Now you might think that tradition and innovation is a bit of a contradiction right? Actually, it’s not because both are important, you see traditions tell us who we are as a business. Traditions stem from the playing out of our core values. They help us make our business, what it is.
They could be specific things that you do to make your customers journey that little bit more memorable – I personally send all of my clients handwritten cards that are posted, not emailed. The gift basket given to clients to help them celebrate the purchase of a house or new car. The phone call a week after your work with them is complete to check in and see how they are going. A card to celebrate a special event. It could be things that you as a team do such as get-togethers where everyone invites their family along, things that you offer your employees such as a day off every three months to do something that they are passionate about, community service days, internal competitions. Open door policies or no doors or walls policies! Free dress Friday if you are a uniformed workplace.
All the things that you do for your customers (both internally and externally) that tell the world, about who you are as an organisation.
One way to maintain and develop an organisational culture and ethos is to introduce and celebrate a variety of traditions. For all new employees, make sure that this forms part of their training and ensure that your current team knows what your traditions are. If you yourself are not sure of what these are, ask yourself and your team for their feedback – a simple question such as ‘What do you think our business traditions are’ can give you some surprising answers! Strong traditions that are applied throughout your business are one of the best ways to maintain a healthy organisational culture.
BUT, you also need to innovate because as we all know, businesses that do not innovate will stagnate. As the years go on, you will need to have innovated and added things into your systems that will form part of your traditions but were innovations at the time. There are many ways to innovate and technology is definitely one of them.
So as you go about today, think about how you can innovate, but also keep in the back of your mind, what your traditions are, as these are at the heart of your business. You don’t want to lose them.