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27/11/2013: Welcome to Winning Wednesday - Being old's cool or being old school, you choose

Wednesday is derived from the Norse god, Odin who was their supreme god and god of victory. Winning is what today is about, particularly about developing a winning culture and attitude in your business. This item came out of a conversation in a hospital waiting room yesterday.

Two companies, BB and WB for the sake of naming no names are household names in food production. BB is a household name in Wales and WB throughout the United Kingdom. Both advertise on television, stressing the traditional nature of their products and values of their company. Doubtless much has been spent by both on the campaigns and on market research beforehand to identify this as a desirable characteristic.

Chatting away to a fellow patient, we got round to asking what each other did for a living. She works for BB, the household name in Wales. I was impressed and told her so. It then surprised me to hear that she didn't like the company or the products, finding them too 'old school', and that she was looking for another job. She compared BB with WB where she had worked in the past. For me, being described as 'old school' is a compliment; I take it to mean embracing values of good service, fair pricing, straightforward communication and common decency. Obviously in the case of BB, it seemed to mean rigid, confrontational management tinged with a degreee of autocracy and reluctance to listen.

It struck me that BB's management had missed an opportunity here to engage and involve their staff in forming the corporate culture. If the people that work for you don't like what you do, it is likely that other people won't like it either, and things won't improve if the management style doesn't facilitate harvesting such feedback.

How can this help us? Well, if you have more than one person in your business, it is vital that they all share your love of what you do. Does everyone involved truly believe that what you do is the best option for all the people that buy from you? How about running an opinion poll to look for areas of change and improvement? By engaging customers and staff regularly, the products and services we offer, as well as the corporate culture can be adjusted to make sure of the widest appeal.

An easy way of doing this is to run an online survey attached to your website. Luckily, this is a standard element in Webinthebox® from the Village Websmith, through which staff and customers can be encouraged to give you their ideas anonymously, keeping your competitive edge sharp. For more information, just call us on 0203 239 0350 or click in the header of any page to send an email.

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