Measure of success?
The Cole Haan moment.

Written by: Tim McCleary, Chief Experience Officer

Think back to your first job. I mean your first real job – the one that was in your chosen field. Didn’t it seem like there was an endless flood of things to learn and master?

My first career position was in television. Each morning, I’d walk under the massive NBC peacock logo on my way into the network’s main building, experiencing impostor syndrome. Was today the day they’d discover that this kid from Toronto didn’t belong in Hollywood?

Maybe that’s not entirely fair. I was a solid writer and had worked globally as a photographer prior to being offered this job. I had the skill to craft creative publicity copy and arrange photo shoots to promote our comedy and drama programming – but still, a fish so far out of water, there wasn’t a drop in site.

To offset that feeling, I set a goal for myself. Once I’m “successful” at this, I’ll buy a nice pair of Cole Haan shoes (something that was financially out of reach at the time, but symbolic).

I call this the Cole Haan Moment.

Shifting an organization’s culture is significantly more difficult than the challenges I faced in my first job. But, it still requires a means by which to gauge progress. So, what’s your measure of success? What’s your Cole Haan Moment?

Among the many things to look for, here are three indicators that your intended change has been successful:

More than an act
Behavior change can be observed. Are your people thinking and acting in new ways, based on their new understanding and support of the business strategy and mission?

It’s in the script
Values are a powerful way to guide behavior. When well-crafted, they can instill a sense of organizational purpose. Are your values clearly understood, lived and part of the employee experience from Day One?

Audience participation
Pulse surveys can provide evidence of change. But, one-on-one dialogues can provide additional depth that surveys, alone, cannot. Are you having a third party ask probing questions and listen without bias?

Oh, and back to that personal success goal. Did I ever buy a pair of Cole Haans? I’m wearing one of my favorite pair right now.

Thanks for being involved today.

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