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Culture of Dreams

Simon and his team at Admiral were building a culture of dreams. The notice board in the employee lunchroom, which used to be splattered with the kind of mundane announcements you find on most notice boards, was now covered with photos and other evidence of dreams achieved.

Each month, when the employees came to headquarters to meet with their Dream Manager, they were encouraged to stop by and check out what was happening in the lives of other employees.

The executive team had been having a series of meetings to discuss a new bonus system.

It had been eleven quarters since the birth of the Dream Manager Program, and profits every quarter had steadily increased. Greg had been pouring money back into the program, but nowhere near as much as the profits had been increasing, and now he wanted to give back to the employees in some way.

“I don't want this to be a one-time thing,” Greg said to the team. “I want us to create a structure whereby a percentage of increased profits will go to the employees every year.”

“What did you have in mind?” Simon asked.

“Well, I was thinking we could do three things. First, an across-the-board pay increase for all employees. Next, I thought an annual bonus system based on company and personal performance. In this case, we could allocate a certain amount to each team or department, based on profit, and they could decide how to divide it among themselves. Finally, I would like to start a Dream Fund. A percentage of profits each quarter will go into this fund. Each employee can apply for a grant from this fund for the fulfillment of a specific dream. The managers and employees can vote to say who gets the grants. We could assign categories, perhaps $500, $1,000, and $2,500 to begin with.”

The team was taken aback by the thoughtfulness Greg had put into his proposal, further evidence that he was a changing man.

When Greg had finished, Sean stood up and started clapping. One by one, the rest of the team joined him. Greg was embarrassed, but each of the people in that conference room knew that he didn't have to do this.

The Dream Bonuses and pay increases were, needless to say, a huge hit with the employees, and they provided yet another injection of enthusiasm. Anyone who thought this was going to be a passing fad was now convinced that the Dream Manager Program was here to stay.

The dreams of the employees became more and more public, and this intimacy bred an even stronger sense of team unity.

As the Dream Bonuses were awarded, the recognition stimulated other employees' imaginations and the natural progression of dreams began to set in. Those who had begun with only the smallest of dreams on their list now started to dream bigger dreams. As employees achieved some of their dreams, their confidence grew, and they added even more ambitious dreams to their Dream Lists at the monthly sessions with their Dream Manager.

The recognition inspired others to action.

Something entirely new had been created. In the past, companies had been organized around cultures of hard work, excellence, billable hours, and technology. Other companies had made their mark with cultures defined by being ruthless, cool and edgy, or relaxed and fun. Now, one company had organized around a culture of dreams, and the results were extraordinary.

All of this began to awaken the realization that in a culture where dreams come true, there is no limit to the enthusiasm you can harness or the things you can achieve.

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