In Praise of Pizza Friday
One of the concerns I hear most often from CEOs and owners is the state of their organization’s culture. These issues are especially perplexing since there are any number of tactics being employed to help build team spirit. And while there is nothing wrong with “Pizza Friday,” these ideas alone are not likely to move the needle in the direction of cultural improvement. Here’s why.
While all organizations have an overarching culture, many “sub-cultures” exist as well. These mirror the organizational chart in terms of departments, divisions, teams, etc. And the managers in charge set the pace. That means for most employees, the culture is defined, to a large extent, by the department manager. And most likely, that manager was promoted because of their technical expertise (“she’s our best customer services rep, so of course, we promoted her to department manager”). But the job of a manager, supervisor, leader at any level is to develop, coach, encourage, guide, and when needed, correct the performance and behavior of the people in their department. That takes skills!
At times, individuals who ascend to management responsibilities will recognize these shortcomings and will take it upon themselves to advance their management skills through a variety of means. While their initiative is to be admired, there is a better way to get this done.
Organizational leaders who are keen to build a strong, high-performance culture are well advised to begin by planning (and yes, budgeting) for management training at all levels of the enterprise. Managers and the team members they lead deserve nothing less. Making this commitment is one of the best ways to communicate to your entire team that their professional development is a key priority.
As businesses of all sizes attempt to navigate their way through “the great resignation,” the competition for top talent is likely to become even more intense.
So, by all means, order the pizza (make mine margherita!). Then make it a point to plan for a comprehensive training program designed to bring needed management skills to your emerging leaders. The return on that investment will be dramatic!
For information and ideas on ways to improve your company’s performance, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Joseph P. Truncale, Ph.D., CAE, is the Founder and Principal of Alexander Joseph Associates, a privately held consultancy specializing in executive business advisory services with clients throughout the graphic communications industry.
Joe spent 30 years with NAPL, including 11 years as President and CEO. He is an adjunct professor at NYU teaching graduate courses in Executive Leadership; Financial Management and Analysis; Finance for Marketing Decisions; and Leadership: The C Suite Perspective. He may be reached at Joe@ajstrategy.com. Phone or text: (201) 394-8160.