it is the best test for the cultural fit and the drive behind excellent performance within organizations.
Values-based has gotten to be practiced in extreme. CEOs telling human resources to pick certain types of people who are more compassionate but do not have the skills set for the job means that cultural fit trumps other considerations when hiring.
Cultural fit although very important in the success of the employee and the company together cannot be the end-all and be-all of effective hiring, retention, and training process. The competencies for the job is critical for that person to succeed or feel fulfilled. Certain types of employment and occupations call for a balanced combination of skills, competencies, and values appropriate. Those social types without the structure of the job will not be capable as the fish in the aquarium.
But values are intangible? How to govern through value-based leadership? Values are demonstrated through beliefs, beliefs are manifested through attitudes, and attitudes form part of overall behavior. We can influence the values of a person to a certain extent, but it is mostly an individual choice and a product of their context. We cannot shove it on their lungs to become a worker that values integrity, compassion, and excellence if they don’t have it in their DNAs. The right ‘fit’ as they say.
Training and development programs in companies do not tackle the belief systems of individual workers and their teams but are typically looking for short-term remediation in performance, addressing behavioral issues that arise, and keeping it topical and on-point as part of the Return on Investment on Performance.
The following questions should be asked when you are working on value-based governance/management?
1. How does your value-based leadership impact behaviors that are helpful for the organization?
2. How does your value-based leadership measure behavioral performance that are good and not good for the organization?
3. How does your value-based leadership reward great performance over bad performance?
The starting point is to check on behaviors that manifest those traits that demonstrate great performance over mediocre ones because the latter are latent and can be observed with the naked eye. The best training and development programs are those that address behavioral problems with adequate, effective, and compelling rewards and non-rewards systems that align with company culture and ethos.
Only when great behaviors are consistently reinforced and aligned, then beliefs and values will align to behaviors.