The entire whirlpool of a business’s existence can be expressed into three touch points or points of reference:
- Their story — what they say
- Their company culture — who they are
- Their experience — what they do
Every measurable metric or observable quality that a buyer considers before working with businesses always falls on these three. It’s when your story, company culture, and experience align in perfect synchrony do businesses reach greater heights and breakthrough ceilings.
There’s just one problem.
What businesses communicate, who they say they are, and what they do rarely align. This fact has plagued my thoughts and existence. If there’s a line that perfectly sums up the reality of the situation, it’s this:
“Marketers are paid to make promises that businesses have no intention of keeping.”
— Jeffrey Eisenberg
Most of the time, it’s the company culture that disrupts the balance. Everything you promise or deliver are external activities. It’s culture that speaks of your underlying motivation, sincerity, and devoted commitment to follow through with your promises and deliverables.
It always begins with company culture.
Therefore, unless good cultural values are inculcated throughout your organization, any business success you reach is arbitrary at best. We’re here to help you keep that from happening.
We’ll dig deeper into the three touch points of businesses in more detail later. Let’s take a closer look at company culture first and discover the state of “flow.” Keep reading.
The Psychology of Company Culture
Do you agree that the rise and fall of your business ends and begins with the company culture?
I’d take it even further and say company culture is even more critical than your business growth-boosting systems in place.
Think about it.
Even companies with streamlined processes and polished business growth formulas struggle to attract top talents and exponentially boost profits. In response, entrepreneurs turn their gaze away from tangible ideas and cater to abstract and ethereal concepts like company culture. Then the anticipated and coveted growth happens.
Because company culture is your identity and your identity influences your activity. By way of transitivity, everything your company does and says radiates from the company culture you originally cultivated. Furthermore, it’s your company culture that enables you to see things through until the end.
Let’s get those organizational culture myths out of the way. Company culture is more than the ping-pong tables you have in your office, it’s WHO YOU ARE. Unless your cultural values have been carefully selected, company culture can easily become a drawback.
The unfortunate thing is that a lot of businesses don’t have any idea what their company culture even is. If you had to take a guess, what do you think your company’s values are? Do they center around growth and making money or are they something deeper?
Strong company culture can be a major competitive advantage because it can help you:
- Attract and retain the best talent
- Build a loyal customer base
- Foster an environment of creativity and innovation
The State of Flow
Think about the flow of a river. It rushes smoothly in one direction. There are no eddies or backwaters, and the riverbed is deep enough to keep it flowing indefinitely.
Now add clusters of large granite boulders along the river bank and you’ll find the blockage causing water to decelerate. Lastly, block the river’s flow with a tree trunk and watch the water level fluctuate as the river slows down. More effort is required to rebuild lost momentum.
One thing you’ll notice is that the water loses its unidirectional motion. It eddies and loops around obstacles, looking for the path of least resistance.
Now think of a company. It, too, should have a definite flow direction. Like rivers, businesses are often filled with obstacles, eddies, and backwaters. These are elements causing the company’s forward momentum to slow or even stop.
Flow is a state of mind where things run smoothly. Workers are focused and creative, operations are top of the line, and systems are unparalleled. The state of flow is every employee’s dream, but achieving flow rarely occurs in the workplace.
Flow can be realized when we understand why companies succeed. It’s achieved when business leaders implement the 3 CORE Principles that form the foundation of a company’s success. Your success lies in your company culture. Knowing what motivates them is key to destroying the barriers that limit flow:
- The pursuit of happiness — experiencing the good things in life
- Maintaining optimum health — protecting your physical, mental, and emotional health
- Financial freedom — enjoying some of life’s most sought-after privileges
Creating a company culture that values these CORE Principles results in flow. Success comes when business leaders defend and protect a happy, healthy, wealthy culture.
Company Culture: The Invisible Component Causing Businesses to Rise and Fall
Speaking of company culture, what are the favorable implications when entrepreneurs protect it and adverse repercussions when they don’t?
The rise and fall of a business organization is not always influenced by tangible parameters. Oftentimes, abstract and ethereal concepts like culture play a far more significant role in the company’s destiny.
Culture has always been an integral part of human societies. It is the set of shared customs, beliefs, and values that define a group of people. In business, culture refers to the environment that prevails in an organization. It encompasses the company’s values, traditions, and attitudes.
Companies with strong and healthy cultures are usually more successful than businesses that lack or maintain a poor one. For example, imagine a culture that values the work-life balance of employees. They will likely feel more motivated to stay with the company and do their best work.
On the other hand, higher employee turnover, performance decline, and other issues can arise in businesses with harmful cultures.
A company’s culture is often shaped by its founder or leaders. They set the tone for how employees should behave and think. Therefore, it’s important for business leaders to manage the culture they’re creating because this will make or break their companies.
What Do Humans Search For?
Everyone has those days when they’re lost in their thoughts and drowned in a vortex of existentialism. More often than not people who go through this phase find themselves asking one question: why am I even here?
