What does YOUR Year End Review Look Like?

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The year end brings a perfect time to take a clear look back to see what worked and what didn’t in your business.  Too many times, senior leaders look at “did we hit our number?” as the all consuming barometer.  That is absolutely critical.  It’s also dangerous if that’s the only thing that’s reviewed with a magnifying glass. 

Start at the basics to ground you in the brutal economic truth.

  • Are your sales & profits up or down?  How close to your budget?

  • Are you getting better at what you do?  Usually your margin %’s are an indicator here, all things being equal (input costs, pricing), margins moving north indicate productivity improvements and/or favorable mix.  Sometimes businesses plan them up or down based on op ex investments, so margins relative to expectations are the critical view.

  • In almost all cases, up beats down…….but in my experience, businesses that can not grow margin rates over time are forced to grow the topline at accelerated rates, and that can be expensive for shareholders if it’s not done organically (ie via acquisition).  Growing margin rates and top-line revenue are obviously not mutually exclusive, doing both is where it’s at.

 

Investment & Focus areas

  • People/Team?  (new hires, promotions, existing employees), how have you done? 

    • Are key individuals getting significantly better, or are they treading water?
    • How much did you spend on training?  Did you see an impact?  If not, why?
  • Culture? 

    • Overall workforce engagement (morale) and ownership of outcomes and common definition of a great future.  What have you spent against this?  What was your ROI, or if too difficult to measure, would you repeat it?
    • What’s your turnover rate and is it better or worse?
    • What’s your safety record?
    • What are your quality defects?
    • Are you happy with the results orientation of the business among your people?  Or do they have just a cursory view of business performance and their respective role in improving it?
    • Is recruiting becoming easier because your existing workforce is turning into the company’s best advocates?
  • What does your business pipeline look like going into the new year? (Customers)

    • How strong are you with your existing customers?  Are they growing as a group, flat or declining?  What are their intentions going forward?
    • Strong enough to recover from key customer losses and still grow?
    • How does your innovation stack up?  Are the new products/services in development likely to pull margins up or down, or are you doing more of the same?
    • Are you telling your story (marketing) effectively and attracting people to YOU?  Have you embraced the world of digital or still part of the masses that think it doesn’t apply to you?
  • Process Improvements?  All areas of business have a process, whether well defined or not. 

    • Have you analyzed your key business processes to look for improvement?
    • What’s your key business process where the management team comes together?  How strong?
  • Equipment?  Better, more efficient, safe equipment, or more total capacity….

  • Technology? 

    • Still stuck in a world of cocktail napkins or contemplating a real company system?  Or are you stuck in a world of spreadsheets where power users get it, others struggle?
  • Last, is your company stronger financially at the end of 2016 vs. the start of it?  Multiple metrics for this, but your balance sheet ratios of liquidity, debt coverage, shareholder equity and cash are all good indicators.  NOTE:  All of these metrics are the outcomes of everything above

[Continue Reading…]

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The Talent Hunt: Where’s the Will To Win?

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There are some painful and common things I’m seeing lately on the hunt for talent, interviewing countless people for various positions.

In the past I’ve posted on this topic:

Where Job Candidates Fail:  Articulating GBE

The Market for Talent & The Missing Element

The job market from my vantage point continues to be a “buyers” market in sheer numbers, where you post on the boards and get overwhelmed with tons of qualified credentials quickly for any given pay rate.  That’s where the buyers market ends however, as people make fundamental mistakes in great numbers.

Here’s a few common one’s I’ve seen.

  • Basic research seems to be a skill that 50% fail to do:

  • If you don’t know the company’s website and publicly available information, why show up?

  • If you know the names of the people you are meeting with, wouldn’t it make sense to do the SAME research on the people you will meet with that will render an opinion on you coming on board or not?

  • If you HAVE spent time doing basic research, why not work it into the conversation?  That will put you in the other half of the pile that DID do their homework.

  • Don’t ask about benefits on the first interview, unless the company initiates that discussion.

  • Vacation policy?  Same as #3.

  • Follow up is painfully lacking.  Not responding to an interview within 24 hours with a simple email thank you puts you in a pile (mentally) you don’t want to be in.

  • GENERIC follow up may be worse than no follow up.  Cutting and pasting the same thank you note to the 4 people you meet with is crazy.  They WILL compare notes, and when they see this the people will assume you are either lazy or not listening to individuals.

How do I sum this up?

