Working with a property company for 10 years to create a value based culture. Estate Agents have a notorious reputation and the company was determined to create a brand and an ethos “That was not like other Agents…”.
The core value was to “upserve”, constantly add value internally and externally. The team became trusted advisors and followed a blue print in each area of the business.
In a nutshell:-
- Brand integrity – strong guidelines
- Brand story – ethos to follow
- What Vs How – not what you do it is how you do it?
- Upserve internally and externally
- Trusted Advisor
- Blue print – process for each area of the business
- Long term view
- Intangible learning that became tangible
- What leads to how – and the how had to be practical
How? – a series of team workshops
- Working across barriers – process mapped tasks by departments
- How to be proactive? – used the 5 a day principle and employees kept logs of when they had been proactive.
- What does your business look like? – Visited other agents and used a mystery shopper to give the company feedback. This workshop used a lot of the techniques from the very successful programme “Mary Queen of Shops”
- How to live and work by your values? – the team described what would be happening at the office and in the afternoon took part in a volunteering project, creating planters for schools.
- What motivates each team member? – Using the Strength Deployment Inventory profiling tool.
- Park thinking – Workshop comparing the impact on the business to visitors (using the Disney philosophy of “Park Thinking”)
- Qualification of applicants – looking at the hard and soft facts and getting the right property match
- Process mapping – systems lead to goals. As a team deciding on what they wanted to achieve and working out how.
- Negotiating – the right language required when agreeing deposits. The interest behind the position.
As well as the team workshops:-
- Follow ups individually to all learning initiatives
- Coaching key members of the team
- Group recruitment & selection workshop – introduction exercise, assessment tools and speed interviewing – 7.00am – 8.30am
- Designed and delivered formal Induction workshop – with one month follow up (new starters have the best ideas and initiatives)
What? – key to this approach
- Long term relationship
- Monthly workshops – valid and relevant
- Learning and development that is strategic for the business
- 1:1 follow ups to workshops
A value based culture does not happen overnight and you need the leadership team involved and championing every intervention. They need to attend the workshops with their team members they need to be actively be part of the change. Identifying their own behavioural change and sharing vulnerability can be so encouraging for a team moving forward with a very clear vision.
Please do contact email@example.com
We are all just merely stewards in our role, managing and co-ordinating waiting for the next person to takeover. We are custodians for a short period, the new owners of your role or business can quite feasibly turn it upside down.
Years ago I left a job and my boss said make sure you leave with them wanting more, go out on a high. If we are just stewards holding a role until new shoes come in, we need to make sure we leave it in a really fantastic state.
Hand back the role in a better place than when you took over the stewardship. Steer it to greatness and leave a legacy that is right for the role.
Top tips for leaving a job:-
- Clear processes and systems written down
- Clear goals and targets
- Personable handover of team – social connection
- Bios of team members
- Clear desk (it says more than you think) no-one wants to find a stale apple core in your draw
- Plan of meetings to attend
- Planner or schedule
Holidays are a great time to reevaluate what is going well and what is not going quite so well. I know it is a time to relax, however I cannot resist always doing an exercise on the sun bed to check that the business and myself as an individual are on track.
Normally I select some key questions to identify what has just happened and what I want it to look like going forward.
The answers can then be assessed when I get back home to build a robust plan for September and beyond.
Please find some key questions that might help you and your business:-
- Who are the most important people in your life and how do they support you?
- With whom do you feel most comfortable? Why is this?
- What are you going to say yes to…?
- What are you going to say no to…?
- What is your business like when it is at is very best?
- What are the challenges facing your business?
- What are all the ways in which you market your business? Dream up as many new ideas as possible?
- What new trends exist in your sector that can develop your business?
- What is the most important thing to you about what you do?
Please do get in touch if you would like a business coach in September
Summer is here and new thinking comes with it. It make us feel different everything seems possible when the sun shines and the sky is blue, hence the term “blue sky” thinking.
Last week I painted our kitchen and it was amazing to work physically for a whole week without being challenged mentally. I chose a good week to be inside and it was perfect recharge to look at the world and most importantly the business differently.
