Others Are Passing Us By – Stop It!

photo of women at the meeting

How is it that others are passing us by? Does it have to do with company culture?

Could it be a leadership challenge, too?

When you go to a business and can’t find someone to help you find something or to a restaurant and can’t get a refill, that’s OUR problem. No need to get mad at the business and post some silliness about their service on social media.

The Talent Challenge

WE need to address the problem as either a community and/or region and/or state. Talent is a real and now more visible challenge. The sad thing is we knew this would happen fifteen years ago, or maybe longer. Why has company culture deteriorated?

Vibrancy of downtown businesses with talent in place
Photo by Yuting Gao on Pexels.com

Not having enough employees doesn’t only impact the speed at which we find something in a store or get an answer on the phone or get our drink refilled, but it also impacts our parks, schools, water quality, production and so many other issues. Our tax base is impacted by fewer employees, which impacts all these aspects of our community and more.

More talent means more revenue.

Government is not THE answer, however. Recently, the Wisconsin Secretary of the Department of Revenue, and three of his staff offered a roundtable discussion. During the Q&A, several questions came up as to what the state was going to do to solve the problem.

If the state solves the problem, which I don’t believe they can, then they own the problem. That is a scary thought. It needs to be a collaborative approach; government, community, education, business, and non-profits together finding a solution.

Government can’t address company culture.

In my roles, I see a lot of cooperation in our communities. Quite honestly, I don’t see a lot of collaboration. Collaboration is where meaningful, sustainable change takes place through people engaging.

Company Culture and Leadership

With all the work I do in company culture and leadership, I know that personalities come into play. Those same personalities are the problem and the solution. We can achieve collaboration.

Every day that our communities intentionally choose not to collaborate, other communities are passing us by. I know we are awesome, but others are getting awesomer and smarter and prioritizing this business challenge.

Those are relying on collaboration.

A collection of bobblehead figurines in a shelf
Photo by Sami Aksu on Pexels.com

Here’s the difference. When you cooperate, you sit around the table and share what is going on and people nod their heads like those bobbleheads, and then leave the room and go back to what they were doing before.

Collaborators effectively communicate and actively listen. They take responsibility. They seek and find common ground by paying attention to the needs of others. Inclusivity is more than a keyword on a website. Collaborators are even willing to apologize, sometimes when they don’t even need to do it. The language they use is positive and gossip before or after the meeting is not tolerated.

That builds trust. That allows for constructive conflict. That builds company culture.

Is your neighborhood solving problems or are others passing you by?
Photo by Daniel Frank on Pexels.com

How do we move forward? In days of yore, the Knights got around the roundtable. Native American leaders got around a fire. In the past, neighbors got around the grill or sprinkler. That’s a start, but then we must collaborate.

I’ve heard the mantra that talk is cheap. Lack of talk is expensive. We’ve got a lot of great minds in this community. Those same great minds need to put their personalities aside and get around something to address this issue.

I know this sounds like the sky is falling but wouldn’t it be worse to look back and say, dang, we should have done something. Why not plan and it never happens (although it is right now) rather than not plan and the worst happens.

Let’s not let others pass us by.

How are you addressing the talent challenge in your business or community and building company culture?

Published by Todd Kuckkahn

I'm on a mission to revolutionize company culture and leadership.

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