I had a coffee fix last week and it was HOT out! The obvious choice was ordering an iced coffee so I ran through McDonald's happy hour and ordered myself one. But I threw the work force a big curve. I ordered my iced vanilla latte with non-fat milk and no whip cream and that's when the wheels came off the production of my drink. The glass was only three quarters full.
The kind folks at McDonalds were taught to produce my drink one way...with whip cream. One would think a simple adjustment would be made to fill the cup to the top of the rim. But a food chain doesn't want it's employees to be creative, it only wants them to be compliant. A team of compliant people will produce results but it may not leave people wanting to come back for me. Personally, I felt like paid for three quarters of a drink instead of receiving a full glass.
The pitfall to a production culture is removing the creative problem solving skills of the team. What about the culture you've created? Where in your culture does production and creative freedom meet?
Here are some questions a leader can ask themselves in regards to creating a culture that values creativity and production:
1. Do I want production or successful team members?
2. Does my team have the freedom to make adjustments to serve people better?
3. Am I uncomfortable with change?
4. Does my team have input on my decisions?
5. Do I dismiss challenges to the system we use?
6. Have we attempted anything new in the last year?
7. Do I punish people for trying and failing?
8. Do I value modern technology?
9. Am I looking at what made us successful and encouraging the younger generations to adopt these core values in new creative works?
10. Am I worried about keeping my role?
Great cultures are a place where core values collide with new ways of doing things. Rarely does someone want to throw the baby out with the bath water. I get excited about offering the opportunity for new, younger team members to find a way to make our team even better. The pitfall of a production culture is limiting creative ability of it's people in order to simply produce more. Leadership can always construct walls so it's team members can't wander out but they also keep potential team members out as well.