Business Lessons From Old Man Winter

Today is the last day of winter but before it exits lets take a minute to explore whether we can learn anything from all of the ice and snow (click on video, below):

What makes this Swedish commercial so hilarious is that all of us have experienced situations where we have made inaccurate assumptions about a situation. Will Rogers probably said it best – “It isn’t what we don’t know that gets us into trouble; it’s what we know that isn’t so.”

A common assumption made by many business leaders is that “little” things such as new employee orientation and company celebrations are aligned and integrated with the organization’s brand. For example, despite my knowing that first impressions create lasting impressions, for many years I didn’t examine the way we brought new employees on-board at Porter & Associates. Why? Because I thought I knew it was being done in a manner that was consistent with our brand. Wrong!

One of our core brand values was to have fun at work because in the ad agency business tight deadlines and client expectations create a “pressure cooker” effect … and nobody creates their best work when they’re feeling pressured and stressed out. As a result we created all kinds of fun games and events to bolster morale and lift spirits. However, our on-boarding process was anything but fun. So we changed it.

Rather than, first thing, having a new employee sit down with our HR Director to review health insurance coverage and 401(K) details, when the new hire showed up for their first day of work all of us greeted him or her in the lobby and escorted them to a party thrown in their honor! After an hour of laughs, story telling and acknowledging the value the “new person” was bringing to the agency, the session and interaction with HR was not only more energetic but it was more meaningful.

It’s what we know that isn’t so that gets us into trouble. How does that statement apply to what you know about your brand, your customers, your employees-vendors and your business?

5 Responses to “Business Lessons From Old Man Winter”

  1. Brandon says:

    My new employee orientation included a scavenger hunt. It was like Easter, but we didn’t have bright colored baskets, there weren’t any chocolate bunnies, and we were in a hospital.

  2. admin says:

    Hopefully the scavenger hunt had the desired effect which was to cause you to think that you made a really good decision when you accepted your position at the hospital. What your employer provided was an “brand experience” rather than an intellectual understanding of what the hospital is all about. Additionally the scavenger hunt actively engaged you in the process of orientating yourself to the organization (rather than a passive experience of reading brochures and handbooks or watching “the company video”). Kudos to your employer!

  3. GarykPatton says:

    I think I will try to recommend this post to my friends and family, cuz it’s really helpful.

  4. CrisBetewsky says:

    Hello! Thanks for the post. It is really amazing! I will definitely share it with my friends.

  5. Google Money says:

    Thanks very much for posting this, I’ve been searching for quite a while now. It’s nice to finally see something worth reading.

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