The one thing I’d like to know

How can you get a read on an organization, what really makes it tick and if it is functioning well?

For example, say you’re considering taking a new job – you want to understand how the place really functions, not just what the website looks like and what people say when they know you’re listening.

Look at all the little things, the things that are too small to specify, and see how they handle those.  How do they greet people who call on the phone, unannounced?   How do they welcome visitors?  How quickly do people walk down the hallway?  How clean is the store or the stockroom or the warehouse?  How candidly do they answer when you ask, “what do you dream about?”

If I were trying to suss out one thing to predict long-term success, one thing that would help me understand how well an organization is going to do not just today but tomorrow, I’d want to understand: are people proud to be here?  Do they treat this place like it’s their own?

If you can get that right at any sort of scale, so many other things will take care of themselves.