Simple.  A job interview is a golden opportunity.  It is the equivalent of getting a meeting with a dream prospective customer in sales.  If you are not preparing a half a day or more for the interview, or sales call, don’t be surprised if you don’t get the result you want.  The people that DO get the results do not simply show up with their good looks and clean resumes.  They come ready to play, and ready to win.  Being ready to go starts long before the big meeting.      

preparing to win

 

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Where Job Candidates Fail: Articulating GBE

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The Jersey Shore

The Jersey Shore Reality show (if you can call it that).  Yes, I cringe at the portrayal of young Italian Americans in this light, from my home state.  And of course I can relate and found it comical.  But they captured perfectly with their GTL Acronym:  What the daily routine looks like.

 

So why do I think about the Jersey Shore and GTL when it comes to hunting for great talent?  Simple….

Job candidates everywhere struggle to articulate what I would consider their number one goal on an interview:  To Articulate their GBE.

Great.  Business.  Experience.  (GBE). 

I made this up.  Jersey Shore Style. 

What is it?

GBE is any business (or LIFE) experience that demonstrates value to an employer and eliminates risk associated with hiring.  That $1 invested in the potential new employee will likely return AT LEAST $2, but likely more. 

Because they have done it before.  And if they have NOT done it before, they clearly get that this is the standard in business: CREATING VALUE.  They understand that results trumps all. 

Where is this even more important?

  • Upper management jobs, stakes go higher as the compensation grows
  • Jobs that are not easily quantifiable to the person (translation: most outside of direct sales).

Most hiring managers look for specific qualifications listed on a resume.  Good ones also look for the cultural fit to the organization.

Candidates that succeed in their job pursuits have a significant HUSTLE factor.  They get that a hiring manager has many choices. To cut through the clutter, they need to bring their GBE to the table.  They need to leave no doubt that a $ spent will result in multiple $$ earned by saying yes to the candidate.

Resumes list qualifications.

Interviews are your chance on stage.

Don’t miss your chance to tell your GBE story. 

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Thoughts on an 8 Year Opening Day Missive Ritual

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One of the most exciting parts of business is building a culture with a team.  Taking part in events, and some of those turn into traditions.

Before I acquired LM Foods, I was lucky to be part of a great little Memphis based company, Monogram Foods for over 8 years.  When I started there were no more than 12 people in the company (today they have over 1,300!).

Every year I decided to write an annual Baseball Opening Day “Missive.”  I will admit they were obnoxious and probably annoyed more than a handful of people.  I would try to convert southerners to not only become a baseball fan (try that in the South!), but also to become a YANKEE fan.

For the appropriate context, Yankees are not a baseball team to southerners, they are a Species, and many would prefer that they were the endangered type!  Bless their heart…..

I felt bad for my fellow Memphians.  You see, they did not have their own baseball team.  And this didn’t bother them.  But it should have.    

Sure, they can get in the car and drive 3+ hours to claim the St. Louis Cards as their home team, but what a pain, and built in factor not to fall in love with baseball.

PS:  If you ever want to REALLY experience life, I recommend signing a 1 year lease no more than 10 blocks away from 2 stadiums:  Fenway Park or Wrigley Field.  Life will be forever changed, to the good.

Enter the solution to a modern day sports/city/complex crisis……the Yankee is in the house!

I needed to at least TRY to enlighten them to the greatness of the game AND the greatness of the worlds best sport franchises despite their geographical challenges and built in sports biases.  I cared too much for my brothers and sisters in Memphis and in the plant locations to let these things continue.  So I tried.  For 8 years I put my best case forward.

For the record, if the goal was to convert one person from a passive fan to more active, AND to adopt the Yankees, I was an outright failure!   Can’t win them all, especially in baseball.

The Opening Day Missive gave a platform to unsuspecting talent in far away places outside of our headquarters.  One that comes to mind is my dear friend in Accounting in one of our plants, affectionately known as “brother Dave.”  Dave is a pro.  He’s also a character.  A technical whiz in a lumberjacks body. He’s also a sniper behind the bushes waiting for my annual Opening Day Missive so he could destroy me and leave his buddy bleeding in the streets.  He did it well.

As it turns out, and much to the risk of my fragile ego, more people looked forward to Brother Dave’s counter argument and dismantling of everything Yankees than they did to the missive itself.  The rant became the avenue for bloodshed in the airwaves.  His replies were painful to read, but hysterical.  Hysterical to everyone.  Except me.

