"Is Your Culture & Brand Promise in Alignment?"
It wasn't until I read the book, Clockwork, by Micheal Michalowicz, that I went back and re-evaluated the alignment of my group practice, Mindsight Behavioral Group. This has been the craziest week! On Monday, Clockwork arrived by mail. I finished the book at 9:30 am on Wednesday morning. Thirty minutes later sat in on a podcast with Gordon Brewer and Mike Michalowicz. Thursday I had a meeting with all of my administrative and support staff to re-evaluate our Brand Promise and Queen Bee Role.
People change, companies change, brand promises change.
If you have a group practice, I have three questions for you. Since your group has been established, has your brand promise changed? Does the culture in your company support the brand promise? If not, what are you doing about it?
The first step, read the book Clockwork. If you can't, don't have the time or don't want to, you're really missing out. Nevertheless, I'll try my best to express my interpretation of how to ensure your culture is supporting your brand promise, and how to ensure that your brand promise runs deep through your entire organization.
My company was formed in 2015 and the tagline was (and still currently is) "Using Knowledge to Empower". Although I still believe in this, and as a company, we incorporate it into our patient's care, I've come to realize that this is no longer our brand promise.
At Mindsight we use a closed Facebook Group for a team-building and supportive component within our company. As a whole, we are spread out among nearly 17 counties so I felt it was necessary to have a way people can motivate and build up one another. It also serves as a way to post announcements and spark interaction amongst staff.
I asked the staff to share what they think makes us different. What makes us stands out among the multitude of other behavioral groups in our state? I was shocked at the level of involvement and passion for our company that our staff showed and for the people we serve. Within a matter of hours, we had over 34 comments and responses. Check some of them out!
Next, we took all of the comments, wrote them on a whiteboard and called a meeting with all of our administrative and support staff. The people in attendance varied but represented the entire scope of our company. Once we were all assembled we went through comments on the whiteboard and looked for common themes and patterns. We circled the two core concepts which were the level of care we have for our clients and the fact that we encourage all of our clinicians to specialize and form a niche.
After that, we completed the sticky note activity, which I'll talk about in another blog, but we were able to spark enough thought to where I was seriously questioning our current brand promise. Here are some things I was asking myself (and still am) and you should too!
If our brand promise centers around the level of care we give to our clients...
- How are we incorporating that into every single aspect of our company?
- What are our KPIs, or how are we going to measure this brand promise?
- How are we going to elevate the level of us caring for our clients so that many of the other tasks are no longer necessary?
- How are we going to "care differently" for our clients than all of the other multitude of groups in the communities we serve?
These few questions alone began to spiral and I quickly realized the importance of a clear brand promise in any company. What is the one thing that you would hinge your business' success on? The thing that's so important that if you no longer did it, your company would never be the same. What I also realized was that my company's brand promise had changed, and I hadn't even noticed.
I left this meeting with a long to-do list but a ton of excitement because I began to realize that when I get my culture and my brand promise in alignment, my company (and our clients) will experience an even higher level of happiness and success. At this point, people will feel an even greater sense of belonging and loyalty to the brand. After all, that's what we want, right?
So now what?
Now, I must clearly define that brand promise all the way down to the verbiage. I have a meeting with the same group of people next week, same day, same time. Next week I will ask the questions above to my team and we're going to redesign the structure and expectation of every role within the company to ensure that it supports our brand promise. From the Front Desk Coordinator to the Director of Beautification, we will all be working to support the same promise.
When it comes to hiring, we will make our brand promise known and ask interview questions relative to that promise. Using the "Humble, Hungry & Smart" strategy to hiring, we will focus on the categories that support our brand promise which is Humble and Smart (although we would never hire someone who wasn't Hungry). What does this mean for our hiring? It means that we're probably not going to be hiring as many people because a candidate must meet all three of the criteria to be in alignment, but I'm great with that!
When your culture and your brand promise is in alignment your company will start to run in harmony, almost like Clockwork! If you have questions about anything you read in this blog, I encourage you to post them in the comments, I'd love to read and answer them.
***I do want to say thank you to our office staff for their dedication, loyalty, and effort throughout this process. I couldn't do it without you. Laura, Anita, Carol, Vicki, Rosa, Kirsten, Trevor, and April.