Your Culture Is The Greatest Strategic Advantage

I love finding stories about companies and how they do things differently in their culture. This story about the culture of Trader Joe's was a great read. The best was how their manager's will often tell their employees that "it's just groceries." Most of us probably work in a field where it isn't about life and death, yet we act like it is. Cracking the proverbial whip on employees to get that order out the door that the customer absolutely needs. Is it really worth it to make employees feel miserable? The Trader Joe's example shows us that it all comes down to caring about people. That means caring about the whole person, not just caring that the person can get the job done.

Is Trader Joe's perfect? I'm sure not. You can probably easily find people that worked for the organization that didn't have such great experiences. There are bad managers everywhere but I'm guessing an organization that has defined cultural values can quickly find and weed out those people that don't fit. They don't let them stay in a management position for ten years or more destroying what they want to be.

Treat the culture of your organization as the most precious, fragile and important thing that drives your success. More often than not it is what draws people in, keeps employees striving to maintain the environment, and building for a long term success that can impact far more than you can ever imagine.

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