We’re not going to delve into any existential crises but go straight into answering that age-old dilemma. Why? Because there’s a valuable lesson we can learn that’s applicable to all businesses.
Humans are internally hardwired to pursue three things:
There is merit in looking closely at your audience’s predispositions. It’s beneficial to give emphasis on what humans naturally search for. Your business can tap into these needs to prop you up for more success.
Let’s take a closer look at each of these things below:
Whether to fit in or stand out, everyone is born to create some space in this realm for their existence. Identity is the sum total of who people are with all their bells and whistles included. It is the core of a person plus the elements that make them who they are.
The quest to find your identity involves answering questions like “Who am I?” and “What do I believe in?” People will always search for a tribe and attract the kind of people that shares the same identity.
An individual’s purpose in life is often intertwined with their identity. As the Greek Philosopher, Aristotle used to say, “you are what you do.” Your purpose is your reason for living. It is the very thing that gives your life meaning.
Finding one’s purpose involves answering questions like “What am I supposed to do?” and “Why am I here?” Like identity, people’s respective purposes segregate them from one another. We are naturally inclined to seek and walk together with people (or companies) who share the same ideals.
The word “adventure” has been used synonymously with “risk.” Adventure talks about living life to its fullest and looking back with no regrets. While every people are different, we allow and invite varying levels of adventure in life. Seeking adventure means experiencing the excitement and fulfillment of stepping out of our comfort zones.
Finding your adventure is about answering questions like “what must I overcome?” and “where will this journey take me?” It is about the willingness to embrace challenges and the courage to pursue growth.
Understanding your identity, purpose, and adventure is what your life is built upon. Businesses, on the other hand, are built on stories, cultures, and experiences.
Speaking of business…
What Are Businesses Built Upon?
At the core of any business organization three touch points, namely story, company culture, and the buying experience. These are the points of reference that give buyers an idea of what the company is like. Ultimately, consumers can use the threefold touch points to decide whether you’re a good fit for their desired solutions.
Let’s explore every single one of them below:
Like any other business, a company’s story is the narrative you share with the general populace. It’s what you say you are. This involves all the personality and promises you put in your messaging or advertisements.
There’s just one caveat. Stories can be entirely made up. Are you communicating the story that reflects your reality, or are you projecting a fairy tale? That depends on you, but building a brand image from lies only hurts your authenticity and credibility.
A company’s culture speaks to what it represents. It’s the company culture manifested in its purpose, prinicples, and values. It’s what drives a company forward and the principles that it upholds. Unlike story and experience which are external elements, culture operates in the background.
Your company culture is an inside job and talks about the employee experience within an organization. Any system, practice, and norm that a leader allows or tolerates shapes the culture within a business organization.
The experience involves every touchpoint your entire company participates in to deliver the buying experience. It is the experience that your customers connect with whenever they interact with your company. This means that every customer service call, any product delivered, and all services you render falls under the “experience” category.
The question is: do you live up to the story you tell?
The Parallels in the Two Lists Above
If we open our minds and look a little deeper, we’ll see that businesses and humans are so much alike. When an alignment of principles occurs between a business and a buyer, the point of sale happens. That’s the goal of every company.
Below, we’ll explore some of the parallels between the two entities. This will help you adjust and align your brand image, messaging, and company culture to your target audience more effectively.
The story you share with the public is your business’s statement of purpose. A human’s purpose is to find their reasons for living. Your company’s messaging should be focused on how you’re going to reinforce your target purpose. Your story casts a net that captures the right kind of fish.
For instance, imagine a customer who values environmental sustainability for their roofing solutions. They’ll be keener to buy from a lesser-known company that sells environmentally friendly roofing solutions than household brands that installs asphalt roofs.
Your company culture is your business’s genuine identity. It’s all the shared values, beliefs, and customers that make you different from other businesses in your industry. Although company culture is internal and felt by your employees, its influence extends beyond the business and toward your customers.
Finally, the experience you aim to deliver to buyers will be a significant part of their grand scheme of adventures. Every new product and service you plan to purchase is an adventure in itself. Will it be a mountain for your buyers to overcome? Or a tool for solving your customers’ challenges or obstacles?
According to Ray Seggern, managing the 3 touch points of business is the key to your success. Once you learn to align them to your customers’ natural predispositions, you become the frontrunner in your category.
Ready to Work on your Culture?
The bottom line is, your business’s proclaimed STORY determines the type of EXPERIENCE your customers will anticipate and receive. However, the true determinant of your business’s quality is your CULTURE.
Your company culture is the cornerstone that influences everything you say and do.
“Company culture is what causes businesses to rise or fall.” — Roy H. Williams
Protecting and defending a happy, healthy, wealthy culture is the secret to building highly productive and engaged employees. When your people are empowered by desirable company culture, they’ll go above and beyond the call of duty. That’s the only way your company can create the story and deliver the experience that your customers want.
So, are you ready to work on your culture?