Monday, June 20, 2011

Leadership and Culture

I work with numerous leaders. One common topic in the first six months of this year has been culture. Developing one, enhancing one, changing one....culture becomes top of mind when companies are in start-up, some cultures simply evolve. Some are deliberately developed and some are deliberately changed based on the needs of the business and it's development. (If you want to read a great culture story, check out Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh from!)

The leaders that focus on culture can see that culture is the direct outcome or output of their mission and values (those of the company too). It is how activity takes place, how relationships start and a built, how all decisions are measured....."does it match our culture?"

So why is it that leaders in emerging companies are only just now recognizing that they actually hold the keys to culture or perhaps better said, the tools to sculpt the culture?  To me this is leadership 101. Build the business with the mission and values that are displayed in the culture.

Organizations shifting priorities or specialities or niches need to take the culture and help it adapt to the new priority. Shifting a culture is about changing the processes and interactions of people. Not easy, but can be done. It takes a measured plan, key outcomes that can be measured and of course a lot of leading by example.
How has your organization evolved over the last few years?
What culture shifts have occurred or are you spotting that need to take place?
As the leader, what are you waiting for?

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