If the insanely complex and uncertain business landscapes of today make you want to hide under the covers when your alarm goes off in the morning you are not alone. The hyper-sharing of data, the explosion of social media and the unstable economy has all altered our world and our business models so drastically even the smartest of us find ourselves asking “but how do I do this now??” several times a day.
Xylem Design has gotten a handle on some of this by running our manufacturing company on Lean values. This includes building a culture of sharing.
A sharing culture recognizes that sharing is now a way of life in the real world, and it must thus be so in the workplace. Open sharers of knowledge allow info info to flow freely in the workplace and online, and its value can therefore be maximized.
The problem is, we’re all freakin scared to death to speak up! You’re sure you’re going to say the wrong thing, utter one “um” too many times and get demoted, drop an F-bomb on the company YouTube video by accident or forget your boss’s name at the client meeting.
How do you get past this?
At Xylem Design we’ve committed to replacing the competitive, critical, cutthroat mentality with a supportive, non-threatening, love-filled work environment so everybody feels safe raising their voice and ideas.
Translation? When we come to work, co-workers love us. They compliment us. They emotionally support us. And yes, it is really awesome.
And since we all feel awesome around one another and nobody has to be perfect at work, everybody loosens up, opens up and shares more knowledge and expertise.
But isn’t it kinda weird to love your co-workers throughout the day? It’s a new business paradigm really, so yes, it’s weird at first.
So, you need to come together, build a time and place into the day where everyone can practice it and everyone’s participating. That’s why we created Xylem Design Daily–our 15 minute daily company inspirational meeting.
If a co-worker’s idea or approach to the morning was really awesome, we bring it up at Xylem Design Daily. If someone’s insanely positive attitude during a difficult morning inspired one of us to work on our own negativity, we say exactly that, in front of the whole company. We share what’s inspiring us, what’s helping us, and what’s challenging us, who we love and why, and the whole company comes together in solidarity and support.
The result of the Xylem Design Dailies? We all feel like we rock. We get to hear that others think we rock. We see that when we don’t rock, we’re not alone. And we all leave the meeting feeling pumped on our special gifts and supported in areas we’re working on. Our relationships are stronger too. Most importantly, people feel excited to share their knowledge and experience with one another and online.
And that’s the kind of culture you want.
See for yourself–check out this particularly amazing Xylem Design Daily.
Erik, one of our kindest and most insightful and sincere employees was moving on to another chapter in his life, following his dreams of teaching art to young people.
Eric spent no less then 10 minutes going around to all of our employees and recognizing their best traits spontaneously and sincerely. His demonstration of gratitude and authenticity is rarely matched in society today. We will absolutely miss Erik but we know that his gentle and creative heart will touch the lives of many lucky people throughout the rest of his life.
So go for it! Start a once a week meeting and for 15 minutes have everyone go around and talk about the things others did that really helped them out. See where it takes you!