Frequent fliers may look back on 2017 as the year those supposedly “friendly skies” turned into “chaotic clouds.”
The list of airlines in trouble seemed to grow by the day, whether it was cancelled flights that led to near riots, prize rabbits dying in the cargo hold or roughed up passengers who declined to be bumped from their seats. Something definitely has been amiss in the airline industry.
Beyond getting past the negative media coverage, if an airline, or any company for that matter, wants to right the foundering ship, someone should do a deep dive into the company culture.
Any business leader needs to understand that their ultimate success starts with what happens on the inside of the organization. If the people inside the company aren’t aligned and in synch with the company’s values and goals, the result will be confusion and turmoil that eventually will affect the brand’s overall performance. A few airlines are experiencing those impacts right now, but so do plenty of other businesses as well.
3 steps to get company culture back on track
A lot of time, effort, and work goes into setting things right when culture goes awry, but there’s three important steps that should be taken right away. Those steps are:
- Strive for organizational clarity.
The most critical ingredient to achieving business success is clarity, and that includes clarity of the organization’s purpose, vision, and the roles of those involved in carrying out that purpose and vision. If leaders are fuzzy on the goals they have for a business or organization, then those charged with accomplishing those goals are less likely to succeed
- Keep things positive.
Keeping an upbeat atmosphere is essential to a company’s culture. You want your employees to be happy. If you can find a way to encourage a positive outlook and attitude, employees will be more motivated and will perform their jobs better.
- Search out what’s right in the company.
When businesses want to improve, they typically focus on what’s wrong or what’s broken. It just seems to make sense to address head-on whatever difficulty has arisen. This approach should be flipped on its head. The right question isn’t What are we doing wrong? It’s What are we doing right? What are the great nuggets inside that organization that can take us to a different place, to a different height?’
If you understand where the company culture is right, you can duplicate those practices in the areas where the problems are.
Just about any company will hit a bumpy stretch somewhere along the way. When that happens, it may be time to explore its culture, re-evaluate how it operates, and re-imagine what its future can be.
Brad Deutser is president of Deutser LLC, a consulting firm that advises leaders and organizations about achieving clarity especially in times of transition, growth or crisis.
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