Small things define cultures in business.  Many times they don’t cost a ton of money.  It could be a cook-out celebrating great results, or even a simple recognition publicly for a small victory.  As long as they are authentic and not overly scripted, traditions matter.

Old School? Maybe.  But it matters.  Just like Baseball.

On a slow Sunday morning, I was curious to see how many times I wrote about America’s past time on Hustle or Bust.  Out of the 173 posts as of this date, 11 of them sprinkle in Baseball (below are the links).  Hustle is not confined too business, it cuts through all of life.  In fact, it probably originated in sports.

Yankees & A-Rod:  I Didn’t Charge The Yanks for this Advice

And perhaps the deepest, most important one?

An email I sent to my former team (with their heartfelt thoughts attached as well) on one of the country’s defining days.  What does that have to do with baseball?  Simple.  Baseball is what brought the country back together, when it needed it the most.

What is important about opening day is revealed in the Remembrances post.  Any opportunity to bring people together on a human level is one worth capturing.  

Happy Opening Day.  Where everyone starts in first place and anything can happen on the long road ahead.

Best of luck to your team!

baseball opening day

image credit: baseballism.com

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Reflections on Non-Profit Leadership: #Icebucketchallenge

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Like many people, I am amazed at the viral social media success of the ALS #Icebucket challenge fundraising effort. According to the ALSA.org website, donations have reached $62.5mm as of 8/23/14.  It seems impossible to visit Facebook without seeing a video of somebody taking the challenge.  I can’t think of a better example of the NEW SCHOOL doing good things for a worthy charity.

As a former board member of the Down Syndrome Association of Memphis/Mid-South (DSAM), it brought back many memories of 6+ great years of non-profit service.

Every year in October, the DSAM held their annual “Step up for Down Syndrome” fundraising walk.  To say that it was a labor of love put it mildly.  Some rough numbers:

  • Well over 3,500 people attended
  • Nearly as many King Cotton Hot Dogs were consumed!
    • Monogram Foods (parent company of King Cotton) was always a fantastic supporter, and I was proud to call Monogram home for 8+ years
  • The number of volunteers that touched this event went well north of 50.  From high school kids looking to earn volunteer credit, to moms, grandparents and staff members that worked long hours with selfless dedication to the cause.  Ever try throwing a party for 3,500 plus people?   Not easy.  Which brings me to my next point.

Many of my fellow MALE board members would often joke about the weekend preparations leading up to the event.  Lots of physical activity took place, and plenty of sore muscles lasted for a few days.

The joke among my guy counterparts?  The role of the female staff leadership vs. the male board members organizing the event:

“To pull this off, what we need are strong backs and weak minds!”  

The guys on the board all joked about this.  Call this the Old School summary of our role helping out for the event.

These are guys that all had some type of managerial full time job, many with large and growing companies.  Suspending ego, playing a support vs leadership role is not exactly in our DNA.  But it was needed for success.

We’ve all heard the expression about too many chefs in the kitchen.  Organizations, whether striving to make a profit or striving to fulfill a service mission without one, need a mix of strong minds writing the playbook, and strong and dedicated people delivering it.  Neither is more important and without each other working together the mission won’t be achieved.

After fulfilling my #Icebucketchallenge, I looked back fondly on not just my years of service to a great non-profit, but the staff leadership I was lucky to get to know.  They were all talented, dedicated and driven.  I was happy, (at least on the weekend of the event), to value my back over my mind.

I hope with all the success of the Ice Bucket Challenge, there can be a few leaders (or aspiring leaders) that are inspired to give back something more important than their money to any cause that hits home:  Their time.  Their talent.  Their energy.

When people make that choice to serve, they will almost definitely be blessed like I was.  They will meet those talents that personify the word HUSTLE.  

Their talent enriches the lives of the people they serve.

I couldn’t imagine better people to surround myself with, and hope others do as well.  

  

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The Crazy One’s: “Retail Negotiating”

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This picture seems innocent enough right?  A customer (who is also a colleague of mine) contemplating their order at the Golden Arches.

While working the graveyard shift (2:30pm – 5am) we made an 11pm run to Dunkin Donuts and Mcd’s to keep the troops fueled, productive and a very small thank you.

Negotiating at Mcd's

This is a fun little drill I subject select people too…..

