Culture by Design

(Part 1 of 3)

When babies are borne, they come complete with their own set of fingers, toes, and, to their parents’ joy & frustration, their very own personality. So too, from the moment of conception, each business has its own culture.

The simultaneous intersection of the growth and maturation of technology with the growth and maturation of Millennials1 has led to greater diversity of many cultural attributes, e.g. age, gender, religion, social status, and sexual orientation. Interaction with people who are not like you is becoming more frequent and thus, more common and critical.

Traditional barriers that have previously kept such diverse groups separate are deteriorating which is creating a workplace that is unfamiliar to many, particularly older leaders. This revolutionary escalation of diversity, coupled with new modalities of human interaction, has never been greater nor had more impact on the workforce.

As each new individual is brought into the business “family”, diversity increases and a thorny blend of cultures can develop. Maintaining the culture you want becomes more difficult while profitability, sometimes survival, become dependent on proactively designing, building, and maintaining a culture defined by leadership.

How much time does your organization squander on people issues?

How much do those people issues cost?

Businesses consumes resources – time and money being two of the most valuable which cannot be recovered when wasted. Maximizing time and money is a perennial leadership objective. One of the most effective long-term strategies for doing so begins with culture.

When the values of a company are clearly defined, leadership has a blueprint for the culture needed to create profits and sustainability. With proper implementation and reinforcement, culture will become self-sustaining by accepting those who fit and rejecting those who don’t.

Organizational values connect action to purpose.

  • A stable culture leads to trust among staff, vendors and clients.
  • Trust allows for collaboration which creates shared success.
  • Shared success fuels enjoyment.
  • Enjoyment creates an emotional draw that results in positive morale and attracts good candidates and clients.
  • Attracting people to a business is the role of marketing.
  • Effective marketing stimulates sales.
  • Sales leads to fulfillment of purpose and all the goodies that accompany it.

Value statements are the hooks to hang your company stories on to help staff understand the importance of your values and how to apply them.

Increased focus on how people interact has created a “new normal” for behavior at work. Value statements have become the magic tool to help management implement and manage it.

Creating values statements often appears deceivingly simple. Think in terms of yin and yang. The benefits of values statements represent the brightness and growth associated with the yang. The difficult and painful process of creating and implementing values statements is represented by the shadows and wave troughs associated with the yin. In time, the initial struggles of creation are balanced by easing the daily struggles of business – the Taoist concept of balance that leads to harmony.


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