I recently read an article in the Harvard Business Review highlighting The Broad Group, located in Changsha, China. The company was founded in 1988 and has approximately 2600 employees. It develops and manufactures energy-efficient air conditioners that counter intuitively use natural gas or waste heat to cool. It’s better for the environment and avoids ozone-depleting refrigerants used in electric cooling, reducing the load on power grids.
Value statements for The Broad Group include:
- “Responsibility is more important than growth.”
- “Protecting the environment is more important than profit.”
- “Love is more important than anything else.”
- “If you offer something of social value, you will survive, and you will prosper.”
One may not expect these values from a company based in a hypercompetitive and high-pollution China, or a company with industrial customers in 70 countries and 500 million dollars in sales and led by a man worth an estimated 850 million dollars.
According to Zhang Yue, Chairman, “Being good itself is competitive.” His view is “A bad company may be competitive in the market for a while, but it won’t last long. If you offer something of social value, you will survive, and you will prosper.”
“If everybody and every business becomes socially responsible,” he says, “then the earth will become a beautiful hometown for us all.” Let’s all work to make the earth a better place for all of us.
The question I ask our readers “What are you and your company doing to make the earth a better place for all of us?”
To build more responsibility, value and caring in your organization, contact Loyalty Factor at 603-334-3401.
Welcome to the Loyalty Factor Information Exchange, a bi-weekly service providing summaries of major publications and books on various management and customer relationship topics.
Loyalty Factor has been instrumental in helping companies:
- Increase Customer Satisfaction by 20 – 33%
- Increase Revenues by 50% in 18 months
- Increase Manufacturing Production by 200% in 18 months
- Simplifying mergers and acquisitions
Our information exchange this week highlights the book, “Turn the Ship Around “ by L. David Marquet.
How to Create Leadership at Every Level
How would you like to work in a place where everyone around you is totally engaged and contributing their full intellectual capacity; a place where people are healthier and happier because they have more control over their work; a place where everyone is a leader?
A nuclear-powered submarine would seem an unlikely place for a new model of leadership to be forged, especially aboard the USS Santa Fe – dogged by poor morale, poor performance and the worst retention in the fleet. That is, until David Marquet took command.
Turn the Ship Around! Is the story of how Marquet took the ship from worst to first by challenging the U.S. Navy’s traditional leader-follower approach and implementing his own framework of leader-leader.
The results: each member of Marquet’s crew became a leader and assumed responsibility for everything he did, from clerical tasks to crucial combat decisions. It became an empowered organization.
How did Marquet do this?
- Rather than telling everyone what they needed to do, he would ask open-ended questions about how they thought the problem should be approached. This strategy of giving decision-making control to the people works very well provided the people have the technical competence. Marquet learned early on he had to ensure the technical competence existed and if it did not, training was a necessity. As authority is delegated, technical knowledge takes on greater importance.
- Applying a questioning strategy is very impactful provided the leader does so in a curious fashion, asking questions to learn, as opposed to asking questions where people feel they are being interrogated for their knowledge. Marquet used the curious approach.
- He provided the organization with goals and objectives and allowed them to figure out the prescribed approach. This allowed for many ingenious ideas to solve issues and meet the goals. With clear and complete understanding of what the organization is about, then individuals were able to make decisions against a set of criteria that included what the organization was trying to accomplish.
- When people executed successfully, Marquet used immediate recognition to reinforce the desired behavior.
With this leader-leader structure, everyone wins – top performance, ensuring excellence and the development of future leaders.
If it can work on board a nuclear submarine, it can work for you.
For guidance on how to adopt the leader-leader approach in your organization, contact Dianne Durkin of Loyalty Factor at 603.334.3401 and visit www.loyaltyfactor.com.
In my last blog I wrote about the characteristics of recognition programs. With many organizations under cost containment guideless, I often receive the question, “What are some low-cost recognition programs that will motivate employees?”
Below are 10 LOW cost / NO cost ideas of how to recognize your employees:
1. Post a Thank You note on the employee’s door.
2. Give special assignments to people who show initiative.
3. Arrange for a team to present the results of an effort to upper management.
4. Include an employee in a special meeting.
5. Post a large celebration calendar in your work area and tack on notes of recognition for specific individuals on specific dates.
6. Encourage employees to participate in community volunteer efforts.
7. Use a 3×5 card to write You are Special Because ________
8. Widely publicize suggestions, who they came from and the positive impact on the organization / department.
9. Acknowledge and celebrate birthdays.
10. SMILE – Its contagious!
As you can see from the examples, small gestures can go a long way. Are you ready to ask your employees for some ideas?