“Retail Negotiating:”

Trying to get a deal for basic things, where deals are never cut.  It will drive 99% of the population crazy, and create a fair amount of embarrassment.  

And of course, I love it.  

Your looking to engage.  And Score.  And make a little life moment.  

  • A free donut.
  • A cheaper price on the $ menu.
  • Throw in something extra.
  • See what your server is made out of.

Here’s the Negotiating Drill in action:

  • $80 of Mcd’s is a ton of food.  What’s the average ring, $7?  Time to have some fun.
  • Shouldn’t they give us 4 large cups of ice for free?
  • Shouldn’t they throw in apple pies for free?
  • Wouldn’t walking away with just our $80 purchase put us in the rest of the 99% of America, the sane?

I put my colleague to the task, providing nice “encouragement” while she assessed me as borderline pathological.  But she was game to try….and here’s what we learned.

  • She needed to pull out her Spanish on the manager.
  • She also found out they do $10k in revenue per day, a number I would not have guessed (and I’m skeptical of).  And we were the largest sale of the day.
  • She got 4 extra large cups of ice thrown in for free.  And about 5 free apple pies.  But this was after being told we would be charged for the Ice.

To borrow an expression from the New School? BOOM!  She got something done.  We laughed.  We learned a couple of things we didn’t know.  

  • Dunkin Donuts was tougher.  Elmo was our server, and how can you not like a server named Elmo?  He said he’d lose his job.  I told him our people are working with heavy machinery and the caffeine he’s providing is an enormous safety issue, he won’t lose his job.  He laughed to himself.  He thought we were crazy.  He may be right.
  • We worked hard to get 4 coffee rolls put into our 2 dozen donuts without paying the incremental charge.  Maybe a $.75 win.  But a win nonetheless.

These are fun little moments in life.  Chances to interact with people and push them out of their comfort zone.  

Little moments make days stand out, for the negotiatOR and the negotiatEE.  

Opportunities are everywhere to learn something.  To make an impact.  To attack life with energy.  And maybe…. create a few smiles along the way.  

Hustle knows no off days.

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Excellence in Action: The Hustlin’ Warriors

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One of the hard parts of starting a new challenge in life is a temporary separation of the family, selling a house while buying another one.  Thankfully, I have a very supportive wife, sister, brother in-law and God Daughter in Warren NJ that make this experience enjoyable along the way.

While going for a Saturday walk, I stumbled across something that made my heart “skip a beat.”  The Hustlin’ Warriors baseball field!  Home to Watchung Hills Regional High School Baseball team, the field was just the start.

My favorite word HUSTLE drew me in.  What I was about to see KEPT me there and fascinated me.  

Hustlin Warriors Baseball Watchung Hills NJ

Being around 9:30am on a Saturday I was fortunate to see the 10am start.  I’d rather be lucky than good.

  • First, there’s something about a team that clearly is INTO every single pitch.  Chanting.  Chatter.  Clearly pulling for their teammates.
  • Second:  There’s something special when the team all gets out of the dugout at once to congratulate their teammates successful accomplishment.  Homerun?  NO.  A BUNT!

I have never seen a team celebration of a bunt before in my life, and I played baseball for 12 years and followed it all my life.  Do you think this team is consumed with execution of the fundamentals?  Absolutely.

Next observations:

Bat Boy/Team Manager

  • He was into every pitch.  He was cheering on every player.  Every player ALWAYS had a smile on their face that seemed to be a bit wider when they high fived him.
  • This Team Manager happened to have Down Syndrome.

“It used to be that James Soranno only worked the home games…..Then, Watchung Hills Regional High School head baseball coach Joe Tremarco figured something out.  You don’t take the heart and soul of your team out of the dugout just because you’re not playing at home.”

* Source: Echoes Sentinel posted 5/16

http://newjerseyhills.com/echoes-sentinel/sports/heart-and-soul-watchung-hills-bat-boy-team-manager-a/article_448b6100-dd02-11e3-9721-001a4bcf887a.html

Image Credit: Roger Howell, from “Heart and Soul: Watchung Hills bat boy/team manager a favorite of coaches, players and parents”

One things certain, though. When James eventually does move on, it will leave a big void.

“Because the truth is, I can replace my shortstop,” Tremarco says. “But I can’t replace James.”

*  Source:  Echoes Sentinel posted 5/16

Next, the Voice of the game.

