Why Your Strategy Depends On Your Culture, ‘My User Manual’ Onboarding tool, Loom and Tip Top Podcast With Shannon Susko
23 July 2023 Newsletter
“There is no substitute for discipline. No amount of intellectual prowess or personal charisma can make up for an inability to identify a few simple things and stick to them over time.”
Hope you’re Thriving!
It’s been a productive week with planning, meetings and some learning. On the good news front, global inflation is trending downward faster than expected and Australia may avoid a recession.
Let’s talk turkey.
Why Your Strategy Depends On Your Culture
“Culture eats strategy for breakfast” is the famous quote attributed to the legendary management consultant Peter Drucker.
Of course, the culture proponents are cheering it on, saying it validates their beliefs. In contrast, the strategy proponents say it’s misrepresented and offer their ideas, stating, “What he really meant was…”. Either way, when taken at face value, a team with a dysfunctional culture, the wrong people or a poor vision will struggle to effectively execute a strategy, no matter how brilliant that strategy is.
And here at Evolution Partners, this is our lived experience daily as we scale up mid-market firms. It doesn’t matter how brilliant the strategy we build with the leadership team, unless we have the right people in the right seats, doing the right things the right way within a cohesive team, the strategy will fall over, or at the very least fail to achieve its potential.
So how can we consider how these two critical elements interact?
The culture must be strong enough to support the execution of the strategy.
Suppose your strategy is to take on an established industry with a new offering to create a unique and valuable position for your firm. In that case, your chances of success are minimal if your team is ineffective.
What of breakfast?
Breakfast is the first meal of the day. It’s foundational. The strategy depends on the strength of the culture before it can proceed. They interact to achieve your goals.
Imagine a horizontal line that represents a measurement of your culture’s strength. The longer the line, the stronger your culture.
Next, imagine a vertical line that interacts with your cultural line, which represents a measurement of the strength of your strategy. Again, the longer the line, the better your strategy.
Tip Top Podcast with Shannon Susko
This week saw the release of a fantastic podcast I recorded with Shannon Susko on her podcast Tip Top.
We discussed how the Role Scorecard and Onboarding Sprint Plan from Onboarded are essential tools within Shannon’s Metronomics system, and why together Onboarded and Topgrading are crucial to providing clarity of expectations and accountability for every team member.
We also discussed how Onboarded was born from Made to Thrive, and we as shared some great stories from firms who’ve done it well and done it not so well.
‘My User Manual’ Onboarding Tool
In the book Onboarded, I outlined how every time you bring a new person into a team, the team becomes a new version of itself. One of the stories from the Onboarded book was about a Sydney team we work with and how new hires are asked to introduce themselves and tell the team a little about themselves.
This week I came across a new version of that, called “My User Manual” from Atlassian. The theory is that each time a person joins a team, everyone presents their ‘user manual’.
Adapted from David Politis of BetterCloud, My User Manual specifically describes how to work with you by asking a series of questions for you to answer and present to the group.
The first set of questions is focused on you:
- What are some honest, unfiltered things about you?
- What drives you nuts?
- What are your quirks?
- How can people earn an extra gold star with you?
- What qualities do you particularly value in people who work with you?
- What are some things that people might misunderstand about you that you should clarify?
The next set of questions is more focused on how you interact with others:
- How do you coach people to do their best work and develop their talents?
- What’s the best way to communicate with you?
- What’s the best way to convince you to do something?
- How do you like to give feedback?
- How do you like to get feedback?
Presentations are provided and then stored in a shared folder so that team members can refer back to them in the future. It’s a great way to get teams to increase their cohesion quickly.
Learn more about the Atlassian My User Manual here:
Loom – The Tool To Reduce Meetings And Email
I’ve had the video and screen recording tool Loom for maybe a year and have been using it more recently, and subsequently, I’ve found significant productivity savings from it.
Loom is an easy-to-use device with a browser plugin (think Google Chrome plugin), so it’s one click to record. This means you can ask and answer questions easily and show recipients what you’re referring to.
As the saying goes, a picture tells a thousand words; if you’re using video to demonstrate what you’re talking about, it’s probably more than a thousand words.
In any case, I’ve found it really useful, and I’ve shared a 1-minute demo video for you to view here.
Sleep Like An Entrepreneur
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