The fantastic four

Implement the principles

After developing the guiding principles,Hiller needed to implement them throughout the organization and get buy-in.

He drafted a guiding principles document to be distributed to all employees.Because he is expecting his employeesto buy-in to the culture and principles,he stressed in the document he will bedoing his part, as well.

“I am going to always make my team-mates feel special,” he says. “I’m going totreat them as individuals, not as objects.We’re all part of the same team. We justhave different roles.”

Hiller also put in the document thathe’s never going to lose sight that thestrength of the chain is founded by thebond of the individuals.

“Meaning that I’m willing to work to fixthe process,” he says. “I don’t know anybody that comes to work that says, ‘I amjust going to not perform today. Today isthe day I’m going to do everything bad.’

“So, to our mind, which is clearly an optimistic viewpoint, we believe that whatwe’re going to do is we’re going to alwaysbelieve it’s a process problem until weidentify that it isn’t. We’re going to workto fix the process. If it becomes a behavior problem, then we are going to try andsit down and talk and identify what arethe drivers behind that. If the behaviorproblem works against our guiding principles, then it’s nonnegotiable. If it’ssomething else, then we try to workthrough it.”

To get buy-in for the guiding principles,you need to involve employees early inthe development process.

“The first thing would be to be able tohave the senior management or ownership team lay out a vision of where thecompany wants to go,” he says. “Then,lay out a success plan that says, ‘If wecan adopt some principles that help usget there, would you agree to help me dothat?’ Then you start to look at that andbuild that out.”

Leadership also has to be behind theprocess 100 percent.

“For me, the leadership has to committo excellence,” he says. “You’ve got to becommitted, you’ve got to be responsible,you’ve got to be inspired. For the teammembers, they’ve got to agree to be collaborative and have a culture of caring— supportive. Then you start workingwith your products and building that outand going with that. So, you say, ‘This iswhere we want to go; this is how wewant to be. What products can we represent or manufacture or sell that will helpus get to our vision against this set ofdynamics or guiding principles.’”

HOW TO REACH: The Hiller Group Inc., (800) 544-3835