Growth Strata•Gems Magazine Growth Strata•Gems Magazine Fall 2017 - Page 13

entrenched fun as one of their 10 core values (No. 3: Create fun and a little weirdness). Tony Tsieh, founder of Zappos, spent a year creating their core values so he’d never have to work with someone he wouldn’t enjoy having a beer with. All their core values are enforceable and employees or applicants who don’t fit don’t get hired or don’t last. It must have worked for Zappos because it’s harder to get a job there than it is to get accepted at Harvard! MAKE IT OK AND ENCOURAGE PEOPLE TO LAUGH AT WORK. As Jack Welch, former chairman of GE said, “Never let your company take itself too seriously.” Contrary to his public persona of gruffness and bluntness, he looked for the attributes of informality and a sense of humour when hiring or promoting managers and leaders. Furthermore, Jack advocated getting rid of everything that makes people less excited about going to work. This includes streamlining processes to eliminate boring, useless steps (this desire fuelled the famous GE Work Out and Six Sigma programs) and getting rid of people who don’t fit the culture. ENSURE PEOPLE HAVE THE CHANCE TO EXPERIENCE WINNING. Winning is fun. Get them working on interesting things, new projects or special “stretch” assignments. It’s fun to learn and acquire new skills and experience. It’s fun to take on the competition and win. Business is about the fun of doing great work, making an impact and creating something bigger or better. However, do your best to avoid allocating all your tough or thankless projects or customers exclusively to a few people. For your people, tough projects and customers can be the opposite of fun. Find a way to help them see the bigger picture and support them through a tough situation. GET THE TEAM INVOLVED When fun activities are chosen and mandated by management, they fail and people mock them. The most successful fun activities in the workplace are those developed and implemented by employees themselves – not by their bosses. Leadership’s role is to sponsor it. Encourage them to have fun. Leave the details to the employees. mechanism is appropriate; shout-outs at your daily huddle, weekly progress celebrations, parties, and open houses all are fun, energizing, and memorable. At Enerflex, customer open houses were focused on ensuring people had fun and the employees had a lot of fun preparing them. Warren Buffet is renowned for making Berkshire Hathaway’s annual meeting a fun and memorable event for attendees. u COMMUNICATE YOUR QUARTERLY GOALS VIA A FUN GAME AND THEME. Making a game of things introduces an element of competition and fun. That’s why “gamification” is so successful. This technique worked for Jack Stack, CEO of SRC holdings and author of the book The Great Game of Business. In a turnaround few have matched, he used mini-games and fun to take SRC Holdings from a heavily indebted spinoff of International Harvester to one of America’s most successful growth companies with superior financial returns. SRC has created more than 50 subsidiary companies, all led by leaders they’d developed inside SRC. Jack Stack proved that playing games, competing, achieving goals, and winning are all fun. RECOGNIZE AND CELEBRATE YOUR PROGRESS AND SUCCESS. Capture and recognize people’s progress and improvement by whatever Richard (Rick) Holbrook is a Trainer and Certified Coach with Gazelles International. He works with CEO’s to help them create an executable growth strategy that everyone in their company understands and is aligned with. Rick has worked with more than 70 companies in Western Canada since leaving the corporate world in 2004. LEARN MORE AT: GROWTHSTRATAGEMS.COM 403-255-3613 FALL 2017 | 13