Friday, July 26, 2013

Under Construction

I love bricklayers. 

The work they do is rarely seem by others, yet the success of those who follow depends on how well they perform their foundational work... A true service position!

Bricklaying ~ no shortcuts are available!
Have you inspected the foundation of your domestic staff? Was the time taken to actually build a foundation to support their efforts? 

Cultural foundations take a lot of hard work, brick by brick. Skipping the hard work before the rest of the house is hammered together is risky - with both staff and employers suffering from poorly constructed service shelter. This article from HBR exemplifies a very brief, yet powerful mention of the needed attention during construction of any company, including your own domestic staff. And, whether it's called a domestic staff, a family office, or a service team, the environment you now work in is indeed a company.

"As the early team comes together, it has a short-lived opportunity to decide how it wants to do business, because culture entrenches at compound rates with each new hire... culture (or values) really does matter."

Ignoring the purposeful construction of culture (never to be confused with rules, yet focusing instead on behavior and community) is the downfall of many staffed estates who randomly bring on new and perhaps highly skilled staff, hoping that each new hire will be able to "fix" the disappointing service delivery.

Yet, without attention to company culture and its compounding effect from each team member laying the underpinnings - either by
I really do.
themselves, or as a real team - the entire operation will simply rotate between each members' own personal recipe for mixing up mortar. Such foundational behaviors will never realign themselves; they always require a trip to the basement to thoroughly examine organizational leaks and fissures. Often misunderstood is that a very real and powerful foundation has already been quietly constructed, long ago, and is one that determines how service is actually now delivered.

And so then, my bricklayer... to construct a truly great service delivery system, how will you now build your team's solid foundation? Do you have the right plans and tools? The right materials? And most importantly, support from your employer to lay the bricks?

Just remember, though, as you're sweating from the labor of handling each and every single building brick, you are loved!