As leaders, we are always looking for ways to create a “great corporate culture.” Whether in a business, ministry, not for profit, or small start up, creating culture is key to a healthy and successful organization.
Tons of books have been written on this issue, and lots of speakers and consultants would consider their theories to be the answer. The reality is, most companies don’t have great corporate culture, based on their employees responses and feedback. Creating the correct culture is a difficult task for any leader.
Organizations work hard over many years to establish a culture that fits their employees, and creates a great place to work.
In my opinion, there are several key ingredients to creating a great culture:
1. Be distinct. Your look/feel/ethos should be yours and yours alone. Make sure your brand, design, and team all are cohesive.
2. Be authentic. Create and live out your values because they are who you ARE, not because they are what or who you want to be, or who or what someone else wants you to be.
3. Believe in your product or offering. 100% belief that what you do is incredibly relevant and helpful and needed. It will drive your atmosphere and the way you make decisions, and create a strong bond with “one purpose” in mind.
4. Be attractive. Is your culture so vibrant and positive that your customers or audience is attracted by it? Do people outside of your walls talk about your culture? Do people want to join your team just to be part of what is happening?
5. Be your own customer. If you won’t buy your product or service or offering, then why would you expect anyone else to? Does a focus group of your core customer require bringing in outsiders, or simply gathering the troops?
6. Be visionary. Be about something bigger than just you and your product and organization. A contagious culture requires a perspective and “end goal” that is broader, bigger and more substantial than the next widget you’re creating.
7. Establish your style and embrace it. Similar to #1, but more specifically toward how you get things done. For example, when I was leading Catalyst, our ethos was “work hard and play hard.” That was our style. We embraced it constantly. Figuring out HOW you accomplish things as a team will help give your team a style to embrace and build.