Owning the culture and values in your organization


What evokes the human spirit in your organization?

The relationships and behaviors in your organization drive your culture and a strong culture lets your people know they matter. At this June’s keynote and workshop session, Tom Knox, CEO of Westlake Ace taught the importance of never taking your eye off the culture and values in your organization. In his words, if no one owns that role on some level, you’re at risk for no one demonstrating behaviors that reflect the culture or the values. In his organization, he went as far as to assign a manager of culture and values because it was that important. Does the human spirit in your organization have the lift it needs from you?

Are the puzzle pieces of your teams coming together or still trying to find the right fit?

First, define what your business is to your customers internally and externally. Are you customer focused? Are you price driven? Do you strive for operational excellence? Pick one thing to excel at and define the culture and values to reflect your business’s focus. Living the defined culture and values will bring your teams together as one cohesive unit.

What are your people doing when you aren’t looking?

A strong culture lived at all levels of the organization means it happens even when your head is turned. First, ensure your culture is aligned to your personal core values and your organization’s core values. Communicate these often to all your employees and keep expectations around these values high. If your organization doesn’t currently have an owner for your core values, assign someone.
A great exercise to try right now is to write down your own core values. Then write down your organization’s core values. Finally, ask your team members what your organization’s core values are.
Evaluate the gaps and close them because your culture defines both your business and the behaviors of your teams, even when you aren’t looking.
We’d love to hear from you! Share your thoughts on how to defend the culture in your business.

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