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The 12 Most Popular Posts From 2011

As 2011 rapidly slips to a close, I thought I’d recap the most read posts from written during 2011.  Have a Happy New Year and I cant wait to start sharing some new learning’s on how to build a great culture (and an awesome company) in 2012!

 1. Steve Jobs: Marketing is About Values “To me, marketing is about values. This is a very complicated world, it’s a very noisy world. And we’re not going to get the chance to get people to remember much about us. No company is. So we have to be really clear on what we want them to know about us.”

— Steve Jobs, to Apple employees, 1997……………………….

2. What Do Core Values Do?  Do I Need Them? (Well At least the Top 11 Reasons Why?)  I was asked a truly great question the other day. What do core values really do? Why do I need them? Now, my usual reaction to a question like this is to spit out the answer. I mean, I talk about this stuff all of the time, and I can give a pretty good answer. But I stopped myself. And I thought about the question. And I replied “let me think about it and get back to you.” So I thought about it. And then I went back to the person. Here is what I said……………………

3. Lesson # 16: A Culture Has Its Own Langauge. (and A Culture has Its Own Langauge: Part 2),  “Throughout this feature you’ll see some unusual wording, spelling, and capitalization: pilots are Pilots, passengers are Customers, and love is LUV. That’s all part of Southwest’s focus on its internal Culture. These people and that LUV are too important for ordinary spelling. Call it the Southwest dialect. It’s a meaningful thing.”……………….

4. What Are Your Hard Core Values? In a past blog post “Too Many Core Values”, I wrote about one of the biggest issues that I see when companies (or individuals) create their core values – they have too many.

Too many core values mean they aren’t core. Sure, they may be values, but they aren’t CORE to your business. That’s why I call core values “hard core” values………………

5. Can You Show Proof That A High Performing Culture Translates into a High Performance Business?  People often ask me the question “what are the statistics to show that having a strong culture works?” Aside from Jim Collin’s research proving that the habit of all great, visionary companies is to have a culture based on values, vision and purpose, I haven’t found anything really interesting in this area. So I usually share the data from individual companies that state their success to be because of their culture……………..

6. How To Turn Your Employees Into Raving Fans.  I often get asked “how do you have so many employees who act as ambassadors of your company?” So I will start with the basics. If you want to have employees who act as ambassadors, or as I like to say, raving fans for your company, start with these steps:………………..

7. Making Tough Decisions to Preserve Your Core…Learning From Starbucks. In The post “What is Your Core Business”, I spoke about how confusing it can be to define your core business. Since then, it has become pretty clear to me on how to do it. And it all comes down to your core purpose. Your core business should never stray from your purpose. It is the lens through which you know if the new service or business or division that you are adding is part of your core business…………………

8. Going to the Lunatic Fringe. “When you believe something is profound in a company, you can not be a logical leader. You have to go to the lunatic fringe. There is no way that logic is what you need to change people.” Jack Welch, past CEO General Electric

One of the first steps in operationalizing your Core Values in your culture? Get crazy about them………………

9. The Mission to Mars: Six Simple Steps to Discover Your Core Values. Back in our first four years of building Nurse Next Door, we were one of the fastest growing companies in the country. All of a sudden, after starting with zero employees and running our business out of a Starbuck’s coffee shop, we had a home care company with a 1000 employee’s.

But when you grow that fast, things are bound to break, and they did…………………..

10. 6 tips On How To Design Your Core Values. Far too often I see boring, nondescript core values. They usually consist of one word, usually a noun, that says nothing unique about the company and in fact, looks like almost every other company’s corer values on the planet. They usually consist of words like: integrity, honesty, respect, passion, teamwork……. Sound like where you work?  And I have a problem with this…………………

 11. Oh No…The Policies Are Coming! If you read my post “Do You Have A Policy About Working Naked“, you will know my stance on having lots of policies and procedures inside Nurse Next Door.
But I also recognize that in a fast growth company, the size we are at, and our goal to grow to become a world class company, we do need some more structure and good corporate governance. (It Takes A While To Get To Utopia (A Policy Less Company)………………

12. Impose or Include: When Discovering My Core Values, What Should I do?   I often get asked the question: What is the best way to discover my core values? As I stated in my post “The Mission to Mars: 6 Simple Steps to Discover Your Core Values,” I always say the same thing. Do the Mission to Mars exercise. It simple. And it works.

But shouldn’t I go out and solicit everyone’s input when we do this so they all feel that they were a part of things?………………..

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