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Goering Center news: Healthy cultures. Better bottom lines.

Register now for the Communication & Culture Institute. Sessions begin Aug. 21.

It is well documented that a company’s culture can directly impact revenue and profits — for better, or for worse. But it takes self-awareness, skill development, and above all, practice, to positively impact your bottom line. At the heart of every healthy culture are leaders who can communicate effectively. Whether you are working to transform a toxic culture, or trying to go from good to great, the Goering Center’s Communication & Culture Institute (CCI) can equip you and your team to inspire meaningful change.

“The Communication & Culture Institute gave our team the language and tools we needed to talk about the really tough issues.”

Lauren Johnson Next generation successor

CCI was designed for both family and private businesses by Perfect 10 Corporate Cultures, a Cincinnati-based organization committed to creating cultures where employees want to work and where customers want to do business. Lauren Johnson attended the institute in 2018 with her father and mother, Paul Johnson and Liz Sabo Johnson, on behalf of their family business, Cincinnati Container Inc. Lauren said of the experience, “We learned about the Communication & Culture Institute while we were attending [the Next Generation Institute]. We decided to sign up the whole management team. CCI really helped us out a lot as far as developing the language and the tools we needed to talk about the really tough issues.”

At CCI, owners, successors and leadership teams can acquire and practice the skills needed to create a performance-enhancing culture, or change the behavior that is contributing to a dysfunctional culture. Together, teams can learn how to use new tools such as charters, councils and communication plans to design an action plan.

CCI is facilitated by Jill Grear, training director for Perfect 10, as well as other communication and culture experts from the company. A veteran educator, speaker and author, Jill helps adult learners develop interpersonal skills that foster good communication, creating cultures where employees want to work and where customers want to do business.

The Communication & Culture Institute consists of six sessions and kicks off Aug. 21. Register your team or learn more here.

About the Goering Center for Family & Private Business
Established in 1989, the Goering Center serves more than 400 member companies, making it North America’s largest university-based educational non-profit center for family and private businesses. The Center’s mission is to nurture and educate family and private businesses to drive a vibrant economy. Affiliation with the Carl H. Lindner College of Business at the University of Cincinnati provides access to a vast resource of business programing and expertise. Goering Center members receive real-world insights that enlighten, strengthen and prolong family and private business success. For more information on the Center, participation and membership visit

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February 12, 2020

It’s a new year, filled with new plans, hopes, dreams and expectations. As a business owner and leader, you’ve invested the time and energy to create annual business plans, strategies and budgets, and now the hard work is behind you, right? Wrong. In reality, the single biggest factor of whether you achieve your annual plan is based on one thing: Execution. The discipline to execute and get the right things done separates great teams from good teams. Sadly, Cincinnati Bengals fans know this all too well after the 2019 football season. Well-conceived game plans don’t win football games, consistent execution does. Or as Mike Tyson said, “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.” In his book The 12 Week Year, author Brian Morgan writes, “The marketplace only rewards those ideas that get implemented. Leaders can be smart and have access to lots of information and great ideas; they can be well connected, work hard, and have lots of natural talent, but in the end, they have to execute. Execution is the single greatest market differentiator. Great companies and individuals execute better than their competition.” Organizations that consistently achieve their plans typically focus their efforts on a handful of mission-critical initiatives and break them down into bite-sized chunks. In his bestselling book, Traction, Gino Wickman refers to these shorter-term priorities as “Rocks.” The concept of rocks actually comes from Stephen Covey’s book First Things First. Picture a glass cylinder on a table. Next to the cylinder are rocks, gravel, sand and a glass of water. Imagine the glass cylinder as all the time you have in a day. The rocks are your main priorities, the gravel represents your day-to-day responsibilities, the sand represents interruptions and the water is everything else that you get hit with during your workday. By putting the big stuff in first (rocks), the daily responsibilities second (gravel), the interruptions third (sand) and then everything else (water), it all fits. Most importantly the rocks get your first and best attention to complete. A leadership team that utilizes Rocks operates in a 90-Day World as Wickman describes it; evaluating, establishing and achieving business priorities every 90 days. This exercise of giving weight to the most important things drives clarity and alignment of the leaders and the organization. Each Rock is assigned to a single person to own the responsibility for ensuring it gets done. This shorter-term agreement and focus on the most important items dramatically increases the probability of achieving the desired outcome, in turn, achieving the annual plan. Organizations that utilize the methodology in Traction, called the Entrepreneurial Operating System or EOS®, focus on just three to seven 90-day Company Rocks. Each Rock must be SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely). Leadership teams review and discuss the Rocks each week to determine whether they’re “on track” or “off track.” This creates awareness and accountability among the team so that people don’t get distracted by the day-to-day stuff and forget to focus on what’s really important. This year, consider how focusing on less might actually help you accomplish more. Break your organization’s annual plan down into prioritized, bite-sized chunks and hold yourself and your leaders accountable every week for 90 days to execute the plan.

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