Jeffrey Eisenberg and I had lunch in a Japanese restaurant on April 28, 2007. I know this because he said something I quickly wrote down and later added to my Random Quotes database: “Marketers are paid to make promises that businesses have no intention of keeping.”
Jeffrey wasn’t talking about marketing; he was talking about company culture, that invisible component that causes businesses to rise or fall.
We humans search for
- Identity (Who am I? What do I believe?)
- Purpose (What am I supposed to do? Why am I here?)
- Adventure (What must I overcome?)
Identity, Purpose, and Adventure are what lives are built upon.
Story, Culture, and Experience are what businesses are built upon.
According to Ray Seggern,
- Story is what your business tells the public in your ads. Is your story a fairy tale or is it a mirror?
- Culture is an inside job. You cannot buy it or outsource it. It is what your employees feel when they work for you.
- Experience is what your employees deliver to your customer. Does it live up to the Story you told?
Did you notice the parallels in those two lists?
The Story you tell the public is a statement of your Purpose,
but the Culture of your company is your true Identity,
and the Experience you deliver to your customer will forever be your big Adventure, the forever source of your challenges, obstacles, and difficulties.
Ray Seggern says that Story, Culture, and Experience are the 3 touch points on the ever-spinning flywheel of business, and when they align they create that perfect vortex of perpetual reinforcement and ever-increasing momentum that lift your business to breathtaking heights of profitability and fame.
The Story you tell determines the Experience your customer expects. But whether or not your customer receives it will be determined by your Culture.
Owners and managers like to believe their customers are receiving the experience they intended for them to have. But the best intentions are no match for company culture.
In the famous words of Peter Drucker, “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.”
Company culture is what causes businesses to rise or fall.
Are you ready to work on your culture? Are you ready for your next big adventure?
I hope so. Because this is the one where we find the buried treasure.
Roy H. Williams
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