Two Stories About Our Work

A Negative Company Culture

Kiara once encountered a manufacturing company where there were no senior management team meetings. In fact, senior team members were known to pass each other in the hallway without acknowledging each other's presence. The company had not been profitable for a long time. Negativity was rampant, and teamwork was almost non-existent. The company appeared to be running on autopilot.

Despite the negative culture, the company was "working," although obviously not well. While it wasn't making any money, it did come close to breaking even. This was due to the advantage of manufacturing a sophisticated and unusual product that occupied a viable niche in their industry. Also, the company's competitors were weak, so its market share was not being depleted.

One of the company founders became extremely frustrated with the situation. He asked Kiara to help when the company president appeared to be having a nervous breakdown. The president began expressing anger in most of his interactions with staff. He spoke unusually loudly and often shouted about the "others" who were "out to get" him.

When Kiara interviewed the senior management team, each member complained of being taken advantage of by the others. They occasionally would meet in pairs to criticize their peers or whoever was the most popular scapegoat. The negative and critical comments were often relayed to the 16 managers who reported to the individuals in the team.

After six months of intensive, value-driven team building at the senior management team level and subsequent rollouts of other character-building management practices, as well as one-on-one coaching sessions, the company culture became more positive. The business became profitable; three years later, the 56-year-old firm had its best year ever. Fortunately, many individuals had the capacity to change. Those who remained negative were laid off.

Doing It Right the First Time

A small firm was doing fairly well and engaged Kiara to help it grow. The senior management team told us that, in hiring employees, they assessed candidates' core values and approach to life (character traits). They believed trust was a major factor in the company's success. "Others hire people with the best heads or minds," the company chairman said. "We hire people with the best hearts." The press characterized the company as an egoless team culture built on personal character.

The company's management style became positive and mostly unstructured through Kiara's work. In addition to reduced staff conflicts, other benefits of the company's positive and productive culture included decreased employee turnover, low absenteeism, and fewer mental health problems, leading to lower expenses for management, insurance, recruitment and training.

Kiara helped the company to manage their staff through Kiara's self-management process. This trained all staff within the company to be personally responsible for their jobs. Managers were able to get more done with less people.

Through personal leadership coaching, Kiara helped managers to identify and change any self-limiting patterns that lessened their enjoyment of their staff and their business. Executives gained skills for greater success.

Kiara helped hiring managers to know more about how job candidates would perform before they hired them. Kiara identified desirable character traits and detected undesirable ones. Next, an analysis of this information was translated into job-related behaviors that expressed how the job candidate would perform if hired. The hiring manager did not have to hold his or her breath while they waited to see what happened during the new employee's first few weeks on the job. There were no surprises.

Within 15 years, Kiara's client had become the world's largest company of its kind. Eventually, it was sold to a large international bank. The family had no regrets; everyone thoroughly enjoyed the experience and profited enormously from the sale.

© Key People, Inc.