Adapted from Align: 4 Simple Steps for Leaders to Create Employee Fulfillment
Every organization has a culture. Either it is conceived and managed in order to create fulfillment for those operating in the culture, or it just happens, which means it is so much less than it could be.
There has been a lot written about culture in organizations. Here is our working definition here at Alignment Leadership:
Culture is the sum of each of your team member’s Hopes, Preferences, Traditions, Experiences and Beliefs.
This is not surface information. It’s deep. It’s who people really are when you scratch below the veneer that we all see every day. It’s what makes them tick. It’s what drives them forward and inspires them. It’s their ‘why’.
The implication of this definition? There’s no way to know these things about your team without a lot of deep conversations and really listening as you go.
Once you know your team’s Hopes, Preferences, Traditions, Experiences, and Beliefs you have to set about agreeing on a purpose, a mission. You can’t hand this down to your people and expect them to buy-in. Involve them in every aspect of determining what you as an organization are here for. If they buy into the destination they’ll be sure you all get there.
Finally, establish your guiding principles that determine HOW you are going to reach your purpose and how you will act along the way. Then, day by day refer to those principles and remind yourself about the agreed-upon purpose so that you stay on course to achieving what you set out to do.
That’s how culture is cultivated. It’s work. It’s simple, but not easy. But it is totally worth it. Once you work every day in a great culture you will never want to be anywhere else.