Creating a Compelling Culture Requires Intentionality and Vision

It’s time for the third session of the summer term of the 2016 GsD program – a reading survey course. Over the next few weeks, I will be listing a broad overview of some of the best literature in the field of customer service – and you will quickly see how it connects to Guest Experiences! It’s only an introduction to whet your appetite – the application to the world of Guest Experiences for churches will come in the second summer term!

2016 GsD Summer Term 1 Survey of Customer Experience Literature 201

Text: It’s My Pleasure

Author: Dee Ann Turner

Synopsis: Businesses are built by growing relationships with customers. Culture is created by the stories those relationships tell. Two of the most important differentiators of a business are its talent and culture.

Talent energized by a compelling culture will drive organizational success and provide innovative growth opportunities for both the business and the individual.

It’s My Pleasure tells powerful stories and provides practical applications on how to develop extraordinary talent able to build and/or stimulate a company’s culture.

Book Outline

The Essence of a Compelling Culture

  • Creating a Compelling Culture

Building a Team that Creates a Compelling Culture

  • Select Talent
  • Sustain Talent
  • Steward Talent
  • When You Must Say “No”
  • What You Get for What You Give

Growing a Compelling Culture Within Your Team

  • Consider Your Calling
  • Practice Servant Leadership
  • Nurture an Abundancy Mentality
  • Facilitate Opportunities
  • Leverage Loyalty
  • Cultivate Commitment
  • Foster Dreams

Engaging Guests in a Compelling Culture

  • Treat Everyone with Honor, Dignity, and Respect
  • Authentically Demonstrate “It’s My Pleasure!”
  • Make Second-Mile Service Second Nature
  • Create Remarkable Experiences

About the author: Dee Ann Turner is Vice President, Enterprise Social Responsibility for Chick-fil-A where she began her career more than 30 years ago. She previously served as the Vice President, Corporate Talent for 16 years. Her passion for people shows itself both at work – where she has helped to build the foundational tenants of talent recruitment, selection, and retention – and on the mission field where she seeks individual connection and opportunities to serve.

Additional Resources: Check out Dee Ann Turner’s website for additional resources and information, including this free Culture Assessment.

A Quick Comment: I’ve been a fan of Chick-fil-A for a long time. While living in Atlanta in the 1980s, I was fortunate to meet founder Truett Cathy several times, as well as other Chick-fil-A team members. Chick-fil-A restaurants were (and remain) a special place for my family to have a great meal in a clean environment, while being served by gracious team members.

In 2014 I was a part of a group learning experience at Hatch, Chick-fil-A’s innovation center. Earlier this year, our Guest Experience Networking group had the privilege to be the guest of Mark Cathy, a grandson of Truett Cathy and now a 3rd generation family leader in the organization. Throughout the time Mark spent with us, his enthusiasm, organizational pride, and overflowing optimism reflect the compelling culture that Dee Ann Turner writes about in It’s My Pleasure.


Truett believed that businesses are built on growing relationships with customers. Culture is created by the relationships those stories tell. Every story contributes to the shaping of an organization, and each guest and team member does not just have a story; they are a story. Understanding each other this way unites our individual differences, maximizes our strengths, and helps us to create a remarkable culture together.

 Dee Ann Turner, It’s My Pleasure


Guestology – the art and science of knowing and understanding your guests – is a term originated by Bruce Laval of the Walt Disney Company. The use of GsD (Doctor of Guestology) is my tongue-in-cheek acknowledgment that organizations that really want to understand and deliver a WOW Guest Experience need to study the best practices and principles in use today, and then adapt them to the context of their own environment.

If you didn’t get a chance to participate in the 2013 GsD Summer Reading 101 classes, you can begin reading a 10-part session here.

For more reading in the area of Guest Experiences, check out my Essential Guest Experience Library. I am always adding new resources for your learning pleasure!

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