Don’t Be Clueless about Your Corporate Culture

January 28, 2010 - Mac Lake - Leadership

Leaders pay attention to your corporate culture because it’s more powerful than you might think. The culture of an organization is easy to ignore because it’s like breathing, it’s there, it’s who we are, it’s what we do. It exists whether we try to produce it or not.

What is corporate culture? At its most basic, it’s the personality of an organization, or simply “how things are done around here.”  Every organization has a culture and most employees can pretty accurately describe that culture in 5 words or less.  Now the scary part…what 5 words would the people in your organization use to describe your culture?  Would they choose positive words? “Our organization is Inspiring, Fun, Energetic, Focused, Results oriented.” Or would their description be more negative? “Our organization is Dull, Stressful, Lacks accountability, Complacent, Critical”.

It’s a strange paradox – the culture of the organization shapes people’s behavior and the behavior of the people shape the culture. This is why it’s essential that the leader not only be in touch with the culture but actively involved in shaping it as well. Leaders who intentionally shape their culture in a positive way are more likely to have satisfied and loyal employees, a reputation as a great place to work, high morale and fewer complaints from those they serve.

You can have a great vision, a nobel mission, a high powered team but unless you’re shaping a positive healthy corporate culture you won’t maximize the potential of your organization.  That’s why I say the leaders #1 job is shaping the corporate culture of their organization.  It’s way too important to leave to chance.
Today’s Leadership Challenge:  Write down 5 words or phrases that describe the culture of your organization.  If you’re really feeling brave ask the people in your organization to share their five words. How well does their description match your description? What does that tell you?

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Mac Lake


My passion is multiplying multipliers

4 responses to Don’t Be Clueless about Your Corporate Culture

  1. On Point! Bullseye!

  2. What is a good resource for learning how to intentionally shape a positive, healthy corporate culture? What is the most effective way to evaluate the health of our current corporate culture? THANK YOU!

  3. Great question. Marcus Buckingham wrote a book titled First Break all the Rules. It is a great book about what employees need to be fully engaged in the culture of their organization. In the book he gives 12 questions that help assess an employee’s engagement at work. This has become known as Q12 developed by Gallup. If an organization focuses on those 12 things it helps shape a positive culture where employees feel valued and fulfilled.

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  1. Mac Lake » Blog Archive » A Plan for Shaping Your Corporate Culture - February 3, 2010

    […] week I wrote a post Don’t Be Clueless about Your Corporate Culture which brought some questions and some good comments. The questions were primarily about how to […]

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