It would be hard for businesses to orchestrate a painting “boot camp” however it was the perfect blue sky exercise I have done in a long while. As there was no pressure on me mentally everything did seem possible and the only time I was stressed was reconstruction of a plate rack.
In Europe a lot of businesses shut down for the summer and our own Parliament is due to begin its summer recess. We need time to rethink, reengineer and reinvent ourselves for the Autumn/Winter.
I want to be fit for business in a mental and physical capacity.
Therefore before September I need to work on some specific goals and most importantly ask the right questions:-
- Monthly financial targets
- Business development meeting target
- What is working in the business?
- What is not working in the business?
- Where am I spending most of my time?
Stephen Covey believes in order to be a whole person or we could say “match fit for September” you need to be challenged:
Think of each of those areas what you would like to achieve and what they each mean to you.
Enjoy the recess…!!
Recognising success, achievement and effort and making it public.
Never underestimate how much it means to an individual to have their work recognised.
Last week I finished a particularly long standing project and was presented with a gift and flowers. The acknowledgement of my work and efforts over a number of years meant so much. The team did it perfectly with a group presentation and individual commentary in the card to say what my time with them had meant to them personally.
This weekend I was struck again by the importance of recognition. Our son won a prize at Speech Day for “embodying the spirit of the school”. It was presented very publicly in front of the whole school community. The prize was not only a recognition of our son but of the boy who died and whom the prize is named after – The Austin Neve prize.
We have a culture of appreciation and recognition and how great to take time to stop and think what has been achieved and how.
Schools and some businesses? do it well, and how hard is it to recognise. Imagine a Speech Day with your own family, what prize would you award your partner – “The best stacker of the dishwasher”.
On a more serious note, every school talks about kindness and empathy which is the route to recognising others. Understand others achievements and first and then you will be aware of your own.
“Seek first to understand before being understood” – Stephen Covey
Very indulgent blog this week – from a mother recognising her son’s efforts and in memory of Austin Neve.
What is your compelling story?
Do you have great packaging?
What is it about you that is distinctive?
The well known product brands ensure that they look the same on every shelf at the same time. They will have something about them that is distinctive. We need to learn from them as to how we can get locked into the memories of our customers.
When I set up nuggets in 2004 I made a commitment to wear colour when delivering the workshops. If you are delivering colourful learning you need to be colourful. I also wear bright pink lipstick and often get known as “Bev with the pink lipstick”.
The lipstick will not be enough to secure a deal we need to look to saleable distinction.
- Do you have a truly original voice?
- A clear point of view
- Ideas that you care deeply about
- Do you offer value to clients?
An outcome that will matter and be a distinction in a competitive world.
Please do contact firstname.lastname@example.org for a workshop on Personal Branding
Alan Rusbridger was a very unassuming speaker, he was very softly spoken and extremely modest of all his achievements. He said that whilst at school he had been good at a few things, however this was enough to take him to Cambridge. He is most famously known for being Editor of the Guardian newspaper, a post he held for 16 years.
Whilst being an Editor, a very demanding job, with 24 hour news coverage he often worked 16 hours a day and worked everyday. This for Rusbridger was not a challenge enough he wanted to see whether his brain still had the elasticity to play music again.
He was already an amateur pianist however his challenge was to perform in public and play one of the most complex pieces of music for a pianist – Chopin’s Ballade No.1.
How did he do it with the demands of his job and at the time two of the biggest stories for the Guardian (WikiLeaks and the phone hacking scandal).
He set aside 20 minutes each day.
Last week I painted for the first time in years, it was an hour not 20 minutes. The feeling afterwards of using parts of my brain that have been dominant for so long was brilliant. The result was the smallest canvas of a tomato – I am looking ahead to a whole wall of tomatos…
Visit the website to read about Alan’s journey:- http://alanrusbridger.com/playitagain/film
A celebration of the dedicated amateur and the transporting, enriching qualities of playing music, Play It Again is Alan Rusbridger’s account of an extraordinary challenge and an extraordinary year.