The weekly radio broadcast, Start Something, Columbia! took on corporate culture today. Here are the show notes:
Start Something, Columbia! is made possible by the McNair Institute for Free Enterprise and Entrepreneurship at the University of South Carolina and by the Women’s Business Center of South Carolina at Columbia College.
Theme for the day:
Continuing our study of The Hard Thing About Hard Things with Ben’s section on building a “Good Company”
Building a “good” company — what do we mean by good? Taking care of people, products, and profits in that order.
The value of Training in your organization — as a solopreneur building your skills, as a micro employer helping people see your vision, etc.
Company culture — awareness of it, building it, maintaining it
We’ll hear from Patrick Jinks of The Jinks Perspective, he’s a leadership coach that works with non-profits.
We’re continuing our study on The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz and are talking today specifically about building a “good” company and what that means.
Last we’ll outline some events happening this week.
This week at 1 MC -- Patrick Jinks -- leadership coach and owner of The Jinks Perspective
Why did you start your own company?
Who is your target audience?
What do you hope to get out of speaking at 1MC?
Building a good company - taking care of people, products, and profits. NOTE the order.
Maintain a clean and professional environment
Practice Open Communication
Provide Advancement Opportunities
Recognize effort and achievement
Provide benefits and recreation opportunities
Go above and beyond to personally help them
Speak to them at their level, not down to them; relate to them
Show you care about their personal lives, don’t see them as worker bees
Take their side -- even against clients -- back your people up
Examples of Companies that care - these companies care about their employees, their communities, and their people
Building quality-focused companies (products and profits)
They set clear expectations.
They collect and analyze data.
They invest in capacity.
They promote from within.
They celebrate victories.
Focusing on People and Products means that the Profits will come! When not focusing on people (and the processes that train, unite, and encourage them) or products (innovative, new, affordable, competitive), even the best of companies can go bad.
Value of Training - building your own skills and making people see your vision
Training helps your employees to address their strengths and weaknesses and in doing so, increases consistency, productivity, and satisfaction
Consider training an investment that will more than pay for itself in the long run. It is invaluable to have a united team that has a shared vision and the same knowledge of processes and expectations to be more productive, efficient, and happy
Just because you are your own boss does not mean that you do not need to hold yourself accountable and set expectations of yourself. Leadership, responsibility, and inspiration are just as important in solopreneurs, if not more so, than in big CEOs; skills rated most important for entrepreneurs and leaders of entrepreneurial ventures:
Promoting an ethical environment
Acting with authenticity
Understanding and interpreting the competitive environment
Developing trust in relationships with other employees
Demonstrating optimism and enthusiasm for organizational objectives
Demonstrating dedication and effort
Promoting a sense of responsibility for the whole organization
Creating cohesive teams within my business unit
Communicating strategic frameworks
Engaging other employees in the strategic vision
Understanding and interpreting changes in the economic environment
Acting fairly towards others
Developing strategic frameworks
Serve as a role model
Some of these stories teach us the most important lessons about being a solopreneur:
observation and problem-solving skills,
learning how to balance several things at once, and
willingness to take risks
The focus of companies has shifted from top-down management to a more collaborative, community-focused corporate culture. The sooner companies realize that and adapt to it, the more likely they are to succeed.
Identity - the values of your company, operating principles
Retention - attract and retain top talent
Image and brand identity - your culture is an extension of an example of the brand identity you’re trying to get your customers to buy into and buy from.
Creating a culture of quality throughout all employees (connect back to building a good company)
“We define a “true culture of quality” as an environment in which employees not only
follow quality guidelines but also
consistently see others taking quality-focused actions,
hear others talking about quality, and
feel quality all around them.”
Learn from the past
Create a culture that aligns with your core values
Find great people who complement you
Invite people to drink the kool-aid
Work as a team
Maintain and carefully evolve your culture
Maintaining corporate culture is often harder than creating it:
Be transparent and maintain clear expectations
Be consistent and stress accountability
Invest in enriching and maintaining your workplace culture
Hire values-compatible people
What about when your business starts to grow? It is possible to still maintain a positive culture:
Hold all feet to the fire
Enforce the penalty
Remember where you came from
Hire with heart
Culture must be universal
Build and maintain
Don’t poison the well
Lead by example
What are your company’s KEY VALUES? How have you built those values into everyday operations? How are you sharing them with employees and customers?
Events of the week --
Find the Point! Thursday at Publico in Five Points, come out and meet Shane Sweeney of Swampfox Radio.
On Location with Lorie Gardner -- the Women’s Business Center of SC invites you to visit Lorie Gardner’s Mad Monkey Productions on Friday from 3-5 p.m. to see what it looks like behind the scenes in a real production company. Register here.
Shop the Rosho Live closet is today at 5 p.m. at Styled by Naida on Lady Street. Register on Eventbrite.
The W.H.O.L.E. Launch is this week. Join Tameika Isaac Devine and Betty parker -- both friends of the show -- as they embark on a new journey of Women Helping Other Ladies Excel that’s at 617 Lady Street, door open at 5:30 on Thursday, June 21. Register on Eventbrite.
Next week -- Caffeinated Conversations with the United Way of the Midlands on the topic of How Small Business Can Make a Big Impact. Ron Harvey and Ashlye Wilkerson, both 1MCers and friends of the show, will be part of that event. It’s Wednesday June 27th from 7:45 until 9 at Midlands Technical College’s Center for Entrepreneurial Success. Register on uway.org/events
Interested in sponsoring Start Something, Columbia! or advertising to our audience? Call 803-569-8200 today.