bins on the drive

‘Bins on the Drive. Again. It’s all about Organisational Culture.’


Sooooo annoying when you get home from a long day at work to discover that the binmen have abandoned the bins on the drive AGAIN and you can’t get onto it without having to get out of the car, put the bins away, get back in the car and complete the manoeuvre.

Very much a First World Problem, I hear you say.

True. They’re probably not worrying too much about such things in downtown Aleppo right now. But it’s also indicative of the culture of an organisation when it really doesn’t consider the needs of the client and is very happy to send out the message that it doesn’t give a s***! This is a very regular occurrence in my experience.

This kind of end user experience comes from an organisational Culture which is all about Measurement. Targets. Not about People. Cutting everything down to the bone to make sure targets are hit but totally missing the point that there is an ‘end user’ (i.e. client or customer) here and they are everything. Without them, the business would have no point whatsoever. There is no-one to sell the products or services to. No-one on the end of the delivery of that product or service.

But the sheer focus on ensuring that the binmen take only x number of nano-seconds to collect, empty and return the bin so that targets are met, budgets are adhered to and profits are maximised to those outsourced services will produce a culture which doesn’t focus on the needs of the client, only on meeting targets. And leaving bins abandoned wherever the binmen choose. I’m sure you’ll be able to name other companies and services that have a similar approach.

When you have a weak focus on your people and constantly have all systems strongly focussed only on targets and measurement you are not going to get your staff worrying about providing an amazing service to their clients – only on meeting targets and not being blamed if those targets aren’t met. Targets, blame and ‘punishment’ do not make for a happy working environment or one where people will go out of their way to help their colleagues or provide an even standard service for their client or end user. They aren’t measured on that so no-one really cares about the client. Team bonding, where it exists, will tend to produce a ‘bunker mentality’ which will be all about deflecting blame and trying to buck the system – because that’s what unhappy people do.

What’s needed is a focus upon the people within the business. Leading them to a place you really want them to be. Showing them what ‘good’ (maybe even excellent) looks like. Showing them that you value them as people and you truly value your clients and recognise that an amazing service to the client produces more business for the business! As Sir Richard Branson says,

“Don’t think what’s the cheapest way to do it or the fastest way to do it. Think what’s the most amazing way to do it!”

“A company is people. Employees want to know – am I being listened to or am I a cog in the wheel? People really need to feel wanted.”

So, if you’re recognising that the bunker mentality might be taking hold in your business and there may be a few tin hats and flak jackets being worn or if you feel that perhaps it’s all become about targets it’s probably time to do something about it.

Transforming Performance can help with our Accelerate Your Business™ and Accelerate Solo™ programmes. We help Leaders like you to review where you are and help you to do the things which will help you to lead people in a more empathetic and positive way. Or, perhaps you’ve not really thought about how your behaviours impact people before and are beginning to realise you need to develop your people approach.  We can help. Give us a call on 01722 484155 or email us at [email protected].

We’d love to hear from you. We’d love to hear your challenges and what approaches you may have tried, or be thinking of trying, to improve your LEADERSHIP for your company or your part of the company. Email us on [email protected]  and share your stories with us. Go on. You know you want to

Jan Sargent is co-Director with Julie Hutchison of Transforming Performance, a consultancy which provides businesses with expert support in Leadership coaching, Team Development and Performance coaching, Executive coaching, Mentoring, Training and Behavioural Profiling and help in getting the best from you and your people. If you’d like to have a chat and a coffee to discuss how we can help you, we’d love to talk. Call us on:

01722 484155

07770 904179 & 07947 823842

[email protected] ; [email protected]

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