A cursory google search for quotes about “today” is filled with such optimistic hyperbole that it starts to feel somewhat trite. “Today is the first day of the rest of your life.” “Make your someday today.” Or the simple “Today is a good day.” Ernest Hemingway is quoted as saying, “Today is only one day in all the days that will ever be. But what will happen in all the other days that ever come can depend on what you do today.” Fair point, Mr. Hemingway.
When it comes to attracting and retaining top talent, many companies acknowledge the concept that culture is paramount. The challenge that faces those companies is in being willing to turn the bright spotlight on, stand in front of the mirror and acknowledge The Gap. Not the trendy clothing brand but the actual GAP between who you say you are and who you really are. That gap. The companies that see the gap, hold themselves accountable to closing that gap, and invite others to call them out on it when they fail, have the best opportunity to begin to provide an authentic cultural experience.
This gap exercise is essential for three reasons:
Your prior team members know all about that gap and have no reason to protect it. Your current team members also know about the gap and although they may give the ‘right’ answers, they feel the dissonance. Finally, your brand-new team members that you spent countless dollars and hours attracting will know the gap before the first week is over.
Close the gap. Invite candid feedback. Ask the uncomfortable questions. Listen and learn.
a good the best day for leaders everywhere to start living up to your company’s values and culture. Goodbye gap.