Today, I’ve saved the best for first:
Meet Dee Ann Turner:
- 33-year veteran of Chick-fil-A, Inc.
- Prior to retirement in 2018, Vice President, Talent and Vice President, Sustainability
- The company’s first female officer, instrumental in building and growing Chick-fil-A’s well-known culture and talent systems
- Most recently, launched her own company, Dee Ann Turner, LLC, Communicator, Consultant, Coach
If you want to build a healthy, flourishing culture, then an absolute must-read is Dee Ann’s new book, Bet on Talent: How to Create a Remarkable Culture That Wins the Hearts of Customers.
In her book, Dee Ann gives you five essentials of a proven strategy for how to select steward, and sustain, extraordinary talent so your organization can fulfill its mission and leave an enduring impact. (BTW, everything in these five essentials syncs up with Sustainable Strategy, one of BCWI’s documented eight drivers of a healthy, flourishing workplace.)
The Essence of Remarkable Culture
“In this chapter, I go deep into talking about the difference between a remarkable culture and a toxic culture,” notes Dee Ann. “A remarkable culture is known by its principles. A toxic culture is smothered in rules. When we travel and go out to eat, my husband and I play a little game simply by noticing the way we’re treated. Too many rules? Toxic culture. Lots of principles? Remarkable culture. You can see the difference.”
Where is your workplace culture on the spectrum between toxic and remarkable?
The Elements of a Remarkable Culture
“There are three:
- A meaningful purpose, the ‘why’ of the organization that people can rally around
- A challenging mission, the one goal that unifies people to achieve together
- Demonstrated core values—not the kind you stick on the wall (which is meaningless but are actively visible, starting with your leadership)
How would each person on your leadership team word each of these three?
People decisions are the most important decisions a leader makes.”
Building a Team that Creates a Remarkable Culture
“Remarkable cultures don’t flourish in environments that are self-centered and where it’s all about self-advancement and achievement. Remarkable cultures flourish when people use their individual skills and talents to complement one another to accomplish the bigger goals of the organization. The foundation of a remarkable culture is built on trust, and trust is critical to forming a successful team.”
Where are your teams thriving these days? And where are they lagging?
Growing a Remarkable Culture Among Your Team
“Development that leads to opportunity for individuals and the organization is one of the top three needs of the biggest demographic of today’s workforce. Culture is definitely part of that development. Constantly returning to the principles and demonstrating them as people move from role to role is crucial. Don’t ever stop telling the stories and communicating the principles. The culture either grows or it dies. There is no in-between.”
Can you measure the current growth rate of your culture?
Engaging Guests in a Remarkable Culture
“Two years ago,” says Dee Ann, “Hurricane Harvey dumped 33 trillion gallons of water on Houston. During these torrents, the phone was ringing off the hook, when Jeff, a Chick-fil-A employee, saw the name, ‘J.C. Spencer.’ He knew Mr. Spencer by his regular order of a breakfast burrito with an extra egg. Mr. Spencer said the water was rising. Calling 911 yielded nothing, and the police couldn’t help. Mr. Spencer said, “I need two breakfast burritos, with extra egg—and a boat.” Jeff called his HR director, Cindy, whose husband had a boat, and they picked up the Spencers, handed them their order, put them on jet skis and took them to safety. In their hour of need, they called the place with the remarkable culture that would care enough to come and help.”
If an organization’s culture lives through its powerful stories, as Dee Ann believes, then what favorite stories are you telling to the people who need to hear them?
An organization’s growth, along with its culture, begins with leadership. Says Dee Ann, “People decisions are the most important decisions a leader makes. Those decisions include the type of culture that is created and grown and certainly how talent is selected, stewarded and sustained. There is no greater calling for a leader than to do these things well.”
It’s Your Turn
Who on your leadership team might you choose to lead a productive roundtable discussion on these five culture essentials?
Coming Up Next in on our Continuing Series
“How a Child’s Life Can Make a Good Workplace Culture Great”
Kevin Enders, President
4KIDS, Ft. Lauderdale, FL
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