In this episode, we have our guest Ben Baker who starts describing how internal communication influences growth. He also touches on the cultural differences between VC-funded startups and traditional manufacturing and distribution lifestyle businesses. Finally, he discussed what industrial executives could do to enable the culture with internal communication tools and processes and how they can grow with a great culture.
- [0:00] Intro
- [3:03] Personal journey and current focus
- [5:02] Perspective on growth
- [6:45] How internal communication affects growth
- [8:47] The difference between traditional industrial companies and startups
- [15:13] Legal and financial structure differences between industrial companies and startups
- [24:22] How to dismantle silos and put systems and processes in place?
- [29:21] 30-60-90 day plan to install an internal communication system
- [35:08] Closing thoughts
- [36:40] Outro
- 75% of the employees are disengaged in one way, shape, or form, everything from searching the internet for a new job on indeed, to just not caring about what the job that they’re actually doing. And that’s the statistics that you see across the board.
- If we can get people to understand the purpose of the organization, how they matter in the organization, how what they individually do, helps the organization grow, and enable them and empower them to be better advocates for the brand. They’re more willing to stay with the company longer. And therefore, it enables the company to grow more effectively, more efficiently and allows for greater communication and better culture throughout the organization.
- As you go from 10 to 50, to 100 to 500 to 1000 to 10,000, that symbiotic relationship that that ability to have that across the desk communication lapses, and the larger the organization, the more challenging it is to have companies have effective communication because there are so many more people that have to be communicated to, then you can’t just have a huddle once a day, you have to have multiple huddles.
- Your client list is worth about a nickel or maybe a quarter because when you’re gone, and you don’t have those personal relationships with those people, if you don’t have it, there aren’t the policies and procedures. Nobody cares about your client list. Your equipment can be bought and sold. It’s what makes your company valuable is the fact that we know that if you die, or you leave, or you, whatever the company is going to move on just fine when you’re not there.
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Ben has been helping companies, and the people within them understand, codify, and communicate their unique value to others for nearly a quarter of a century. He is the president of Your Brand Marketing, an Employee Engagement Consultancy, author of “Powerful Personal Brands: a hands-on guide to understanding yours,” and “Leading Beyond a Crisis: a conversation about what’s next,” and the host of IHEART and Spotify syndicated YourLIVINGBrand.live show with more than 170 episodes behind him.
Finally, Ben believes that if companies understand, live, and build cultures around their purpose, employees will engage, stay, and want to grow with the company.
This takes great leadership, communication, and awareness of the brand.
- Connect with Ben
- Connect with Your Brand Marketing
Ben Baker 0:00
75% of the people in one shape or form don’t really care about the company they work for. And 50% of the people are actually out there looking for another job or at least open to another job. It’s really difficult to get them involved in growth.
Growing a business requires a holistic approach that extends beyond sales and marketing. This approach needs alignment among people, processes, and technologies. So if you’re a business owner, operations, or finance leader looking to learn growth strategies from your peers and competitors, you’re tuned into the right podcast. Welcome to the WBS podcast, where scalable growth using business systems is our number one priority.
Now, here is your host, Sam Gupta.
Sam Gupta 0:52
Hey, everyone. Welcome back to another episode of The WBS podcast. I’m Sam Gupta, your host, and principal consultant at a digital transformation consulting firm, ElevatIQ.
Internal communication influences the culture of an organization. And culture typically is the biggest driver of growth. But what exactly is the culture? Is it about hiring employees from diverse backgrounds? Is it about creating the culture buzz that most startups create? Well, every company might claim that they have the best culture. The culture that differentiates a fastest-growing company from the rest is hard to build.
In today’s episode, we have our guests, Ben Baker, who starts describing how internal communication influences growth. He also touches on the cultural differences between VC-funded startups and traditional manufacturing and distribution lifestyle businesses. Finally, he discussed what industrial executives could do to enable the culture with internal communication tools and processes and how they can grow with a great culture.
Let me introduce Ben to you.
Sam Gupta 2:01
Ben Baker has been helping companies, and the people within them understand, codify and communicate their unique values to others for nearly a quarter of a century. Ben is the president of your brand marketing and employee engagement consultancy, author of powerful personal brands, a hands-on guide to understanding yours, and leading beyond a crisis, a conversation about what’s next. And the host of iHeart and Spotify syndicated YourLivingBrand.live show with more than 170 episodes behind him. Ben believes that if companies understand love and build cultures around their purpose, employees will engage to stay and want to grow with the company. This takes great leadership, communication, and awareness of the brand.
