An organization’s culture is an extension of its Value Proposition. If the Value Proposition is the answer to the question, “why should anyone do business with you, ever?” then culture is the methodology that is used to come up with that answer.
You should be aiming to create a culture of fun, innovation, creativity, and inclusion. More organizations are realizing the importance of a strong culture. There is plenty of evidence of that. Indeed, some of the most successful companies on the planet enjoy that level of success precisely because of the cultures they’ve created. I think of Southwest Airlines, Zappos, and yes, even Facebook.
There are a few steps to take when creating and implementing specific culture. These include:
Senior Buy-In – these efforts must be supported from the top-down. If that support doesn’t exist, it’s a moot point.
Employee Buy-In – the employees must be motivated to include themselves in the culture. If there are employees that can’t or won’t get “on the bus,” they either need to be better trained or separated from the organization. Just a few bad apples can spoil the whole effort.
Customer Attraction – those people whom the organizations serve must be excited by the culture. It should encourage them to do even more business and to refer others to do business. People enjoy flying Southwest Airlines. It’s (for the most part) a pleasant experience. The culture there plays a large part in that attraction. It’s a big reason why Southwest is the largest domestic carrier. I fly other airlines all the time as well. But I couldn’t tell you what the culture is at United or American Airlines. Southwest makes it a point to TELL ITS CUSTOMERS all about their culture – at every possible turn. That’s why it’s so successful!
There are 4 key tasks associated with implementing culture:
Training – employees need to learn HOW to do it YOUR way. (Think of the intense training Disney has for its employees.)
Encouragement – the employees need to be continually encouraged to play an active role and they should be rewarded in some way.
Measurement – efforts should be analyzed and measured on a continuous basis.
Revise – if changes are necessary, they should be made and implemented.
Obviously, this just scratches the surface.
What are your thoughts on culture? Share them below and let’s get a conversation started.
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