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More Lessons From the CEO

  1. IF YOU SCORED 3 OR LESS IN MORE THAN HALF OF THE QUESTIONS IN THE AUDIT,YOU MAY NEED TO MAKE SOME MEANINGFUL CHANGES IN YOUR COMPANY'S CULTURE. Consider putting together a culture task force (including employees at different levels) to make recommendations to management on how the company can become less bureaucratic and more participative. The simple act of involving workers will help morale and will show that management is serious about improving things.

  1. WORKING WITH OTHER MANAGERS AND THE CULTURE TASK FORCE, PINPOINT THOSE PROCESSES AND PROCEDURES THAT WOULD BENEFIT MOST FROM A "PROCESS FACELIFT." Remember that the goal is to reduce layers of approvals and red tape so that processes are streamlined.

  2. THE FINAL OUTPUT OF THE CULTURE TASK FORCE SHOULD BE A CULTURE PLAN THAT INCLUDES ACTION ITEMS FOR MAKING THE COMPANY LESS BUREAUCRATIC AND HIERARCHICAL. The plan should be presented to senior managers, and decisions as to which ideas are to be implemented should be made on the spot.

  3. TAKE MEANINGFUL STEPS TO ELIMINATE LAYERS OF MANAGEMENT OVER A PERIOD OF TIME. If there are more than four layers of management between the CEO and your front-line supervisors, decision making will most likely be slowed down. This will probably require planning for a reorganization within the next 12 months.

  4. ONCE YOU HAVE A PLAN IN HAND, MAKE SURE THAT IT GETS COMMUNICATED THROUGHOUT EVERY LEVEL OF THE ORGANIZATION (e.g., via speeches, managers' meetings, companywide emails, newsletters, etc.).

  5. DON'T UNDERESTIMATE THE IMPORTANCE OF MAKING THE WORKPLACE AN ENJOYABLE EXPERIENCE. Take a page from Herb Kelleher's management book and let employees know that you are committed to making the workplace an enjoyable experience. Remember that motivated employees are far more likely to serve your customers well.

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