Overcoming Commoditization with Your People

In his 2008 book, How; Why How We Do Anything Matters in Everything in Business and in Life author Dov Seidman makes the points that:
· We live in a commoditized world and our business will suffer,
· Unless we capitalize on the fact that human behavior cannot be commoditized, and
· We teach our people to “out behave” the competition.

How can you get employees to “out behave” the competition?  Based on my experience with Integrity Solutions, and my reading, the following ideas are relevant.

The work culture must:
· Be based on a clearly defined and constantly communicated set of values and mission.
· Place high value on the employees and the skills and abilities they bring to the job and the organization mission.
· Include a service mindset that enables and encourages a values-based approach to helping external and internal customers, and solving problems.
· Take advantage of the fact that most people are created with a desire to help others.
· Encourage truly “engaged” employees who are friendly with coworkers and have “best friends” at work.
· Understand that people tend to thrive and produce profit-building results in trusting work environments.

Well, how do these culture attributes happen, especially if you did not start out with that environment in the first place?

At the risk of oversimplifying, there are four major ideas my research and experience show are necessary:
1. Identifying the ethics-based values on which the company or enterprise is based.
2. Having the right people on your team, doing the jobs that match their gifts and talents, so they help identify the direction of the enterprise – the business you are in.
3. Providing training that places high emphasis on “catching people doing something right,” builds on individual employee strengths, and is based on integrity and corporate values.
4. Leadership committed to “walking the talk,” and building up a values-based culture, not a rules-based culture.

Recommended reading:
How; Why How We Do Anything Matters in Everything in Business and in Life by Dov Seidman, John Wiley & Sons, Hoboken, NJ.                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The People Principle, by Ron Willingham, St. Martin’s Press, New York
Good to Great by Jim Collins, HarperCollins Publishers, Inc., New York
The Greatest Management Principle in the World by Michael LeBoeuf, Ph.D., G.P. Putnam’s Sons, New York. (Out of print, but used copies are available via the Internet)
First, Break all the Rules by Marcus Buckingham & Curt Coffman, Simon & Schuster, New York
Vital Friends by Tom Rath, Gallup Press, New York
The One Minute Manager, Kenneth Blanchard & Spencer Johnson, Berkeley Books, New York

Posted by J. Mark Walker, VP Client Development (Southeast), Integrity Solutions, LLC

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4 Responses to “Overcoming Commoditization with Your People”

  1. Todd Schnick Says:

    Mark – I would sure love it if you could expand on those four tips in more depth. Is it too much to ask to expand on each in four separate blog posts?

    Much appreciated!

  2. Building a Trusing Workplace « Integrity Solutions Blog Says:

    […] mentioned four things that are important in creating a trusting work culture. (Click here to read that blog […]

  3. Building a Trusting Workplace #2 « Integrity Solutions Blog Says:

    […] This is the second of four blogs on Overcoming Commoditization with Your People.  Click here for the original […]

  4. Building a Trusting Workplace #4 « Integrity Solutions Blog Says:

    […] blog, I mentioned four things that are important in creating a trusting work culture. (Click here to read that blog entry.)  The fourth was “Leadership Committed to Walking the […]

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