The Savant Business Management System harmonizes the 5 most critical areas of your business – Foundation, People, Strategy, Execution, and Control. With all companies, the last four areas must sit atop a foundation and that foundation is comprised of your company’s leadership team alignment, meeting effectiveness, leadership mindset, and your company’s purpose, values, and culture. At Savant we ensure that your company has a solid foundation prior to focusing on your People, Strategy, Execution, and Control. In this initial blog series we’re going to explore each component of the Foundation and why each component is so important. Our last post discussed leadership team alignment and meeting effectiveness. We’ll now introduce the significance of the leadership team’s mindset and your company’s purpose, values, and culture.

The Foundation (continued)

Mindset

Mindset all starts with the company’s leaders. The result of a great mindset is directly reflected in having a lasting impact on others and the organization. A consistent and optimistic mindset that is open to new ideas and embraces failure and vulnerability creates trust, strengthens relationships, and helps generate superior results.

Carol Dweck, the Stanford University Psychologist, has done a wealth of work comparing fixed vs. growth mindsets. Her research is built on the theory of neuroplasticity where adult brains have shown an ability to continue to form new connections – in other words, grow. From this we posit that an effective leader’s mindset should be:

  • Consistent
  • Optimistic, and
  • Growth oriented

Let’s look at consistency first. A consistent mindset provides room for others to ask for help or admit mistakes and know that the response will always be to help improve the situation without judgement or surprises. Consistency begets healthy expectation, which leaves more energy for employees to apply toward productive activities. Consistency is important, especially in challenging times when people want certainty and reassurance.

Next, we have the optimistic component of mindset. Optimism shows employees that their opinions have been heard, that they matter, and are seen in a positive light. Optimism is contagious, but so is pessimism. Being optimistic enhances creative thinking and solutions. An optimistic mindset encourages originality and extends boundaries, ultimately driving your business farther faster.

The final component is a growth vs. fixed mindset. Growth mindsets encourage continuous learning whereas those which are fixed hit a ceiling. With a growth mindset intelligence and talent can be developed with practice and effort whereas with a fixed mindset intelligence and talent can’t be changed. Businesses that take the time to continuously train employees and provide opportunities for growth outpace their competitors by a wide margin.

Purpose

While many company’s already have a purpose or mission statement, reviewing it to make sure that the purpose is properly aligned with your actions is a worthwhile exercise. At Savant we prefer the word “Purpose” over “Mission” because it is more heartfelt, and we feel that it more accurately reflects what a company does. However, either term is fine so long as it is used consistently. A well-defined purpose tells the world who you are as a company and why you exist. Once the purpose capturing these is fully formed it doesn’t change and will foster those decisions and actions that support it – helping to avoid costly distractions.

Values

Values are deeply engrained principles that serve as your company’s cultural cornerstones and never change. Your company values clearly communicate what anyone, be it an employee or customer, can expect. They resonate with your company, reflect its imperatives, help shape your culture, and accurately reflect how the company operates. Values are so critical to your company that you will make hiring and firing decisions based on them.

Everyone in your company should be able to easily remember the company’s values and periodic awards should be given to those employees whose actions best reflect them. This will enable current and prospective employees to understand who you are as a company and help retain and attract the right people. Like a company’s purpose, once established, values do not change. We believe that values reflect the SOUL of a company and as such we’ve included Savant’s values below.

Savant’s Values

Simplify: We seek the simplest solutions because they are typically the best. We cut through the clutter using the right systems to track the right data to make the right decisions to achieve optimal results.

Optimism: We look at things with an encouraging eye and an open mind, seeing the good first. We foster an environment of optimism, especially in tough situations. We have a positive, growth mindset knowing we have the power to change and continuously improve.

Unified: We are unified in our team-first approach to always take thoughtful action and make a lasting impression on the lives of our co-workers, clients, families, and community.

Listen: We are active listeners and pay attention to what is being said with a positive attitude and open mind. We seek to improve our understanding and do so without judgement, while casting the best light on our co-workers and clients.

Culture

Finally, we have culture. Every company has a culture whether they know it or not. Your company’s culture is based on the collective mindset of its leaders. From this collective mindset norms for employee attitudes and behaviors are established that make up the company’s work environment – its culture. It is important to recognize the positive things that help build a strong culture, such as leadership influence, compassion for employees, community among teams, appreciation, and worklife balance. While a company’s purpose and values shouldn’t change, a company’s culture may change with the shifting landscape of the business, technology, industry, size, etc.

Conclusion

So far in this series we have covered the fundamental importance of leadership team alignment, meeting effectiveness, mindset, purpose, values, and culture. Next, we will explore the first core section of the Savant Business Management System, People followed by Strategy, Execution, and Control. The People section is composed of three sub-areas – Employee Experience, Organizational Health, and Accountability – each of which we will review in detail.