With that, let’s get to the conversation.
Hey, Ben, welcome to the show.
Ben Baker 3:00
Hey, Sam, great to be here. Thanks for having me.
Sam Gupta 3:03
Of course. And just to kick things off. Ben, do you want to start with your personal story and what you’re focusing on these days?
Ben Baker 3:10
Oh, my personal story? Well, it all depends on how far back you want to go. You know, the story is long. It’s arduous. But let me give you the highlights because nobody wants to hear my full life story.
Sam Gupta 3:22
We can hear, but I don’t know how long that is going to be.
Ben Baker 3:26
45 minutes show. So let’s stick to the highlights. I’ve been in sales for over 30 years and marketing and branding for the last 25. I started off 25 years ago in direct mail. Now direct mail is just like manufacturing. For anybody that understands the print industry, really understand the manufacturing industry because it is all about the process. It’s all about making sure that you get stuff from A to be on time on a budget, and we make sure that the quality of the project is relatable throughout the entire project.
So that’s where I started. And it was all about how do we communicate value? How do we get the people that we’re interested in talking to understand our value to them? Why you know why we’re helping them, how we’re helping them, how we’re going to make their lives better. And for the last 25 years, that’s what I’ve done.
Ben Baker 4:22
Now it’s evolved from print to promotional products, to tradeshow development, to really to branding. And what we do now is we help companies with internal communication because we find that that’s really where the largest challenge of many organizations is. They have full teams that sit there and do the marketing and the communication outside of the company. But they’re really bad at communicating purpose vision value inside the company and actually living it. So that’s really in a nutshell where we came from where we are today because our goal is to help companies stopping to sell commodities and start loving their brands.
Sam Gupta 5:02
Okay, so I want to dig deeper into a lot of those things that you mentioned as part of the intro. But before that, we have to ask one question that we do with every guest. And that is going to be your perspective on growth. So what does growth mean to you?
Ben Baker 5:17
I’m assuming most of your listeners are CEOs and CFOs. And because of that growth really is a financial thing really taking a look at where is the company day after day, month after month, year after year? You’re sitting there looking at going. Have we increased profits? But the question is, is it top-line growth? Is it bottom-line growth? Where are our margins? Where are opportunities? Are we growing in terms of the different number of customers that we’re doing? Are we getting more penetration per customer? There are lots of different ways to look at growth.
And it really depends on what are the goals of the company that I’m dealing with of how I discuss growth because growth can mean different things to different people. I’m truly a believer of what’s your penetration within a particular account. To me, that is growth because it’s a lot cheaper to get more business out of the current customer than it is to do client acquisition.
So the more you understand the customer more, the more you can relate to the customer, the more trust you have with the customer, the more different types of projects you do with the customer, the more you submit that relationship, the deeper you are with that customer, and that leads to your overall growth, and actually leads to greater profitability, because you do not have to bid every single project.
Sam Gupta 6:45
Yeah, I agree with your comment on capitalizing on existing relationships. If there is a possibility, then acquiring new customers is always going to be slightly riskier. It’s going to be harder and more expensive. So now, when I look at this conversation, when I’m actually trying to connect the dots, so let’s say if we look at the internal communication. I sort of understood the value. But how does internal communication affect growth?
Ben Baker 7:10
Internal communication affects growth is because if people don’t understand where you came from, where you are, where you’re going, and how they individually matter, employees are not going to engage. Now, right now, the statistics are the average employee 75% of these employees are disengaged in one way, shape, or form, everything from searching the internet for a new job on indeed, to just not caring about what the job that they’re actually doing. And that’s the statistics that you see across the board. You can look it up on a Google search pretty much anywhere 50% of people over the last year.
Now, these are pre-pandemic numbers. I’m not really sure what the numbers are today. We’re actually physically out there looking for another job one way, one time, or another within the company. So when you’re sitting there going, Okay, 75% of the people in one shape, or form, don’t really care about the company they work for, and 50% of the people are actually out there looking for another job, or at least open to another job.
It’s really difficult to get them involved in growth if we can communicate effectively if we can get people to understand the purpose of the organization, how they matter in the organization, how what they individually do, helps the organization grow, and enable them and empower them to be better advocates for the brand. They’re more willing to stay with the company longer. And therefore, it enables the company to grow more effectively, more efficiently and allows for greater communication and better, you know, better culture throughout the organization.
