The Focus 3 Blog

How do you change organizational habit?

It was a clear directive: improve safety and increase productivity.

The company was struggling through new initiatives brought about by recent changes. The employees—blue-collar and proud—loved their work. More importantly, they loved how they did their work. They had experience, they had intelligence, and they had attitude. How were they going to change 50-years of habit?

By focusing on one thing.

It aligned the strategy and established elite standards. Personal responsibility ran from the newest hire to the CEO. It improved safety. The worst that happened was a bee sting, rather than an electrocution, meaning insurance claims decreased by $30-million over two years. It made tools more efficient and less likely to break, saving $1-million per year in repair costs. It made technology work . . . well enough. Customer complaints became so infrequent that the service team called customers to make sure they weren't stockpiling problems. It opened new opportunities to bid on projects—a dozen of which they won—bringing in millions of dollars in revenue and hundreds of new jobs.

One thing improved everything else. One thing changes how everything else is executed. The company realized this and tapped into a resource every organization has, but few use to their benefit: culture.

How has culture postively impacted you?

—Share with us in the comments below—

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