Innovation Junkies Podcast

2.35 Culture of Excellence – Putting it All Together

Jeff Standridge is tying together the six domains in the GrowthDX solution stack. He talks about the importance of strong leadership in an organization, how to create a culture of excellence and why you should implement 100% accountability.

Jeff Standridge (Intro):

Are you ready to change the trajectory of your business and see massive improvements? Each week we’ll share strategies and practices to generate sustained results and long lasting success in your organization. Welcome to the Innovation Junkie Podcast. 

Hey, guys. Jeff Standridge here and welcome to another episode of the Innovation Junkies Podcast. You’ll notice that I’m here by myself today.

This week is the actually, today is the first day of spring, and it is spring break for a lot of people in our part of the world, our part of the country. And so some of our team members and I, including Jeff Amerine and I, try to take a little time, get out, get away at for a few days.

So I’m doing a working vacation away from home today and a couple of days this week and thought I would go ahead and shoot one episode of the Innovation Junkies Podcast. One or a few, maybe. But today what I want to talk about is I want to I want to bring everything we’ve been talking about together. You know, we’ve talked about these diagnostic domains of the of the GrowthDX, the strategic growth diagnostic.

And and we’ve talked about a lot of things. We packed a lot of things into a number of episodes toward the end of last season and certainly all of this season so far. And so I want to talk about how you bring all of those things together and really, really drive the kinds of results that you’re looking to try to drive in your organization.

There are six things that I want to talk about, and the first one is strong leadership. None of what we’ve talked about with the GrowthDX and the strategic growth diagnostic and all of the domains and all of the content within each of those domains that we talked about, none of that will actually work without strong leadership.

And really, that boils down to having a team of strong senior leaders who live by the core values of the organization, who catalyze commitment to and and even the vigorous pursuit of a clear and compelling vision of the future. They organize people and resources toward the efficient and effective pursuit of very well-planned targets and goals and priorities. And they inspire and empower others toward the achievement of high performance standards.

Finally, this concept of strong leadership requires that these leaders build enduring greatness within their organization by combining assertive, professional ambition with personal humility and servant leadership. Jim Collins in the book Good to Great, called that Level Five Leadership. This real balance of personal ambition, professional ambition, assertiveness coupled with humility and servant leadership. So having not just one person in the organization, but a team of senior leaders who who really exude this concept of strong leadership, that’s the first requirement.

The second one excuse me, which I think you probably heard when we talked about organizational effectiveness, is this concept of clarity and focus. The key result of a top-down planning process like we’ve shared with you previously. The key result of that top-down planning process enables leaders to get crystal clear about purpose and direction of the organization, as well as about the or the outcomes that they want the organization to achieve.

That includes the development of a laser-like guided system to avoid distraction, to concentrate on activities that will produce the greatest results. So clarity and focus. We know where we’re going and we know how to stay on track to get there. Because we are focused, we have focused attention on the results that we’re looking to deliver and the destination that we’re looking to arrive at with our organization.

Thirdly, we have a team of engaged and committed team members, engaged and committed. This means that they are highly competent individuals. They have winning attitudes. They’re in clearly defined and accepted roles and they are fully committed to the mission, the vision, and the values of the organization. And not only are they committed to it, but they are engaged to the point that they hold themselves accountable and they hold each other accountable. What we call mutual accountability. 

Remember, we talked about leadership being this concept of being willing to hold ourselves accountable for the results that we look to deliver in terms of mission, vision and core values. 

And the fourth thing is empowering communication. We talked a little bit about this in a in a previous episode. Empowering communication basically is a culture that results from strong leadership as we’ve already defined and discussed a couple of moments ago. And it’s in which employees throughout the organization feel strong and confident, very strong and very confident in the fulfillment of their individual responsibilities, as well as in overcoming any of the challenges that may may arise. Remember that the definition of empowerment is to make someone stronger and more confident in dealing with the situations at hand and in an empowering culture, employees feel confident in the leadership of the organization. They feel confident in the direction of the organization, and they gladly live out the core values of the organization because they see their teammates and they see their their leaders living those things out as well. Empowering communication where we make people feel stronger and more confident in the situation and the tasks at hand.

Number five is establishing this concept of 100% accountability. The key result of this bottom up management process. Remember, we talked about in organizational effectiveness that it’s a top down planning process to enable bottoms up management. The key result of this bottoms up management process in which every major target, every major goal, every major indicator and every major priority has a single point of accountability and is reviewed regularly and consistently to ensure success.

100% accountability. This system of accountability leads to the creation of a system with impeccable execution. Not only do we do great at planning and organizing and establishing clarity and focus, but we do great at execution as well. We have an unwavering faith in the planning process and the management processes. We create faith in the ability to direct or redirect resources like money, people, and assets. And we do all of this in order to achieve the desired outcomes that we’ve set out to achieve, to accomplish that vision, or to fulfill that vision that we’ve established. 

And finally, number six is organizational agility. You know, things never go as planned. There’s always a situation where we plan to do one thing and something punched us in the mouth.

I believe it was Mike Tyson who said, everyone has a plan till they get punched in the mouth. Well, your organization and your leadership team is going to get punched in the mouth as well. The ability of an organization to renew itself, to adapt, to change quickly, and to succeed in a rapidly changing environment, one that is ambiguous or or turbulent or tumultuous, that is organizational agility. Agility is not compatible with stability. In fact, quite the contrary, agility within organizations or agile organizations have a paradoxical combination of dynamism. That is, the ability to move fast with speed, nimbleness and responsiveness. A combination of dynamism, balanced with stability, which is a stable foundation, a platform, if you will, of things that that really don’t change. This stable backbone becomes a springboard for the organization, an anchor point, if you will, that doesn’t change while the world around the organization and around the leadership team is constantly changing. 

So just to review those, we kind of encapsulate these into what we call creating this culture of excellence. You have strong leadership. Strong leadership is balanced with clarity and focus of where the organization is going and what’s important. And and having that laser like guidance system. We have engaged and committed teammates who are who are bought into the leadership and bought into the direction and the planning processes and the goals, objectives, etc. We have empowering communication that makes people stronger and more confident dealing with the situation at hand. We have a meeting cadence and a review cadence that that breeds 100% accountability. And then finally, we have the ability to bounce back, to adapt and to change this balance of dynamism with stability, which we call organizational agility.

Put those six things together and I think you’ll find all of the elements of the last several episodes of the Innovations Junkies Podcast to all come together much more quickly. Thank you for joining and we’ll see you again on the next episode. This has been another episode of the Innovation Junkies Podcast. Talk soon!

Jeff Amerine (Outro):

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