Sam Gupta 8:47
Yeah, and I cannot agree more with that. But it’s easier said than done, right? So when I look at, when I look at the market penetration, if I look at some of those startups, the talent that they attract for some reason. They are super passionate about what they do, and they care for the company. They are very explicit in communicating on social media how much they love the brand.
But I don’t really see that in the traditional industry or manufacturing or the distribution companies. So what are some of the factors when in your perspective? Why are these manufacturing or distribution companies not able to create the same culture, the same charisma that these startups are able to create?
Ben Baker 9:26
Well, startup culture is a very different thing than anything else. Startup culture is based on the fact that you’re part of Genesis. You were part of the team and knew the owner personally. You were probably hired by the owner and work side by side, it wasn’t an owner sitting in an office somewhere on the 13th floor, and you’re down on the third. You’re side-by-side you’re working in is a single team. And there’s a culture that gets built out of that.
Now, as organizations grow as you go from 10 to 50, to 100 to 500 to 1000 to 10,000, that symbiotic relationship that that ability to have that across the desk communication lapses, and the larger the organization, the more challenging it is to have companies have effective communication because there are so many more people that have to be communicated to, then you can’t just have a huddle once a day, you have to have multiple huddles.
Ben Baker 10:18
And the question is, how effective is the person who’s leading the huddle and communicating what the message and the drive are from the top? So it really comes down to I look at it as a game of telephone. And, when you start off with a game of telephone, when we were kids, somebody said something at the beginning line, and then it goes to 30 different people.
And you ask the person at the very end of the line, what did the first person say? Well, dimes to doughnuts, you’re never going to get the same message. And it may not even be close. So as organizations grow, and they expand, and they get larger, there’s really has to be effective communication in order to get people to feel that they belong, that they’re empowered, that they’re trusted, that they’re believed in, and the work that they do matters. So, therefore, the organization moves together in one single direction, and that direction is taking care of the client.
Sam Gupta 11:18
And that’s how it should be, but it’s not typically. Okay, so size is definitely a factor. Once the organization becomes larger, then they have a different problem. But let’s compare two organizations that are of similar size. So let’s talk about some of those startups. So let’s say a startup could have 20 people and some of these lifestyle manufacturing or distribution businesses, I don’t know if you understand this term, but typically, the lifestyle term is used for the businesses that are going to be slightly more family-owned, and that are going to be $25 million and less than revenue.
This is a slightly more financial or CFO term that they use for such businesses. And the reason why they do this is that typically, these businesses don’t necessarily have the growth mindset. So let’s compare two of these businesses. One is a lifestyle business, which is roughly $25 million in revenue, maybe 20-30 employees, and then a startup 20-30.
The amount of drive that both of these businesses are going to have is going to be very different. For a startup, these people are going to be super pumped, super passionate, super driven. They are going to be communicating about their brand on social media. But look at the lifestyle business. I don’t know how passionate these guys are going to be. So what is the difference between these two businesses, Ben?
Ben Baker 12:33
Well, the difference between the startup culture is everybody who is part of the startup has a piece of the pie. It might be a small piece of the pie. But everybody’s got, you know, one or two or 50 or 100 shares of this company, that hopefully someday they’re going to convert, because a lot of the people in the startup community, especially in the tech community, either are all sitting there going, Okay, we’re going to create this business, we’re going to create this technology, and somebody is going to buy it.
And that’s the thought process. The thought process is we’re building this business to sell. And whether it’s, it’s to go public, or whether it’s to be bought up by something larger, or whether it’s to get a large investment by a VC, whatever it is, they’re looking to be able to have convertible shares. And because the individual people within the organization have, hopefully, convertible share, there is an incentive for them to stick around and being for them to work harder because there’s that entrepreneurial spirit within it.
Now, the typical lifestyle businesses, and I’ve been part of many of these organizations, you’re an hourly worker, for the most part, for the most people, you’re either an hourly worker or a salaried worker. And whether you’re working your 40 hours a week, or 30 hours a week, your five hours a day, 10 hours a day, whatever you’re working.
