John D. Rockefeller (1839-1937) is still, to this day, considered to be the richest American of all time. It’s stunning when you think about it. Here’s a man who’s been dead for almost 90 years, and, when adjusted for inflation, even the likes of Bill Gates and Elon Musk continue to look up to him.
But how did Mr. Rockefeller reach these lofty heights? He was the founder of the Standard Oil Company, and at one point he controlled about 90 percent of the United States’s oil supply. As founder and CEO of SOC, Rockefeller created 10 habits, aptly named the “10 Rockefeller Habits,” for his business to follow. This list continues to be popular among companies today. So, what are these famous habits, and why should you implement them in your business?
1. The Executive Team is Healthy And Aligned
The first Rockefeller Habit outlines the importance for the executive team to be united in the company vision. It also calls for monthly training and weekly meetings wherein executives participate in open, honest, discussions without fear of personal feelings getting in the way.
Having a team dedicated to the company goal and working together with familiarity and trust will only benefit your business in doing what needs to be done. You won’t get far if the people working together in your company are distrustful of each other.
2. Everyone Is Aligned With The #1 Thing That Needs To Be Accomplished This Quarter To Move The Company Forward
This one goes hand in hand with the previous point, but it’s a bit more specific. Not only is your team united about the company’s overall goals, but they’re aware of the most important thing that needs to be done for the current quarter.
If it’s tough to narrow a list of big tasks down to a single #1 Thing, then the team can work together to rank the list of tasks they have before them in order of importance. Frequent discussion via the aforementioned weekly meetings can go a long way to getting this done.
3.Communication Rhythm Is Established And Information Moves Through The Organisation Quickly
In Rockefeller’s day, a communication rhythm included, in addition to the weekly meeting, a daily “huddle” of up to 15 minutes, executive and middle managers meeting monthly, and a quarterly meeting between the same two parties to go over the company’s strategy, execution, people, and cash.
What would Rockefeller have done with the potential of Email and messenger platforms like Slack? Today’s world has people communicating faster than ever before, although how much accuracy is involved in our day-to-day communications is up for debate. Hopefully, any business you’re a part of has competent communication to avoid any misunderstandings and missed deadlines.
4. Every Facet Of The Organisation Has A Person Assigned With Accountability For Ensuring Goals Are Met
In short, this is about making sure your business is being run with competence. Your business should always have the right people doing the things that they’re most suited for correctly.
Note the “a person” part of the habit, indicating that it’s just one individual who is held accountable. Even if that person is the leader of a team, they themselves are held accountable for whatever happens. In this way, you don’t have too many chefs spoiling the broth.
5. Ongoing Employee Input Is Collected To Identify Obstacles And Opportunities
Habit No. 5 outlines the importance of keeping in touch with your employees. Managers should sit with their employees weekly to discuss what’s going right and what’s getting in the way of any ongoing duties.
Keeping in touch with your employees is important. They are, after all, the cogs in your great, big machine.
6.Reporting And Analysis Of Customer Feedback Data Is As Frequent And Accurate As Financial Data
Managers should have a conversation with at least one customer every week at the end of the fourth quarter, the findings of which are then shared by the executives at their weekly meeting. If your employees are able to talk to customers too, then all the better.
Just as Rockefeller encourages keeping up to date with your employees, he also suggests you do the same with your customers. Your customers are a treasure trove of data that you can use to further the success of your business, so why not see what they have to say?
7. Core Values And Purpose Are “Alive” In The Organisation
All employees should know what their company’s values are, and they should be able to articulate what the company’s purpose is. Executives should reward and reprimand employees in accordance with their company’s values.
This is similar to the idea of being aligned. In addition to being aligned in what your company is aiming for externally, what are the things your company values internally? If you have a written set of values, is it clearly felt throughout your business?
8. Employees Can Articulate The Key Components Of The Company’s Strategy Accurately
“What does your company do?”
This one is self-explanatory. If your employees don’t know what they’re doing or how they’re doing it, then how are they going to do anything?
9. All Employees Can Answer Quantitatively Whether They Had A Good Day Or Week
Simply put, if your employees are the right people for the job, they know what the company stands for internally and externally, and they know what the priorities are, then this should be a simple question for your employees to answer.
If an employee didn’t have a good week, what could have caused this? Perhaps they’re not being used properly? Maybe your company’s vision isn’t clear? Outside of any personal issues, there might be something your company needs a little more of to help your employee out.
10. The Company’s Plans And Performance Are Visible To Everyone
Alignment is stressed again, and core values should be known and adhered to. If everyone knows their company’s purpose and strategy, then everyone can work toward success.
So many of the Rockefeller Habits value unity and togetherness that you can’t help but realise that a successful company is, at the end of the day, a complete team. The CEO, a middle manager, and an intern all have their roles to play, and everything should work for the good of the company.