08 Dec 3 essential dynamics to a smart and healthy company: Core Values, Technology, and Cohesive leadership
Overland case study
My partners and I were asked by The Business Journal, “What style of architecture do you design?”
We said, “Survivalist.”
It was true; we did whatever was necessary to provide for our families.
But the turning point was when we discovered the “why” behind “what” we provided as an architecture firm; we switched from being survivalists to being intentional, motivated by ideas and unlocking the embedded potential in projects.
We discovered that our company was not about us. It was about our core values and how we influenced the world through the practice of architecture.
Guided by a process our partners introduced to us called “Built to last,” we discovered our core values.
We were instructed to ask ourselves relevant questions such as, “how should we behave? ” and “how we wanted to live?”
Answering these questions helped define us as a firm. Even the decision to name ourselves Overland vs. the founders’ name was purposeful in creating space for those who came after us.
Core values are the compass that guides your company.
It informs leadership, employees, prospects, and clients who and what your company represents.
Core Values keep your vision and purpose clear, helping the team make technological, relational, and cohesive leadership decisions to propel the company forward.
Having a healthy organization is like keeping your body healthy. It takes little decisions every day as significant milestones.
A Labor of Love: Core Values
We achieved clarity by developing our core values, mission, and vision at Overland.
It was a Labor of Love to capture what we all believed as a company.
We were building the foundation that everything else would be built, the bedrock of business decisions and successful relationships.
Did you know that 58% of companies with clearly defined core values experienced over a 10% growth , compared to companies that did not define their core values?
Your organization’s core values are indispensable in providing guidance and direction, two components that every company needs to be effective and efficient.
The Human Handprint
How Overland measures their organization's impact.
Unfortunately, some companies create mission and vision statements, hang them on the wall, and never speak of them again.
A lot of hard work, money, and time wasted.
Our intention at Overland was to keep these valuable statements at the forefront of our minds.
Why? Because we loved our team and our clients.
And since I left Overland, they have continued to grow because they care and value others.
In recent years they have asked themselves, “how can we measure our progress in accomplishing our mission, vision, and values?”
Today, Rick and his team keep each core value in their thoughts and actions as they create, communicate, and care for others through a process they created and called the Human Handprint.
They use the human handprint to measure and implement a transformational impact on the lives of others and organizations.
Each digit on the hand represents a process.
- Why are we doing this
- Inspiration or provocation
- What is going to inspire us, and whom are we inspiring
- What relationships do we need to maintain to grow
- Pinky promise
- Promises to one another and the earth (stewardship)
- How are we doing
Smart companies use technology appropriately and invest in relationship
Overland started with computers, added virtual reality, and now are looking at artificial intelligence.
As technology advances, Overland plans to advance the best strategy for their particular organization. Presently, they have virtual reality and other advanced technology that help serve the client.
If you are wondering, “What technology should I invest in?”
Remember, the technology you choose should make life easier and increase productivity. It should grow with your company.
Become a change-ready organization. This goes beyond being able to deploy a new tool or process — it means building a culture and communication structure that is ready, willing and able to adapt to any change. After all, the rate of change and evolution in business and technology is only going to continue and even pick up speed.
Continue to build relationships by meeting teammates outside the office.
It will improve employee morale, employee retention rate, individual productivity, creativity, and much more. A smart company is both emotionally smart and technically smart.
Other relationships that you should invest in are:
Customer relationships: Your business will not remain without your customers. Giving attention to customers produces a thriving business.
Supplier relationships– Always communicate with your suppliers and treat them the way you want to be treated.
Everyone on the same page makes life at work easier.
It is all about the journey and not about arriving.
Cohesive leadership creates clarity and stability within an organization. It builds trust, settles conflicts, creates commitment and accountability, and helps the team focus on the desired results.
Suppose leaders are not on the same page. In that case, the company can never grow beyond the leaders’ direction, trajectory, and pace.
One way we can minimize confusion in our organization is by building and maintaining a cohesive leadership team.
How do you keep the leadership team cohesive?
1. Unity in decisions - 2. Unity w/o unanimity.
The leadership team of a healthy organization must be intellectually aligned and committed to the same answers to six simple but critical questions:
Why do we exist? How do we behave? What do we do? What is most important right now? Who must do what? How will we succeed?
Sound familiar? You will answer questions like these when creating your core values.
Knowing the answers to the questions above will help leaders provide clarity of intent in projects.
It allows them to release control, helping speed up decision-making and progress, empowering the next generation to make decisions.
When cohesive leadership is practiced, extraordinary things will happen.