While many– companies have values, we decided to press the envelope helping each other grow up and live up to these values and behaviors. We are doing this through a company-wide It’s All Good! Leadership Program.
Our It’s All Good! Leadership Program is a series of 30-day Leadership Challenges where everyone in the company participates in raising our game by building skills needed to practice the values every day. We see everyone in the company as having leadership potential from whatever position they hold. In our view, leaders achieve goals while living up to values. Pretty simple … and really hard at the same time.
Last year, we had three 30-day Challenges. Our first one was focused on #4: Be grateful and look for and recognize the positives. We called it the Gratitude Challenge. The challenge started with a 2 ½ hour micro-workshop where we learned about how the mind and brain works with a tendency to focus on negatives. This is called negativity bias. The thing about these brain-based biases is that we do not have to just live with them. We can actually reframe how we see any situation or person or even our own self, if we catch ourselves and reframe. We all did a ton of reframing and gratitude journaling for 30-days. The results were kind of amazing. We ran some statistics on our pre- and post-survey and found a 22% increase in behavior frequencies for:
- I see everything that happens as an opportunity to learn and grow
- I strive for excellence always challenging myself to grow into my best-self potential
- I see my work creating value for clients as meaningful and important
Becoming more grateful spurred us to strive for excellence, adopt a growth mindset, and see our work with clients as meaningful and important.
We did a Proactivity 30-day Challenge about mid-year and then we wrapped up 2018 with a Collaborative Communication 30-day Challenge. The Collaborative Communication Challenge helped us build the skills to be smarter and better as a team and also develop trusted relationships. In this challenge we learned that people tend to operate in one of two frames of mind: unilateral control or mutual learning.
It is our frame-of-mind that shapes what we say and do. Controllers try to get people to do what they want them to do by either pushing their agenda or keeping their agenda secret. Both are trust-busters! We learned to collaborate by working together to arrive at solutions that garner the best thinking from everyone. During the 30-days, we all used a set of ground-rules for Collaborative Conversation and read these before we started every meeting.
We see building culture as similar to how athletes master their sport. It takes practice, practice, practice. And we are committed to keeping it going in 2019 with three more 30-day Challenges in the plan!