Ben Baker 13:52
That’s it, that’s your compensation. Some organizations are smart enough to have quarterly or yearly bonuses. That is an individual check that is based upon the profitability of the corporation, and therefore has some type of share stock sharing, private stock sharing that goes out to the employees. So they have some type of incentive to be able to sit there and say, Hey, here’s my bonus for the extra work that I did. But typically, a lot of organizations don’t, they might get a Christmas dinner, or they might be a golf tournament.
But people don’t see that as a tangible reward. In the same respect, I am sitting there and going. I have minority ownership in this company. There’s a piece of it, that’s mine, and therefore, if I do well, in this company, you’ll go from being a $10 million company to $100 million company, and we have sold, guess what, there’s a payday at the end of the day.
Now, a lot of these companies obviously don’t survive, and those shares are worth nothing but the thought processes. It’s just like turning the route to the roulette wheel or pulling a lever on a slot machine. Everybody’s sitting there going. Hey, There’s a chance. And because there’s a chance, there’s far more incentive for them to be able to have that more engaged, more passionate, more entrepreneurial spirit within the individual worker, the company.
Sam Gupta 15:13
Okay, so financial compensation is one thing, and I don’t know if every startup out there is actually making the share arrangement because that actually complicates the legal structure, to be honest. Okay, absolutely. It used to be the case. But I don’t know if that is always the case. In my opinion, I think that is actually driven by the greater purpose. And it goes back to your comment about internal communication.
In my opinion, the way they build their culture starts from hiring. They want to hire people who are going to be super passionate about number one, their brand, number two, their startup, and number three, what they really do in their lives. So they are super passionate, super committed to their employees. And even if they don’t have the shares, or the financial compensation, as you mentioned, they are getting the freedom. And typically, that freedom is not available, probably the be the lifestyle organizations. That’s why in my opinion, maybe the employees are not as committed. What will be your perspective on that?
Ben Baker 16:10
Well, take it from that point of view that that thing is, is that people want to grow, people want to learn, and people want to see the growth it comes down to. Are you hiring somebody within your company to be the receptionist?
Or Are you hiring them as the receptionist with the thought process that you know what this person, if they do really well, maybe we can turn them into an inside salesperson, maybe we can turn them into an outside salesperson, maybe someday there could be they’re going to take over the finance department or the HR department or whatever depending on what their passions are, and growing them within the company.
And I think that if you hire people to just do a task, if you’re hiring somebody just to run a machine, or if you’re hiring somebody just to do a task. And your assumption is that we’re just going to keep them at this machine or keep them doing it—this the same thing the rest of their life. People run out of passion pretty quickly.
The typical thing is right now, the millennials and the Gen Z’s are staying at corporations for 18 to 36 months at the most. And the reason they are is that they don’t see a passion, a path for growth, they’re not learning, they don’t feel that they’re developing, they don’t feel they’re getting more responsibility.
Ben Baker 17:22
They don’t feel they’re getting a title bump. They don’t feel that they’re getting all the things that they need to be better human beings and be better for themselves. And therefore, they go looking for another company that might be able to give them something different to learn something new programmers. You see, programmers do that all the time. They get bored programming, whatever their programming and they might get paid the exact same amount at a different company.
But if they get to do some different type of programming, a different language, and a different skill set, whatever, it gives them the incentive to go move somewhere else because they don’t see a new project on the go. So companies, all companies, need to sit there and say, why am I hiring these people? And how am I leading these people? In order to get the best out of them in the long term? And a lot of it comes down to?
Are you listening to your people? Do you understand what they’re passionate about, what they want, what they need? Some people just want to stay in a particular job. I have a friend of mine. She is an executive assistant to the CEO and used to be the Vice President of Marketing for the same organization. She is way happier, way happier, as the executive assistant to the CEO, then she was the VP of Marketing.
Sam Gupta 18:41
That’s a very interesting story. I’m looking to learn more about that. Why is she so happy?
Ben Baker 18:45
She’s happy because she’s working in a smaller and smaller situation. She has her fingers in all the pies that she wants to do. She’s, she’s involved in the charity, she’s involved in a lot of the major decisions, she gets to take care of one executive and make sure that everything that he needs is done. And she is privy to stuff that a lot of people in the company never would be based on the fact of where she sits in the organization.
When she was in the VP marketing position, it was all politics, it was constant pressure, and it actually caused her to have a heart attack. And what she realized is she was far better suited for this position as the executive assistant.
