Perhaps the most difficult thing you have to do as a business leader is to define your culture. Most of us are busy trying to address the multitude of daily business problems we face like sales issues, people problems, cash flow and the like. So why, given all these other hands-on challenges, is it important to address something as nebulous and abstract as culture?
If your culture is not clearly defined (and understood by all of your stakeholders), you and your people may not be able to solve the other challenges with any systematic, long-lasting success. Oftentimes, a dysfunctional culture is actually the root cause of the issues a business faces.
If you don’t know where you have been, where you are now, where you are heading and why, you are like a kite in the wind. Teams cannot be effective if they are not clear on direction and what is expected of them. Answers to these questions are at the core of cultural communication.
When one knows very clearly (be it your individual, department or company game plan) the answers to the questions in #2, strategy, structure and support are much easier to implement. Think of the culture (vision, mission, values) as the foundation of the business. Then picture the disciplinary functions (sales, marketing, engineering, service, etc.) as bricks set upon that foundation. A solid and well-designed culture makes for a solid structure.
Right decision making across the team is made much easier when everyone understands your vision, mission and values.
Culture is practical and when it is done right it can lead to competitive advantage. “Organizational Health” (an outcome of a strong and vibrant culture) has been called “The Advantage” by prominent business thinkers.
See our other free blogs for additional free information on vision, culture, leadership, recruiting, sales, and professional development and DVD/book summaries.
P.S. Culture must meet 3 criteria. Contact John M. Ruh and Associates to discuss what they are or ask us to do a one-time free, one-hour session with you and your team.