Create a Great Culture
Culture is a compass for the organization.
Use culture and core values to guide people-practices and decision making.
Company culture is the guiding set of ideas and norms agreed upon and enacted daily by the entire organization. It drives success by shaping behavior, decision-making, and people-practices.
Strong organizational cultures are informed by core values. A central task of leadership is to develop your core values and make sure everyone in your organization is clear about what they mean and how to apply them.
Great cultures take shape when leaders:
- Define and communicate the values of the organizations;
- Train and develop employees, especially newcomers, about the core values;
- Enact workplace practices that consistently reflect the company’s values.
Three Resources for Creating a Strong, High-Performing Culture
CEO Tom Walter faced losing his most promising young employees because of his command and control leadership. He asked his team members to transform the company. Here is how they did it.
Strong cultures are built around great people. Hear how one company uses the right questions to screen for culture fit, then trains and incentivizes to reinforce a strong, compassionate culture.
Repetition, simplicity, authenticity, and story-telling take a culture from paper to reality. Find four lessons from the remarkable companies featured in our ROV research in this short article.
LEARN MORE ABOUT BUILDING A GREAT CULTURE
Your reputation is the foundation on which your profits are built. No one knows this more than CEO C. Richard Panico, of the consulting group Integrated Project Management (IPM). IPM’s sterling reputation is the driver for their remarkable, consistent growth. In this short video, part of the Return on Values research project, Panico and his […] → Continue Reading Leading the Way: How Honesty & Integrity Drive Long-Term Growth
A few years ago, our Center conducted a small study to identify the values publicly held by companies on the Fortune 500 list. We found a wide range, and yet also a significant amount of overlap. Frequently cited values included: That’s a great list. It’s an inspiring list. It’s also a long list. It would […] → Continue Reading Getting Clear about Culture: Four Lessons from Remarkable Companies
Team members at Blue Plate Catering are clear on their calling –as you’ll hear them say repeatedly, they’re “Just happy people making people happy.” With that kind of mantra, it’s no surprise CEO Jim Horan is leading a successful company. Find out how in this video. Watch this video with your senior leadership team, then use […] → Continue Reading Happy People Making People Happy: One Company’s Recipe for Success
Much has been written about achieving work-life balance, but we all know the truth: sometimes life just runs right over the top of work. Family emergencies happen, relationships end, and health concerns hit hard – making it impossible for a person to focus on their work, at least in the short-term. By law companies provide […] → Continue Reading The Many Benefits of Kindness
“Coming to work here was like being able to breathe for the first time,” said one New Belgium employee. The company embraces individuality and encourages employees to be themselves; the result is a financially successful workplace with a culture that abounds in trust and diversity. How to use this video: Watch this video with your […] → Continue Reading Bring Your Self to Work: How Embracing Individuality Builds Trust & Drives Results
How to Buy Top Talent “Boy, he really married up.” It’s a refrain we’ve all heard, or uttered, sometimes in jest – as a jabbing compliment to a lucky young man – or sometimes in befuddlement –spoken in wonder at an unlikely partnership. In either case, the message is clear: you’re looking at someone who […] → Continue Reading How to ‘Marry Up’: Hiring and Retaining Talent that’s Out of Your League (Part 1)
When my children were young, family vacations were often spent at campgrounds within national parks, where one rule prevailed: leave the campsite better than you found it. The idea, of course, is to respect the natural environment by not just picking up your own trash, but by picking up rubbish others have left behind as […] → Continue Reading The Campsite Theory of Firing
Is it possible to be both data-driven and people-focused? The leaders at Service Express, a national data center maintenance firm, believe it is. They explain the three pillars of their results-focused culture in this short video, part of the Return on Values (ROV) research project. How to use this video: Watch this video with your […] → Continue Reading Three Pillars of a People-Focused, Results-Driven Culture
We’re Speaking the Same Language, but We Still Need a Translator: Three Ways to Get Clear about Values
In business, it is easy to speak the same language and still need a translator. The problem isn’t that the words aren’t understood; it’s that the underlying meaning is missed. My colleague Dr. Richard Boyatzis, from Case Western Reserve University, shares a perfect illustration of this. He tells the story of being in a classroom […] → Continue Reading We’re Speaking the Same Language, but We Still Need a Translator: Three Ways to Get Clear about Values
My wife Beverlee and I have been married for nearly three decades; I have to tell you – we got lucky. Through a lot of trial and error and forgiveness, we’ve stumbled onto a way to make our relationship work. No one sat us down, in our early twenties, and said, “Here’s the way to […] → Continue Reading Stumbling onto the Best Ways to Create Culture
No matter how hard you work to hire the right people, every leader eventually finds it necessary to let an employee go. The way in which you fire an underperforming or poor culture-fit employee reflects greatly on your character as a leader and the values of your company. In this short video, part of the […] → Continue Reading Decision Day: How to Fire with Dignity & Respect
Think about the last time you needed to use a screw-driver to turn a nail. Did the phrase, “lefty loosey, righty tighty” come to mind? Phrases we’ve heard repeated and used in action a dozen times over become ingrained in our brains, so they help guide our actions and shape our decisions. This theory is […] → Continue Reading Use Your Core Values to Drive Decision Making: Here’s How …
How to Build & Retain Top Talent In our previous blog post in this series, we covered how to buy top talent. For small and mid-size businesses, getting rockstar executives – the kind of leader who can confidently guide you to the next level – comes at a price tag. When big budget salaries aren’t […] → Continue Reading How to ‘Marry Up’: Hiring and Retaining Talent that’s Out of Your League (Part 2)
When an HR recruiter screens an applicant for BerylHealth, she almost always starts with one simple question: Define compassion. And then she waits in silence until the applicant responds. Because Beryl executives believe culture fit is the most important aspect in determining a candidate’s potential success with the organization, the applicant’s response reveals a lot […] → Continue Reading The Secret Sauce: Hire, Train, and Incentivize for Culture Fit
For more on how to hire differently, see “How to Marry Up: Hiring & Retaining Top Talent that’s Out of Your League” – part 1 and part 2. Special thanks to our friends at Red Caffeine Marketing, for the design of this infographic.
“We don’t like command and control. Change the way you lead, or we’re leaving.” That was the strong message that CEO Tom Walter of Tasty Catering heard from his company’s high potential team members. “Change to what?” was his response. Over the next few months the Chicago-based catering company created an innovative, team-based culture that […] → Continue Reading How to Build a People-Centered Culture from the Ground Up