A PA announcer at a high school baseball game is not common.  When you here with GREAT personality and clarity, that is even more rare.  And when that announcer has Cerebral Palsy?  Well, now we are talking VERY rare.

I encourage you to watch the video of Skylar Weisberg’s story…

http://videos.nj.com/nj/2014/05/skyler_weisberg_diagnosed_with.html

“If you work hard, if you have a big heart, and if you have a whole lot of spirit, you can make anything happen.  Dreams can come true.”  Skylar Weisberg


The Excellence of the Hustlin’ Warriors is a complete team effort.  But like all great teams, it starts with the Coach.  I do not know Head Coach Joe Tremarco, but I certainly would love too.  He gets more than just baseball fundamentals.  He gets what it takes to create something truly special.  He has found value in hidden places, and created something memorable.  

There are examples of greatness everywhere.  

Hope you find a Hustlin’ Warriors on your next walk.  

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HUSTLE or BUST: Not Just a Blog Name Anymore!

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Sometimes the walk up to the starting line takes a while….4+ months that started with a series of exploratory conversations with some accomplished pro’s turned into an acquisition of a Food Company.

Buying a business is a bit like training for a marathon.  Lots of preparation, long runs, and the lead up to a massive test of endurance.  Not an easy process, and one that requires skill, and like most things in business, a great team is critical.  

I have been privileged to work with a great Private Equity team that worked tirelessly on the deal and will continue to add value over the years ahead.  In life, who you surround yourself with is one of the life’s greatest difference makers, and the team I worked with are nothing short of life’s A-Players.  Can’t say enough good things about my partners at Salt Creek Capital.

With this acquisition comes a series of life events

  • Moving back home to NJ after 8+ great years in Memphis
  • A transition of company and roles:  From CMO of Monogram Foods, to the new role of President/CEO for a niche manufacturing company.
    • More to follow on specifics and how this business will continue to do great things and new things in months ahead….

What else comes with acquiring a business and assuming the top role?

RISK.  Putting your name and every financial resource you have on the line.  The banks call it a Personal Guarantee (of the debt).

Over a year ago I started Hustle or Bust.  I loved the name, and it came to me quickly.  

If forced to describe my career, and maybe life in ONE word, HUSTLE would be that word.

Hustle is 100% controllable, it’s a choice.  I’ve always believed that you either Hustle, or BUST.  Unless you’re an absolute genius, lucky, or born with a silver spoon, Hustle is mandatory.

Now for the BUST part:  Back to guaranteeing debt, RISK.

First, RISK is present in everyday life whether you sign your name to it or not.  It’s why we have emergency funds.

What’s the worst thing that can happen to someone in a job?  You get fired.

That’s risk, you just didn’t sign your name to it.  It happens to very talented people, sometimes without cause.

Is risk scary?  Yes.  Is it manageable?  Usually.  

Becoming an entrepreneur is not for everyone.  When you sign personal guarantees you are basically saying that you are comfortable with the worst possible financial outcome.  Not many can stomach that kind of risk.

Life and careers are about a series of choices.  Weighing the scales of what is important, understanding risk, and how that risk compares to reward.  And a host of intangibles always factor into the process.

Today marks a turning point in this blog.  When a life event or transition happens, it fundamentally changes your point of view, outlook and perspective on things.  Having the good fortune to lead a company, the responsibility, risk and opportunity to build something great……I would say that qualifies as a defining “life event” that is sure to change my outlook and view on the world.  

I hope you join me on this journey and share your insights and comments as well.

Here’s wishing all of you success on YOUR journey.

Life is short.  May you always live each day with HUSTLE…..or Bust.

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The Oxygen Test on Culture

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In Assessing Organizational Culture, I proposed the Relationship Churn Test to start to add rigor to one of the most critical areas of a business.  Nothing is harder, and at the same time, more critical than figuring out a businesse’s culture.
While the Relationship Churn test was meant to add structure and quantify culture, here’s another method.

The Oxygen Test

When you walk through the business, do you get a sense that oxygen is being injected, at a constant level, or at dangerously low levels?

