Them good ole’ 14-hour days

Many owner-operators of small to medium-sized businesses will fondly reminisce about the days when there were just 6 of them in the team, and they all did each others’ jobs. It was chaos, but fun, hard work but rewarding, and the best thing? They all knew what the company was, and what they were doing it for.

Of course, they’re not really romanticising the 14-hour days, the sleeping under the desk, the havoc of emerging roles in a start-up with nobody to fill them. Instead, they’re fondly remembering the closeness that the team felt in working like that. Knowing they had a goal in common, knowing they shared the same values, knowing they could rely on each other, because of all they’d been through together.

With growth, this degree of closeness is naturally diminished. And yet, the need for it does not go away.

Indeed, as owner-operators become CEOs, then Chairs, then shareholders, and the number of employees burgeons, the need for a uniting mission, for shared values, for a single vision for the company’s future only becomes stronger.

Insights from the ground up

How then do management, whether they’re a team that has been in place for years, or are recently brought in to steer things in a new direction, get to “know” their organisation?

Entelechy’s Discover solution enables this through each individual, via their Character Key. They get to see individual development plans, including how each employee can choose to take small actions which will drive transformation.

The Character Key is a report produced for everyone in an organisation, as part of our Discover solution. In order to generate a Character Key, individuals must undergo a self-reflective process which we call a 180. This alone is worth 1 hour of accredited CPD. Following their 180, individuals then request feedback from their closest circle in what we call a 360. They are encouraged to request feedback on which Character Qualities they have as strengths, and which as growth opportunities, from upwards of 10 people who know them well – family, colleagues, bosses, mentors.

The data gathered from these two processes are analysed by our bespoke AI to spot patterns and provide insights in a verbally light and visually engaging report: the Character Key. The takeaways from the Character Key are individualised suggestions for how the recipient can build on their strengths, and develop their growth opportunities, in line with their stated aspirations, and the company’s requirements.

It's not all me-me-me

The process is a two-way street, however. Our facilitators, the company’s management, and its employees are also required to do a company 180.

To provide a 3D perspective on the company, our facilitators will first study the company’s external documentation – website, mission & values statements, marketing, and other relevant materials. Using these findings, the facilitator produces a list of Character Qualities which the company purports to embrace.

Next, the management team takes part in a workshop to define the Character of the company as they see it.

Following this, employees are given the chance to list the company’s strengths and its growth opportunities, and comment on why they think so.

Next, just as individuals name their own personal aspirations for the future, they are asked to identify the Qualities they wish defined the Character of the company.

Finally, the employee-generated data, the management-generated data, and our practitioner-generated data is compared and presented to management. This provides an unparalleled view of how aligned the organisation is both internally and externally; what changes are required from the bottom, and from the top; and which direction to move in, for it to become an organisation admired by everyone in it.

“...and know [it] for the first time...”

Drawing from these three viewpoints of the company, management define a shared list of company Character Qualities. The very act of defining your values as Character Qualities, allows everyone in the company to clearly understand not just the theoretical values of the company, but the behaviours that they need to display every day. This innovation moves companies away from abstract declarations of values from above. From beautiful but meaningless lettering on foyer walls. And instead, to values embedded in daily work practices, defined by Character Qualities that we can all understand – and better yet, are empowered to be.

Now, your company can unite behind a genuinely shared vision, for the first time.