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Culture Cultivation: How to Build It at New and Existing Organizations

Culture Cultivation: How to Build It at New and Existing Organizations
People hear me say it all the time: Culture is the single-most important element in the success of a company.  The blueprint to cultivate that culture, however, can vary widely as no one-size-fits-all solution exists. Today we’ll examine the differences between creating culture at a new company as opposed to an established one. While they are separate challenges, each presents a unique opportunity. Organizational leaders might have to go about their culture-building initiatives differently in each case, but the prospective benefits can propel the company to its true potential and perhaps beyond. In either case, it begins with a strong foundation. I liken building the culture of an organization to developing the foundation of a large building. Components such as concrete, metal, gravel, wood and weather-proofing materials each serve a singular function, but when you combine these critical pieces, it enables the foundation to become strong enough to support the weight of the building. The strength of the cultural foundation is critical to supporting the structural edifice of the entire organization—not just in the early stages of the company’s growth, but for the years and decades to come. Here’s a look at some of the nuances of creating effective cultures at new and established companies:  A new company Naturally, the primary advantage of creating a culture at a new company is that you can start from the ground up. No inherent flaws or biases exist within the workplace and you’re operating with a clean slate. You can create the culture based upon any ......
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The Vast Benefits of a Strengths-Based Organization

The Vast Benefits of a Strengths-Based Organization
A football team wouldn’t draft a quarterback and then try to convert them to a linebacker. A restaurant wouldn’t hire a Michelin chef and then make them perform waiter duties. And it’s doubtful that a Team USA coach would recognize an elite speed sprinter and attempt to transfer them to the swimming team.  Yet in many industries, including multifamily, organizations hire associates and immediately try to mold them into something that they aren’t. Not only is it counterproductive in most cases, but it also prevents the associate from functioning within their natural abilities and tendencies. That’s why some forward-thinking operators are adopting the model of a strengths-based organization. Rather than viewing associates from the perspective of weakness and how to reshape their shortcomings, strengths-based organizations celebrate key attributes and aim to cultivate and maximize them.  To be clear, this is not to discourage the idea that associates can learn new skills on the job in an effort to expand capabilities. Nor is it designed to constrain those with broader skill sets who enjoy taking on multiple roles. It’s simply a method to further develop an associate’s true niche engrained in their DNA as a person, so they can function within their own exceptionality. One approach to a strengths-based organization is outlined in the book StrengthsFinder 2.0 by Tom Rath, which utilizes a Gallup study that identifies the top 34 natural strengths all individuals possess. The strengths are then ranked for each individual through an online assessment, which usually takes about 10 or 15 minutes......
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Creating Synergy: Cultivating a Strong Company Culture

Creating Synergy: Cultivating a Strong Company Culture
Organizational culture is the single-most important aspect in any organization’s success or failure. On the surface, a thriving culture means happy team members who enjoy their jobs and believe in the mission of the company. But the precise components—and how to achieve them—are a bit more ambiguous.  This blog will do its best to examine company culture on a more granular level.  For starters, culture takes on the look and feel of the organization’s leadership. The adage that “everything rises and falls on leadership” is certainly true when it comes to culture. What and whom you represent as a leader is what will organically be born out in your company.  For a quick personal example, at Birchstone Residential our guiding North Star is our "people first" mantra. So, the importance of hiring and retaining leaders – and associates at all levels – who reflect and champion this mantra is paramount. We look for our cores values to be engrained into the very fabric of our team members' DNA. We believe that fostering a safe and healthy environment should be at the heart of an organization’s foundation, and at the forefront of every decision – large or small. Naturally, organizations have different sets of goals and a wide-range of employee bases, so a one-size-fits-all culture strategy doesn’t exist. But here are a few general thoughts to consider in quest of building a robust culture in the modern multifamily world. Identify Your Current Identity To truly identify who you are as a company, you must take an hone......
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