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Create an Adaptive Culture for Embracing Change


Ken Blanchard is the author of 55 books, including The One-Minute Manager and Lead With Love. As the co-creator of Situational Leadership, Ken is a field expert on effective leadership strategies and company culture development.

An insightful and witty presentation, Blanchard speaks directly to the room and with frank examples and solid explanations of his leadership philosophy.

Blanchard’s “The Four Key Steps” from Customer Mania! (Blanchard, Ballard, and Finch) outline organizational must-haves for effective, productive, and profitable business.

1. Set your sights on the right target and vision.

  • Be the Provider of Choice, the Employer of Choice, and the Investment of Choice
  • Have an agreed-upon, compelling vision.

2. Treat your customers right.

  • Determine what kind of experience you want your customers to have and what they want.
  • Implement your customer service vision by empowering employees to be decision makers.
  • Companies who have employees who “soar like eagles” rather than “quack like ducks” beat the competition with moments of truth.

3. Treat your people right.

  • “None of us is as smart as all of us.”

4. Build the right kind of leadership.

  • The Heart – Motivation or Intent/Leadership Character
  • The Head – Assumptions and Beliefs/Leadership Methods
  • The Hands – Application/Leadership Behavior
  • The Habis – Daily Recalibration of Commitment to Mission and Values

“I think we all need to lead at a higher level to help people meet goals. Making money is a bi-level goal. Leadership is about going somewhere,” Blanchard stated when discussing how company culture is developed, and why it is so important. “Company Culture starts with a clear vision.”

Many methods, many techniques, and many success stories are implemented in Ken Blanchard’s leadership strategies. One core theme that is repeated throughout his philosophy is the need for a clear vision. “Vision is knowing who you are, where you’re going, and what will guide your journey.” (Full Steam Ahead! Blanchard and Stoner)

Do you have a vision for your company that everybody knows? Blanchard highlights the success of Southwest Airline’s vision of being a customer service business who happens to fly airplanes. Employees are empowered, ego is secondary, and customers are truly considered their #1 priority.
In his Four-Part Vision outline, the components of a vision are broken down into steps:

  • Your Purpose/Mission
    • Key Question: “What business are you in?”
  • Your Image/Picture of the Future
    • Key Question: “What will the future look like if things are running as planned?”
  • Your Values
    • Key Question: “What do you stand for?”
  • Your Goals
    • Key Question: “What do you want people to focus on now?”

In the traditional pyramid hierarchy, people look to the leader for vision and direction. While the leader should include input from experienced people, “the ultimate responsibility remains with the leader and cannot be delegated to others.”

Finally, Ken Blanchard explains The ABCs of Performance, from Whale Done! (Blanchard, Lacinak, Tompkins, and Ballard). He challenges the audience to evaluate their own leadership methods and to consider what their employees truly need from leaders to be successful. “You want your people to win.”

A = Activator
Whatever Gets Performance Going – Build positive relationships built on trust and respect.

B= Behavior
The Performance that Occurs

C= Consequence
Your Response to the Performance – i.e., do you give no response, negative responses, redirection, or a positive response?

Ken Blanchard’s presentation, Creating an Adaptive Culture for Embracing Change, is an inspiring look at how business owners, CEOs, and leaders can work to develop their skills to create an environment of success. Profit is a byproduct of having a vision, being a situational leader, and treating your people right.

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