Today’s interview is with S. Chris Edmonds, who is the founder and CEO of The Purposeful Culture Group. Chris joins me today to talk about his new book: The Culture Engine: A Framework for Driving Results, Inspiring Your Employees, and Transforming Your Workplace, which gives firms and leaders a new framework for building and maintaining the culture that they need to develop in order to compete and drive their businesses forward but one that they can develop without falling behind on everything else.
This interview follows on from my recent interview: Nearly 60% of customers will go elsewhere following a bad delivery experience – Interview with Angela O’Connell of MetaPack – and is number 126 in the series of interviews with authors and business leaders that are doing great things, helping businesses innovate, become more social and deliver better service.
Highlights of my interview with Chris:
- When not working with businesses, Chris is also a working musician. You can check out his music here: http://chris-edmonds-music.com
- Has just written and had published a new book: The Culture Engine: A Framework for Driving Results, Inspiring Your Employees, and Transforming Your Workplace
- The interest in business culture has increased over the last five years.
- However, most organisational environments and cultures are not inspiring or engaging and they are not always treating people with trust, respect and dignity not only internally but with customers as well.
- Chris’ book aims to lay out a proven framework and a guide for leaders that want to transform their organisation’s culture.
- Chris’ clients, who implement this framework, have seen constant growth in employee engagement and significant improvements in the customer experience which in turn lead to increases in profitability.
- One of the main problems/obstacle that Chris has found is that Leaders have been taught to focus on processes and results. That exclusive focus can cause the business’ culture to suffer.
- Leaders may not know how their organisation and culture is truly operating.
- The trick is to get bosses to stop ‘doing stuff’ and take a look around at their organisations and its culture. Chris also then encourages to think back to their best bosses and to figure out what is missing from their style and/or environment.
- To a person, every leader when asked about their best boss would say that they would care for people, allow people to bring their best ideas and would allow people to be themselves and not be guarded about what others thought.
- Whilst every leader has had that experience, they don’t know how to craft it.
- Central to the book and achieving this aim is the creation of an organisational constitution.
- An organisational constitution is a set of rules that makes values and citizenship as vitally important to the organisation’s success as results and performance.
- The four elements of an organisational constitution are purpose (what you do, for whom and to what end), values and behaviours, strategy and goals.
- The purpose ’to what end’ element should not necessarily be about making money as that is not always naturally inspiring to people engaged in the work.
- Purpose is different from a mission statement as it is more tactical and oriented around what we should do today and repeatedly.
- Values and behaviour are different to attitudes as they can be measured and reviewed on an ongoing basis and give the organisation the sort of data that they would normally have when managing the performance of other indicators.
- The organisational constitution can be seen as a set of liberating rules.
- Chris think that an example I gave him: Aviva’s purpose statement (‘Our purpose is to give our customers piece of mind that they have the right insurance cover in place at the right price’) is a great example.
- Leaders are the only people that have the responsibility and the authority to make ant necessary changes to a company’s culture.
- Therefore, if the culture needs improvement and development then leaders need to invest time in that to make that happen. Don’t leave it to a team to do it. Get involved and make it happen yourself.
- This goes back to the ideas within The Service Profit Chain and extends it a bit.
- Chris also cites the great work and research that is being done by Tony Simons, an associate professor at Cornell University and the book he wrote: The Integrity Dividend: Leading by the Power of Your Word.
- By implementing the organisational constitution and the leadership that is required, the firms that Chris has worked with have seen consistent boosts to customer satisfaction and employee engagement in the region of by 40+% and a profit boost by 35% or more.
- To get started, leaders need to get clear on what their values are and to focus less on the doing and more on their being.
- You can get more info about the book at The Culture Engine’s website, including a free sample chapter etc etc at www.thecultureengine.com.
About Chris (taken from the book’s website)
Chris Edmonds is the founder and CEO of the Purposeful Culture Group, which he launched after a 15-year career leading and managing teams. Since 1995, he has also served as a senior consultant with the Ken Blanchard Companies.
Over the years Chris has worked for clients in industries including automotive, banking and financial services, government, hospitality, insurance, manufacturing, non-profit, pharmaceutical, retail, sales, software, and technology.
Chris has delivered over 100 keynote speeches to audiences as large as 5,000, and guided his clients to consistently boost customer satisfaction and employee engagement by 40+% and profits by 35% or more. He is the author or co-author of six books, including Leading At A Higher Level with Ken Blanchard.
Check out Chris’ blog and podcast series here, his Entrepreneur column and don’t forget to connect with him on LinkedIn here and Twitter @scedmonds.
Photo Credit: opensourceway via Compfight cc
Adrian, having worked for more organisations than is really respectable I have to say I agree with the adage that culture eats strategy for breakfast.
It is very hard to get your arms around but the environment that they work in drives the way people behave far more than any strategic plan.
Hear, hear, James.
Very interesting details you have observed , thanks for putting up. “Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.” by Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi.