Why Slogans Never Work

appleCreating Culture is a Process

“How does an organization create a high-trust, high-performance culture system-wide not just with the executive team?”  Since I faciltate a lot of executive retreats, it’s a question I get asked frequently.  For starters, it doesn’t transpire with just an executive retreat where we come up with a new catch phrase such as, “It’s all about the customer!”  Culture is not created in an event, it takes a process.

Slogans Help Define Culture

Slogans are just the beginning.  If they lack specific measurables they mean nothing.  They appear hollow and team members notice the misalignment.  Mottos void of measurables become meaningless.  If you want your slogans to stick, attach a specific behavior to keep score.  Behavior creates culture not slogans.

Measuring Slogans Brings Them To Life

“Friendly people providing udderly dependable service”   One of my clients, Mowcow created this mantra. (yes I know I misspelled utterly, but their mascot is a cow).  It wasn’t the slogan that changed culture but the practice of continually reviewing their behavior.  In their daily and weekly meetings they continually ask:

  • Were we dependable?
  • Were we friendly?

They not only ask this about the external customer, but also in their interactions with each other.  Sales serves production, customer service serves sales and the production team is a client of customer service.  Everyone is a stake holder at Mowcow.

Clear Slogans Increases Your Team’s Engagement

Because most of us have been jaded by business-speak, nothing convinces team members like results.  Buzzwords with no scorecard are common.  Be an uncommon leader and assign measurables to the promises you make your customers.  When the score is clear, team members will give you more effort and serve your customers better.

How can you bring your slogans to life?

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