Now she makes pretty good money as an executive assistant, don’t get her wrong, because she’s really good at what she does. But her skill set was far better off that way. But unless, unless she had the conversation with people at the senior level and say, Look, this is not the right thing for me. I understand that I’ve gone as far as I can within a position. I’m not happy doing this anymore. I still want to stay within this corporation. I believe in the corporation.
Ben Baker 19:55
I believe in its mission, its vision, its values, its purpose, but I want to be doing something different, and there was the ability to have the conversations to explore new things, she would have left. And they would have lost a really, really good passionate employee that had years and years of institutional knowledge that would have walked out the door with them.
But as a company, realizing that our people need to be listened to, they need to be understood, and they need to be valued. And we need to understand what do these people need to be engaged long-term. That’s how we build people within the organization and get people to stay. That’s how we get them to be more engaged and more purpose-oriented.
Sam Gupta 20:38
So let’s talk about this scenario. So let’s say if I’m a CEO of a manufacturing organization, and one of the problems that I have noticed is, I’m afraid of sharing knowledge with my employees. Right. Typically, that’s how the lifestyle businesses are. That’s how my mentors have recommended that this is how I should be operating.
That’s how the majority of the lifestyle businesses operate. So all the admin and financial knowledge are going to be inside the office, all the operations knowledge is going to be in the operations department, the shipping knowledge is going to be probably in the shipping department.
So we have these siloed. And they are there for a reason because that’s how manufacturing works. That’s how distribution works. But when I look at the startups, obviously, they have a very open culture. So I want to fix this. I want to have a similar culture in my organization as well. So Ben, let’s say if you were to fix this organization, what will be your recommendation for me,
Ben Baker 21:32
The first thing is to tell the CEO, the CEO, CFO, CEO, to get over it, to realize that the organization will grow far better, and far faster, and far more profitably the more information they share. Now there’s certain information you’re not going to share with people. I truly understand that there are certain pieces of information, proprietary information, critical information that doesn’t need to be shared until it needs to be shared.
But going and leaving everything in a vacuum and not getting your people involved in letting them know where you are, where you’re going, what the challenges are, what the opportunities are, and listening and asking for their help. You’re handcuffing yourself as an organization. You’re limiting your growth by sitting there going. I have to call, hold the cards tight to my chest and not tell anybody what’s going on.
If you have a heart attack, what happens if you get hit by a car? What happens to your organization if, all of a sudden, somebody leaves your organization that had mission-critical information that only they knew about what happens? We have this type of stuff that happens every single day. We had a shipper receiver years ago that felt that they had to be the only person that knew what was going on in the shipping receiving department.
They ended up getting sick and be out of the office for two and a half months. We ended up hiring somebody else to basically do an audit of the entire department, rebuilding the structure, rebuilding all the processes and procedures to make sure that we had a far more open understanding of what was going on. So, therefore, this could never happen.
Ben Baker 22:28
Again, the amount of money that is lost every single year through siloing is staggering. It’s millions and millions and billions of dollars across North America, every single year through silos by the left hand not understanding what the right hand is doing—in one department not understanding when I hand this off to these people, what happens to it. And we need to get out of that mentality. We need to get out of the mentality that there is information out there that, God forbid, I should share with my people because they might run away.
The problem is, what if they stay and they don’t know what’s going on? They can’t help you and can’t be creative. They can’t sit there and say, You know what, I know we’re heading in this direction. But you know what we really if we looked at this piece of equipment, and we modified it, and we moved it, this part of the short the floor to another part of the floor, we could have some efficiency of scales. What do you think about trying this?
And it could be something as simple as that to be able to get your efficiencies aligned to be able to bring brand new product in without having to run a third shift. And it’s a matter of the more we can communicate, as you know, senior leadership, what’s going well, what’s not going well, where we’re going, and what do we need to do to be able to be successful, and everybody understands that everybody all of a sudden can start marching in step to be able to help that goal happen.
Sam Gupta 24:22
It’s interesting the way you talk about these processes and the system as well. But typically, when we look at the state of the lifestyle businesses, they don’t they Sadly, how many processors the information is really kept with an employee who is going to be responsible for that function. If they are old, then obviously, there are going to be challenges. But that’s how, you know, the majority of the lifestyle businesses are running.
So what would be your recommendation in number one, removing those silos that we have with respect to these employees, and what will be your recommendation with respect to putting a system in, and typically, bringing these systems could be a major change for the organization that could actually disrupt the process? So how can we make sure that we are able to bring these things without disrupting the processes of the organization?