Oxygen is an appropriate metaphor.  It’s odorless, colorless, and critical to life.  You rarely think about it, unless you were short of it.  Culture can be thought of the same way.
Let’s Deal with The Extremes, businesses with abundant oxygen and one’s that are short of it.  Here’s some of the traits:
A Business ABUNDANT with Oxygen, here’s what you’ll see….
  • A vibe of positive energy.  Smiles.  Laughter.  LOUD laughter that could be heard way down the hall
  • Optimism rules the day.  Today may not be great, but there is universal belief that tomorrow is bright.
  • Results and “good work” matter more than who is performing it.
  • A feeling of “Stature” does not permeate the air….
  • The pace feels faster, not slower.  Sometimes even frantic.
  • The break room and the people in it are enjoying each other’s company
  • There is a vibe of a game, kind of like a pickup basketball game where there is score being kept.
  • A feeling that people have each other’s back.  Helping hands, positive vibes, small gestures.
  • Meetings:  Tend to be lively.  Debate.  White boarding.  Active discussion and listening.  No feeling of dread…
  • If there are mantra’s on the wall, the oxygen level supports the mantra (it’s not just a slogan)
  • More doors are open than shut.
  • If there are NO doors and it’s an open environment, than the people actually look like they are happy it’s that way.
  • There’s a scoreboard of results.  Somewhere, simple to understand.  If it works for sports, it works for business too.
Businesses WITHOUT oxygen?
Basically are missing the above.  In some cases, you can reverse each of the above and you have your business in desperate need of an OXYGEN INJECTION.

Business is no different than life.  Oxygen is life sustaining to a culture.  Make sure yours has an abundant supply.  

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Assessing Organizational Culture: Start With Relationship Churn

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Culture is viewed by some as “soft,” hard to measure, difficult to quantify, but most will begrudgingly acknowledge its importance.

Organization Culture - 7s model

Image Credit: www.managermike.com

Culture is not something to be acknowledged, it is EVERYTHING about a business.  

It may not be easy to pinpoint and understand, but it’s there.  Culture will determine what is acceptable/not acceptable behavior better than an employee handbook.

Culture as they say, “Eats strategy for breakfast.”

There are many aspects of a business where you want to assess an organization’s culture.  It is most critical to focus on culture when you are UNFAMILIAR with the organization.  A few scenarios come to mind:

  1. A business acquisition
    • You are looking to assess the culture relative to your objectives, and ultimately shape it over time to become a competitive advantage.
  2. A change of employment
    • You are looking to see if you can adapt and thrive in the culture, you’re not looking to CHANGE the culture
  3. You want to establish a new business relationship (sales or any other form of networking)
    • You want to understand the culture to POSSIBLY adapt; you always need to be aware, but may not need to alter your natural style to conform to their culture.

So the million dollar question is “HOW” to assess the culture?  

Here is a starting point to understand Culture:

The Relationship Churn Rate

A measurement of critical organizational relationship change.  The higher the churn, the more “change” in the number or impact of relationships.

  • What is the “tenure” of people that come into contact with the business?  Do they stay long (greater than 5 years?) or are the relationships more transactional with lots of churn every year?  
  • You need to get a feel for the Churn among the organizational stakeholders as there could be different dynamics within each.  Organizations have both internal and external stakeholders.  
    • External Stakeholders
    • Customers
    • Suppliers
    • Financial institutions:  Creditors & Investors
    • Internal Stakeholders
    • Employees:  Both hourly and salaried employees

If you think about 2 comparable businesses, each with very different churn rates, couldn’t you start to draw some conculusions on culture?

Said differently, if one business has a crew of key employees with an average tenure of 12 years with the business, and a different company is closer to 3, isn’t that worth understanding why the differences exist?

  • Is turnover an issue?  Why?  Is it driven by compensation/benefit rates, environment, or management practices?
  • What about customers?  Are the top 20% of customers a revolving door, or have they been stable over time?  Why?  Are service levels, pricing, new product offerings, sales approach, etc. driving the churn rate to be high or low?  Is there one dominant factor or a combination of all elements driving a churn rate?

Like all analyses, the magic is not knowing a churn metric, it’s understanding the WHY’s behind what drives it to begin with.

Keep in mind:  Low turnover, stable customers, suppliers and stakeholders is on the surface a positive sign, indicator of stable culture.  What you need to do is put that stability up against the business results and asses cause and effect of the low churn rates to the end results of the business.

If your goal is to dynamically CHANGE the end business results, the existing culture needs to be considered as to how best to make that change happen.  Keep in mind; cultures are built over time, not overnight.  Changing a culture is therefore a process, not an event.

Culture matters.  Get to the Churn rates at the stakeholder level.  Then get to the Why’s behind the Churn Rates to paint a picture for the culture.

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