One of my major drivers for writing From OK to Excellence, 7 Steps to a Productive and Engaged Workforce was hearing business owners or leaders telling me that Ok was good enough. I found this mindset unacceptable from many standpoints starting with the amazingly strong influence leaders have on the lives and the results produced by their team members.

Although my book goes through the 7 steps necessary to achieve workforce engagement and excellence, none of it works if the leader is not fully engaged in leading for excellence.

Organizational excellence is achieved in three segments, with lots of moving parts in each of them and they all work together to achieve excellence. I call these three segments the Three B’s. The three B’s are Beliefs, Bones and Behaviors. You could think of these 3 B’s as they relate to the human body with Beliefs coming from the brain and heart, Bones coming from the skeleton, organs and overall structure of the body and the Behaviors are the actions we take.

In an organizational environment, it goes something like this:

Beliefs. This is where everything starts and this is where the mindset of the leader or senior leadership team is critical to how the organization functions. There are two distinct but connected pieces that include fundamental beliefs about people and the core values of the leader or senior leadership team. These two things define everything relative to the way the organization is structured and led.

Bones. This is the organizational structure that is developed driven by the Beliefs. The Bones segment is where the members of the organization experience the results of the Beliefs segment. The Bones segment includes things like, mission, employee handbooks, policies and procedures, compensation and benefit programs, training and development, transparency, communication, customer treatment, management structure, performance management, recognition programs, appearance programs and all the other things that are visible manifestations of the Beliefs segment that set the tone for organizational activities and focus.

Behaviors. This is the segment where the rubber meets the road. The behaviors at all organization levels are driven by the tone that is set in the Bones segment. The Beliefs and Bones segments will determine whether an organization is micro managed or led, whether employee viewpoints are wanted, whether customers are treated as the reason for the business, whether there is diversity, how decisions are made and at what level, what the recruiting message is and on and on.

If you add these three segments the result is the culture of the organization and the culture is a strong influence on engagement and engagement drives results whether it is the bottom line profit, revenue growth, retention. absenteeism, safety, customer delight and all the other things that organizations use to measure success.

What is your mind set? Are you about excellence or is OK good enough? It does matter.

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