Ben Baker 25:40
Well, the first thing I would say is, why should we do this? And the big reason why we should have processes and procedures and codified it’s all it is doing is codifying what we’re already doing. And being able to sit there and go, Okay, we’re doing this Wait a second, it’s not working as well, let’s take a look at our procedures. Oh, wait for a second, I see that step number 32 is being missed. Okay, fine, let’s move forward. But the problem is if we don’t have policies if we don’t have procedures if we don’t have the process, we’re worth nothing.
When we go to sell our business, there are so many people with manufacturing businesses and others who come up and say, Well, I want to sell my company year and a half, and they go to the business broker, and they go to try to sell the company, and they get told that their business is worth 10 cents on the dollar, what they think it is. And the reason for that is they don’t have policies. They don’t have procedures and contracts. They don’t have legal documents in place that make them attractive to a potential buyer.
Ben Baker 26:40
So all they have is a client list. Well, guess what? Your client list is worth about a nickel or maybe a quarter because when you’re gone, and you don’t have those personal relationships with those people, if you don’t have it, there aren’t the policies and procedures. Nobody cares about your client list. Your equipment can be bought and sold. It’s what makes your company valuable is the fact that we know that if you die, or you leave, or you, whatever the company is going to move on just fine when you’re not there.
And that’s the big reason why you want the policies and procedures. Now how do you do that? The big thing you need to do is you need to sit there and say, Okay, let’s take a look at what do we do on a daily basis on a departmental level? And how do we do it? And sometimes it comes in bringing in a process engineer or somebody who can just sit there and ask why.
Why are you doing this? Why do you do? Then what do you do? And then what do you do? Then what do you do? And be able to document it? And then how people that actually do that job on a daily basis look over the documents and say, Is this really what you do? They say, Well, yeah, but we do this, and then we do this, okay. What that enables you to do is speed up your hiring process, speed up your training process, it allows you to, to be able to cross-train people.
Ben Baker 28:05
So if somebody can run this machine, they can run that machine, and be able to do this job and do that job. And therefore, you can be able to be more flexible as an organization and be able to move forward more effectively. And a lot of it comes down not only just the process of that, but a process, how do we communicate with each other? How do we link teams like right now? The big challenge is, with people working from home, what policies and procedures do we have in place in any of your listener’s organizations about working from home?
How are the leaders in the managers dealing with people leading from home, are their set of expectations that are already there that everybody under knows, everybody understands everybody knows what they’re expected to do on a daily basis? If there’s not, then it leads to people sitting there going, Well, I can do this, or I could do this. It’s all open to interpretation. Maybe I’ll do nothing. So if we can do that, it’s not about carrot and stick. It’s not about saying, Well, you didn’t do step number 32. So you’re going to be fired. It’s about having the procedures in place. So everybody understands what needs to be done in order for things to be successful moving forward. And they understand how their particular job meshes with all the other departments to be able to allow for long-term success.
Sam Gupta 29:21
So one of the questions that I typically ask is how to go from point A to point B. And typically, when we have these siloed functions, it could be harder even for a CEO because they are not going to know everything. So let’s say if I want to drive this culture of creating these processes and documentation, number one, which should be the driver, and how can I get from point A to point B,
Ben Baker 29:43
The first thing you need to do is decide why it’s important to you as an organization, and you need to believe in it. You need to sit there and say this is going to be painful. This is going to take time. This may cost money. This is not going to go well the first time we do it. We’re going to make mistakes, and we’re gonna have to move forward. But in the end, this is going to make us a more profitable organization. And if you can, that’s the first place you need to start.
Ben Baker 30:00
Second of all, it comes down to culture. First, you need to be able to get a culture and a purpose of an organization where people believe that the silos are being dismantled. Because once people understand the silos are being dismantled, and that the organization flattens in terms of the curve, and allows people to be able to communicate, cross-departmental, it allows for sharing and allows for idea generation that allows for people to be able to work together to build the processes and procedures together.
But until you can break down the silos until you can, you can actually have buy-in from the top, and actual leadership from the top that says, hey, we’re this is what we’re going to do. This is why we’re doing it. This is what we want to achieve. We need to look at this as an organization. And not just it’s not just the finance issue, it’s not an ops issue, it’s not a sales issue. It’s not a marketing issue or a shipping issue.
