One reoccurring trend we see today among our clients is the desire to create an environment where employees feel empowered to not only bring attention to issues, but also present well-developed ideas for solutions. Employees may not come up with the perfect solution to a problem the first time around. However, encouraging a culture open to starting a dialogue with employees at all levels is the first step to discovering new ideas and creative ways to solve problems. Many of our clients have coined this as a culture of “yes.”
A “yes” culture does not mean that leadership must say “yes” to every idea, but be open to suggestions and, for the best ideas, actively work to shape and implement them. Our clients who value this kind of dialogue and debate find that simply adopting a culture open to brainstorming and discussing new ways of doing things fosters innovation, employee engagement, higher productivity, and, ultimately, happy customers.
A Forbes article, One Word That Will Transform You As a Leader, takes a deeper look into how “yes” translates into our daily work lives. “As a leader you should challenge, probe, assess, validate, and even confront on a regular basis. By all means ask people to justify their logic. It’s perfectly okay to ask ‘Why should I say yes to this?’ and it’s even more okay to expect a good answer. Make sure, however, that when you send a person back to the drawing board it’s a teaching exercise and not a death sentence. By helping people refine their thinking you’re in essence clarifying your expectations, developing them in the process, and advancing the ball at the same time – this is simply good leadership,” explains the article.
At Dinte Executive Search, we followed the example of our clients. We are embracing the culture of “yes” and find that fresh ideas and approaches often come from our employees closest to the front lines. We even have a Pink Sparkly Box, where everyone submits ideas – and we keep track of every idea we implement. It’s fun and makes us continually think of ways to do things better. Wait until you see our new website!
How do you foster a “yes” culture? How has it impacted the way you do business?