08 Mar Creating a Winning Culture Starting With You
“I’m often asked the secret of running a successful company. It’s simple; look after your people and the business will take care of itself.” – Sir Richard Branson
Recently on a training programme, we were discussing the importance of a winning culture within a team and the company to perform at its best and how this impacts on the staff and customers. It was fascinating that we could so easily name the few stand out companies which have A.C.E. leadership forming positive inspiring company cultures. Google, Apple, Ben and Jerry, Innocent and Virgin are all examples of companies exhibiting great leadership.
We reflected on why so many companies do lead by a C.O.P. (Control, Order, Predict) culture when we know from experience and examples the positive impact of the A.C.E. (Align, Create, Enable). At the core of the A.C.E. company is the importance of the people who work there, who buy into their core mission, want to be there, and this in turn reflects on how their customers are treated.
Richard Branson is an example of an inspiring leader cited by many. He is synonymous with the core culture of his brand and company. Of course, Virgin isn’t just one company; it is now a group of many companies each of which has its own mission.
Virgin Atlantic Airways: to embrace the human spirit and let it fly.
Virgin Money: Everyone’s better off with Virgin Money. We are aiming to get the balance right so we:
- Offer good value for customers
- Make a positive impact on the world around us
- Deliver a fair profit
Virgin Care has six core words and explanations which encompass their mission to deliver their services and treat the clients who utilise the services: Caring, Fun, Innovative, Outcome-driven, Outstanding, and Wow – having that wow factor in everything that we do, with the ability to surprise even ourselves by providing great quality and standards.
Those missions are all reflective of the heart of Virgin – to give customers a better deal, to care for its employees and to make everyone involved feel special. Virgin Atlantic Airways embraces everyone in its human spirit, employees and customers alike. “Let it fly” is such uplifting (excuse the pun!) statement encouraging all employees to achieve their potential within their workplace.
Richard Branson says: “People often ask how we create such a positive, vibrant culture at Virgin. As with most things, the answer is in our people.”
He recognises that how a company’s workforce is treated directly reflects on their attitude to work and their performance, which will then impact on its customers. If staff feel unappreciated or not respected, they will not give their best. However, if a team is happy, feels supported, encouraged and enabled to take on challenges, this will directly impact on performance positively affecting their customers.
So how can you achieve this in your company and team? By starting with you! Remember how personable Richard Branson comes across in his leadership. He started his company culture all on his own and inspired others to join him! He believed in Virgin as a brand when it was a market stall, a record – long before Virgin Atlantic Airways and aiming to take tourists into space! Virgin absolutely conveys the image of a business which is not about one product, but about the culture of the people in the company starting with just one person.
Changing your own beliefs in the workplace can improve your own attitude and performance. Leading by example can inspire your team to adopt a winning culture. By focusing on the controllables that you CAN change and by positively changing your attitude towards the uncontrollables, you can lead your team towards a winning culture.
As Richard Branson says: “By changing the culture of your business to be more open, collaborative and creative, you will help to inspire and empower your employees – and have a lot more fun along the way too.”