We need to be able to bring all this together; in order to serve the client, we need to serve our clients better because we need to be more flexible to make sure that we can, we can be resilient and adaptable as the business moves forward. And that means that we all need to work better together. And it’s enabling that conversation and communication first, and breaking down the silos second, and then developing the procedures that go along with it.
Sam Gupta 31:36
So I’m completely sold. I mean, I want to do it. I’m an executive. And I definitely see the value in whatever you’re recommending. But I’m not sure how to execute this. So I typically like to see a 30-60-90 day plan, right? So let’s see if I want to enable this. What should be my 30-60-90 day plan? And what are going to be my deliverables that either I can ask my team, or I myself can deliver those to my team? So how would you structure your 30-60-90 day plan?
Ben Baker 32:03
Okay, so 30-60-90 day plan is once we have buy-in from the top, and we have a budget and a purpose of delivering that we decide that we’re going to go through and that that could be 60 to 90 days right there, hammering that out with an executive board. Depending on if we have five people to deal with, one person to deal with 12 people to deal with, and what that’s going to be, that’s an issue. The second thing that we do typically within organizations is form communication groups within different organizations.
And the first thing we do is we have a discussion with each organization’s is what the company about what do you do? Who do you do it for? Who are your biggest customers? Why do they buy from you? What are the biggest challenges that you see where the biggest opportunities you see? We do this by we’ll have an ops Group, a finance Group, a marketing group, a legal group, whatever. Then what we do is compare and contrast. And we sit there and say, Are people on the same page? Do people believe that the company does the same thing? Do they believe that the clients are the same thing?
And do they believe that the purpose is the same within the company? Typically, the answer is no. So that’s where we start working as to start working with companies and understanding and helping them build a brand story, to be able to sit there and go, Okay, this is who we are, as an organization, this is what we do as an organization. This is, what could we do for you? And this is why we do it. This is why our customers care about us. And there’s a lot of research and development that can go along with that.
Ben Baker 33:07
From that point forward, it’s about communicating it back to the various groups and getting buy-in from the groups to get them to understand what’s the new direction and why we why the company is doing, what they’re doing, and where they’re going, and how they matter individually.
Now, this is something this could be. This could be 90 days, could be 150 days, could also be 180 days. It could be a year, depending on the size of the organization. As I said, it’s not a process. It’s not like flipping a switch on a new machine. It’s dealing with people, and when you’re dealing with people, you need to understand the individuals, and you need to be able to get the buy-in because if you don’t if you just try to ram a new set of beliefs, a new structure, a new purpose, a new vision, down people’s throats, the first thing they’re going to do is a rebel and they’re going to sit there and say, Hey, wait for a second here. This is new. I mean, I don’t. I’m not buying into this. I’m either gone or Hey, whatever. This is just the flavor of the day.
They’re going to go back the way things are. I’m just going to keep my head down, and I’m not going to do anything. So the trick is to be able to form a line in the sand first. Where are you today? Understand where do you want to go and be able to bring the people along the road through various communication methods to be able to help them understand where you’re going and why they matter, and why they need to be part of this moving forward.
Sam Gupta 35:08
Alright, amazing. That’s it for today. Do you have any last-minute closing thoughts, by any chance?
Ben Baker 35:13
You know what, I’d love to have a conversation with people. People can always reach me through my website. It’s yourbrandmarketing.com, happy to give people a free 30 minutes over zoom. Find out a little bit more about who they are, what their challenges are, and see if there are ways that we can support them.
Sam Gupta 35:32
I cannot thank our guests enough for coming on the show for sharing their knowledge and journey. I always pick up learnings from our guests, and hopefully, you have learned something new today. If you want to learn more about Ben or his books, head over to yourbrandmarketing.com. Links and more information will also be available in the show notes.
If anything in this podcast resonated with you and your business, you might want to check other related episodes, including the interview with Randy Johnston from K2 Enterprises, who touches on why process documentation is an essential ingredient for an efficient finance organization. Also, the interview with Wayne Sadin, who brings a unique perspective on why business processes are more important for growth than individual business systems.
Also, don’t forget to subscribe and spread the word among folks with similar backgrounds. If you have any questions or comments about the show, please review and rate us on your favorite podcasting platform or DM me on any social channels. I’ll try my best to respond personally and make sure you get help.
Thank you, and I hope to catch you on the next episode.
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