A friend of mine just became the head of a large bank, which is one of our larger customers. A solid and very comfortable guy that your first reaction to is... "I'd just like to sit around talking to to him". Ex-football player from Dartmouth who now maxes out on a couple of Tough Mudders every year. Great family man, just a nice guy, who is very focused on what he and his managers need to do in terms of performance and accountability.
When he took over this new position in January, he unleashed the theme of "A Culture of Excellence" throughout the organization. Over the last three months, "a culture of excellence in everything we do" has become the rally cry for every department, and ultimately will become the same for every employee in the organization.
We also work for one of the largest commercial real estate development and management firms in the U.S. A team of deeply experienced men and women some of whom are brand new to their positions while others have worked at the company for 20 plus years. We've done sales and marketing process work for them for a couple of years, and last Friday, we held our first strategy session. Within a very short time, as we began to talk about the longer term vision, a theme of "a passion for excellence" was put on the table as the guideline as to how they would run the company. A passion of excellence in everything we do.
At Reiser, where I'm Chairman, Roger and George, the owners have forged into the DNA of all of the company's employees and customers, the rally cry of "Built on Trust", which is now on the company's logo and blazed into every piece of marketing material. All around the company are folk stories noting activities like the time that the service tech drove 400 miles through a storm to meet another tech who then drove to the customer's location at night so that the production line would be back online for the first shift.
At one of our larger software customers, when a long term manager was promoted to become president 18 months ago, he instituted the rally cry of "Sell more new, and keep what you sell!" Simple words, and a powerful direction setter for every employee in the company, not just those in sales.
A Rally Cry sets the tone.
- It defines the fundamental values of the organization.
- It's not your mission or a statement of your vision
- It leans initially to focusing more internally than externally
- Ultimately it becomes the core of the culture of the business
- ...and defines how you and every employee will act.
So, next week at your staff meeting once the quarter is behind you, think through this concept of a rally cry with your team. Perhaps, it's for the entire company. Perhaps, it's only for the sales and marketing team to begin with.
- First, talk through whether there's a need to this
- Begin to whiteboard ideas. Do the same activity the following week
- Come to agreements and test it out with a few employees
- Once you launch it, you need to make it part of the company's DNA
- So, it will require a formal internal campaign
- Nothing quick and easy about this, but stick to it, and it always works
Congratulations on bringing the quarter to a great close!
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