Today marks our ninth anniversary at Tangram and the celebration we hold annually in honor of our folk heroes who epitomize the values we prize the most.
So, how do we know who they are? What criteria define these heroes? What is the difference between the average schlub and one of these heroes? How subjective are the criteria?
We recently embarked on a mission to define the culture we prize most that results in a brand promise in the market place that sets us apart. We started by observing what was in play, rather than imagining what we might want. As we looked at amazing successes and painful failures we began to crystallize a set of attributes that thrive in our environment, that then results in a specific customer experience that then translates into market perception. We found if our staff show up with those attributes, our customers are wowed. So we created a chart and started using it. We used it to weigh people we thought were superstars. We used it to size up staff who left us under whatever terms. We measure under-performers and over-performers against it. We used it in screening new hires and as a way of opening a dialogue in the interview process. We found it hugely successful, so here is a copy of it.
As our staff got engaged in this process, the first question we were asked was, how did those attributes get there? Did we consciously hire for them, cultivate or develop them? Well maybe, or not. All we know is that when they show up it’s great. We could be better about encouraging them to do so, for sure.
The power of clear expectations up front is inestimable. As is the power of the lack of them!