Great read from David Novak, chairman and CEO of YUM! Brands, the parent company of Pizza Hut, Taco Bell and KFC.
In Taking People With You: The Only Way to Make BIG Things Happen, David attributes the fundamentals of communication, encouragement and recognition as key elements to a successful company and corporate culture.
David espouses creating a recognition culture where every member of the organization is appreciated and their results celebrated. Strong leaders ensure people are treated with respect and the job they do is given dignity and value.
Here are seven specific suggestions:
- Get inside the heads of your people. You can’t convince them of anything until you see the world from their perspective.
- Think big. If your sales growth last year was 3.5 percent, don’t aim for 4 percent this year, aim for 15 percent. Even if you fail, you’ll probably do better than you would have with a smaller goal.
- Practice “extraordinary authenticity.” Show occasional vulnerability and admit when you don’t have the answers.
- Look for good ideas in unexpected places. Novak’s team came up with Cool Ranch Doritos for Frito-Lay during a field trip to a grocery store’s salad dressing aisle.
- Choose a can-do mind-set. There’s a huge difference between a boss who says “We can try this” and one who says “We can do this!”
- Cheer for first downs, not just touchdowns. Publicly recognizing and rewarding small wins keeps everyone motivated for the long haul.
- Get rid of cynics. In many teams one person will reject your values and spread negative energy. Moving that person out will show everyone else you’re serious.
Inherent in David’s book is that everyone on the team needs to understand and exemplify the vision, mission and values of the firm. These must be clearly articulated and easily understood. It is leadership’s job to ensure that everyone on the team is fully informed and engaged.
I’ve written in the past that employees don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care about them. Care about your employees and your customers and your employees will care about your customers as well.
What can you take away from David’s book to improve your company culture?