In my 5 part series, I’ve touched on the tools that Triton has relied upon to build a stronger team and business. In this final article, I’ll wrap it up by discussing how to pull all of these pieces together so we can live them out within our organizations.
The following is a quick recap of the four parts covered so far to grow both the business and our people.
1. Values: Values play a crucial role in setting the direction for company leaders as they work together to raise the bar and grow the business. Values are the ideas and beliefs on which the company and its behaviors are built.
2. Your WHY: The company WHY is your higher purpose, your reason to be. It’s not about growing sales and generating more revenue, as important as that is. Making money is a result… not a higher purpose. Your WHY needs to have an emotional factor, one that inspires you and your team to dig deeper and reach higher. Finding your company’s WHY means discovering what you do together to make your world a better place.
3. The BHAG: Jim Collins, in his bestseller “Good To Great” talks about a BHAG. A BHAG stands for a Big, Hairy, Audacious Goal, one that is challenging, one that feels slightly out of reach or a giant stretch to accomplish. BHAG’s need to inspire. Having something to aspire to is the best way to push an organization towards greatness.
4. Your Brand: A brand is a claim of distinction backed by proof. It’s the DNA of your company. It’s why your customers choose to work with you over your competition. It’s why talent desires to work for your company over other competing employment opportunities. Uncovering your compelling, competitive distinction is the first step to generating the fuel that will elevate your culture and dynamically grow your business.
The above four elements, when working in synchronization with one another, remove constraints that hold back our teams and businesses. However, it’s not merely enough to know these four elements. Values just posted on a wall do little good. A company without a greater purpose that inspires, can become a company without a heart. An organization without a driving, inspirational, audacious goal falls short of their potential. A business that thinks their brand is their product logo and tagline, finds themselves being viewed as one of the masses.
Here is a short list of corporate behaviors that support our talk with action.
1. Lead by example. If you’ve read the previous articles in this series, then you’ve read about the “Triton Way,” this term encompasses everything we believe in and are aspiring to become. If the CEO and the executive team doesn’t demonstrate the Triton Way, why should anyone else do it? As the CEO, I know that it begins with me first.
2. Encourage the right behaviors. When praising someone, tie it back to the brand. When correcting a departmental issue with your team, use your values as the guiding principle for why something needs to be improved. Reinforce right actions and correct the wrong ones by pointing everything back to the bigger purpose.
3. Weave the elements into your everyday words, actions, experiences, and discussions. Talk about them when you make your rounds. Make sure to open and close every meeting with something related to the brand, the BHAG or your company why. When someone is promoted, tie their successes back to how they demonstrate and live to the company values. Use your principles as a microscope to guide everything you do as an organization, including how you talk and interact during various situations throughout the day.
4. Integrate them into your processes and systems. Our on-boarding process here at Triton is an excellent example of the Triton Way integration. Supervisors creatively use the brand to train a new team member on the Triton Way by explaining why we do what we do, and what makes us different as a company. We start a new team member with what we believe in while training them on the requirement of their specific job.
5. Set up accountabilities that are directly tied into walking the talk. One approach we’ve taken is to have supervisors select a brand element, then have them explain talking points using actual department examples during our leadership meetings. From there, we track supervisor execution metrics, engagement, and results during their daily huddles.
At Triton, we view the four components and the five corporate behaviors I have highlighted, as essential to our growth, goal achievement, and future success. They drive everything about our business and our culture, and we are experiencing the rewards first hand.
Activating what you believe is a never-ending journey, and walking the talk is critical to change management. A word of caution, don’t create extra burdens or get fanatical with your approach. Have fun! Get excited about where you’re going and inspire your team to want to join you on the journey. Eventually, they will go from hearing to believing, and then from believing to becoming the embodiment of your vision.
John Freudenberger; CEO of Triton Metal Products, located in Hamilton Indiana.
John has helped Triton Metal Products maintain an exciting growth streak through innovative process adoption and operation expansions. Catapulting growth even further was the decision to embark on a company-wide brand development project, designed to unearth what makes Triton different, and why that should matter. John’s leadership has helped “Making a Meaningful Difference” become a unifying promise that positively impacts the Triton culture, the solutions they provide for their customers, and the communities they serve.