Bakery Tech Tips: Culture is in the Air
Nov. 1, 2012
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I have spent more time lately in the seat of a red and blue airplane than I have in my own desk chair because travel has been a weekly event for me at my day job.
About six years ago, I started flying on the LUV bus almost exclusively. I don’t know whether it is that I am a creature of habit, or if something else attracts me to this particular airline. It might be because I can pick any seat I want, or maybe it has better honey-roasted peanuts than other airlines. Or possibly, there is something about the culture of this business that claims to have been profitable for 39 years in a row.
In the current issue of its monthly magazine, the boss-man of this airline writes about the culture that has driven the company to higher altitudes.
The message is simple: work hard, have fun and take care of one another. The company executes this by having a warrior’s spirit, a fun-LUVing attitude and a servant’s heart. Pretty clear approach if you ask me.
So many businesses — bakeries and industry suppliers alike — struggle to develop a culture where the group feels good about what they accomplish every single day. From the front office to the production floor, maintenance shops and shipping docks, everyone works hard. They have to. Where the plan for a nice culture sometimes falls off is when people don’t take care of one another.
We sometimes find ourselves spending time taking care of “numero uno” and forget about everyone else who actually hold us up every day. There is no way any one of us can accomplish all we have to do without help. Often, when someone helps you, you help back. When this happens, collaboration comes easy — even when you are dealing with adverse situations.
The third part of this airline’s culture says to live with a servant’s heart. People with a servant’s heart anticipate the needs of those around them. People with a servant’s heart don’t wait to be told what to do. They seek, they find and they act.
In today’s workplace, people with a servant’s heart can make a huge positive difference in the overall attitude of the organization. Positive cultures will thrive by solving problems with creative solutions that improve overall productivity. Culture equals results. Positive culture, positive results. Negative culture, negative results.
When you roam around your organization in the near future — whether it is an office environment, production environment or a customer environment — take a moment to evaluate the culture. You will feel right away if it is a good one or a troubled one. If it is good, do everything you can to keep it that way. If it is bad, the choice is yours. You can wallow in the negativity, or you can choose to make a difference and set some positive examples.
If you fly the red and blue planes along with some of the other airlines, take notice in how their people treat one another, and how they treat you. You will quickly see the connection between culture and profitability.