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Doing things right or doing the right things?

Doing things right or doing the right things?

  • 31 May 2018
  • Posted by Marcella Bremer

What is more rewarding for you? Doing things the right way, or doing the right things? Of course, both can be rewarding. It's great when my bookkeeper confirms I submitted my tax forms correctly. Task accomplished, done the right way! Duty fulfilled.

However, it's probably even more rewarding when you do something that's the right thing for you to do: aligned with your purpose, your criteria. I am enthused when I create something new; a blog post or book or course.

Purpose is a powerful driver of people and culture! Doing the right things is connected with the realm of inspiration, rather than duty.

Competing Values Framework

We need both: dreams and discipline. That's what I love about the Competing Values Framework (CVF). It is so fundamental, aligned with human and organizational needs. The four value quadrants are all valuable and necessary for long-term success. They are competing because at any given moment, you can emphasize only one and give it your full attention and resources. The CVF helps to make people and organizations more aware of their current organizational culture, needs, and strengths.

Doing things right is the slogan of the Control Culture type in the CVF (a.k.a. Hierarchy Culture) that values reliability, stability, following the rules and processes. Doing the right things could be the slogan of either the Create Culture type (a.k.a. Adhocracy Culture) or the Compete Culture type (a.k.a. Market Culture).

Create Culture loves to create new things ("do things first"), and learn, innovate, be entrepreneurial. Compete Culture values getting things done ("do things fast"), competing on the market and dazzling the customers. 

These culture types have an external orientation and are more inclined to look for their WHY, the purpose: what is the right thing, either for the purpose of innovation or customer satisfaction?

Quicken Loans, Inc.

Let's look at some examples of successful, positive organizational cultures. Listen to Bill Emerson, the chief executive officer of Quicken Loans Inc., America's largest online home loan lender and second largest retail mortgage lender. Bill is responsible for the leadership and growth of Quicken Loans.

Here's the Quicken Loans Culture video (Youtube, 5 minutes) 

"Numbers and money follow, they do not lead." Most companies get caught up in projections and complex data analysis. They tend to forget what really matters: the people who make up their business. Quicken Loans focuses on culture and communicates that regularly.

Every client, every time, no exceptions, no excuses

Emerson says: "We explicitly focus on culture. If we take care of people, they take care of our clients, and our clients take care of us." It's a beautiful circle. They were awarded as the best company in the USA regarding client satisfaction for 3 years in a row and realized a 7% growth in market share. Emerson's oneliner is very clear: "Every client, every time, no exceptions, no excuses."

The company encourages people to use their voice, and submit ideas and feedback. 

Emerson: "We have empowered an awesome brain force. We use frontline knowledge to become a better organization. I meet with 20 people every other week. There's no agenda and they can ask questions. I learn a lot from the dialogue and feedback we get, and so do they."

Employees also have 4 hours every Monday when they do not work on the business. It's their time to innovate and create!

Quicken Loans is focusing on doing the right thing according to the Create and Compete Culture Types.

  • What is your organization focusing on? Is it a culture based on doing things right or doing the right things?
  • How about yourself? What's your natural tendency, and what do you exemplify in your job?

Check my book Developing a Positive Culture where People and Performance Thrive. It's also available on Kindle. See what you can do to develop a more positive, successful culture!

© Marcella Bremer, 2018. All rights reserved.

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