Some leaders – especially older leaders and leaders (actually managers) within large corporations that chase quarterly results for the sole purpose of raising the share price so that their CEOs will get a bonus – still roll their eyes when I mention the word ‘culture’. And then they follow up with the comment: “Please. Spare me the bullsh** lecture on culture! It’s a bunch of consultant speak.”
What I always find amusing is that these same organizations will often hand out objectives to their managers around being recognized as one of the ‘Top Companies to Work For.’ Well… I say, maybe one of the top companies to work for if you want to be constantly subjected to performance reviews because the EBITDA numbers don’t look good. And if the quarterly EBITDA sucks, then we are going to have to go through ‘a round of human capital optimization moves’ (fancy corporate speak for employee severances).
OK, if that is you, I just described above, you can stop reading now.
Your company has a culture whether you believe in culture or not. And… if the culture is one of fear and intimidation where employees hide the truth from you as if you were the ‘Emperor that wore no clothes’, then you’ve got some work to do!
If that doesn’t describe you as a leader, or the company you work for… congratulations! You’re probably on your way to becoming a magnet for attracting and retaining top talent and building a ROI on that talent that has been proven through studies going back 20-years to outperform in terms of revenue, profit and share price every stock index on the planet.
Anytime you have more than one person in an organization you will have a culture. Fortunately, culture can be built by design. And, I truly believe that culture is potentially your number one competitive advantage in the marketplace today.
How then do you build a culture by design? Here’s a simple starter list:
Culture will happen regardless, if you create it or not. And, as I once told the CEO of a company that had a dysfunctional culture; “You get the culture you deserve.”
Robert Murray is a Vancouver, BC based Business Strategy Consultant, #1 Best Selling Author, International Keynote Speaker, and TEC Top Speaker of the Year for 2018. For further advice, insight and inspiration on how to unlock your inner leader, connect with Robert on LinkedIn.
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