You may know the old marketing adage about The Rule of 7. The concept is that someone has to hear a message seven times before they will take action and buy whatever you’re selling.
I’m guessing it actually is more than seven times in today’s distracted world, but for now, let’s just go with seven.
I invite you to think about this concept beyond just selling a product or service. I want you to think about it from the perspective of a parent, coach, department head, teacher, pastor, board chair or anyone else trying to anchor important messages or teachings for a group of any kind.
Captain Obvious would tell us that you can’t say something once and expect it to stick. You can’t just put a poster on the wall and say, “I told you so.” You can’t just send out one memo or email to the team and then cross it off your to-do list. You can’t just say it once at your annual meeting and expect it to live and breathe within your people every other day the rest of the year.
You’ve got to practice The Rule of 7 to anchor the important messages in your culture. Over and over again.
For example, I often help organizations look at their onboarding experience and put more intentional anchors within their culture.
If you only had five messages you could share with a new team member, what are the top five messages or stories you must share with them about the culture you’re trying to create?
What’s your plan to anchor those messages seven different times in their first ninety days on the job?
The best cultures anchor their values and vision for the future within every element of their organizational story. They support the messages individually and collectively. They take individual one-time actions and develop them into habits that slowly become “the way we do it here.”
Many small, intentional actions over time.
Jason V. Barger is a globally celebrated keynote speaker, leadership coach and author of Thermostat Cultures, Step Back from the Baggage Claim and ReMember. He is founder of Step Back Leadership Consulting, a Columbus-based company that works with businesses and organizations worldwide. Connect via email at jason@JasonVBarger.com or on social media at @JasonVBarger.
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