The year was 2004.
Illinois’s Governor Rod Blagojevich came up with this idea:
To mail one book a month to every child in Illinois from the time they were born until they entered kindergarten.
If this sounded ambitious to you, it is.
The idea would cost the State $26 million a year.
Create the environment
Make a guess. Which do you think is a better predictor of success:
- The parent reading to the child
- The number of books a family owns
If you’d picked, “reading to the child”, you are in for a surprise.
A child who grows up in a house with 500 books spent three years longer in school than children living in households with few titles.
In other words, by creating a conducive environment at home, your child has a better chance of succeeding in school.
Create the culture
Making the leap from parenting to business, one could argue that by creating the right culture in your business can enhance your profitability:
A strong positive culture can enhance employee engagement by 30%, resulting in up to a 19% increase in operating income, and a 28% increase in earnings growth.
If that interests you, here are three things you must do:
- Decide on your values: businesses that are clear on what they stand for are more likely to attract partners of similar beliefs and that leads to high-trust dividends.
- Spell out desired behaviors: lay out the expected behaviors that are the manifestation of your business values.
- Practice, practice, practice: infuse those behaviors in your business practices, which overtime will need to creating a culture that sticks.
Before you run out to implement these, there’s one more thing you should know.
The impact of the idea by Governor Blagojevich was never know.
The State rejected it.