Deep Truths About Culture
(This is a guest post by Richard Fagerlin of Peak Solutions.)
The following four quotes are deep truths about culture. A proper understanding of each statement will help drive you, your team, and your organization to success. They also are – very tweetable.
Every organization is perfectly designed to get the results it gets.- RICHARD FAGERLIN
Looking at this quote, the one word that stands out for most leaders is RESULTS. However, if you want to impact your team or organization you must change focus from results to DESIGN. Both the good and the bad results you get are not on accident. You are perfectly designed to get the results you are getting.
If you want to change your culture, change the things that make it up. Your organization is designed to do exactly what it does.
GOOD: Evaluate your good results and determine how you got there. What of this design should you fight to keep? What do you need to replicate? What do you need to protect?
NOT SO GOOD: Evaluate the not so good results and determine how you are designed to get these results. What of the design needs changed or eliminated? What needs improved? Determine if you truly have a design failure or an execution failure. Don’t be too quick to change design. Evaluate first, make minor changes or tweaks and be committed to determining which design tweak makes a result change.
Disciplined people, in disciplined thought, taking disciplined action, create greatness.- JIM COLLINS
Good things rarely happen by accident. Those who are willing to take a purposeful, thoughtful and disciplined approach to life will achieve greatness. Focus on your highest point of contribution.
You might ask yourself, “If everything else stayed the same, what one change or area of focus would have the greatest impact right now?” Identify this one thing and commit to the disciplined pursuit of making it happen.
Discipline isn’t just about doing hard things or doing things the hard way. Discipline is about clarity, focus and intentionality. Discipline may come in the form of taking action and it may come in the form of being patient.
Culture is the sum of what you permit and what you promote. #CULTURE- RICHARD FAGERLIN
I don’t know who said this but it is true. Culture isn’t created by leaders or policies or visions or mission statements or general good will. Culture is a result of what leaders (and their teams) do.
What we do can be summed up in the things we permit (allow, support, create) and what we promote (encourage, expect, design). If you are not happy with the result of your current culture, you must examine what you are permitting and promoting and make changes to your if/then formula.
Culture isn’t something that you change, it is a result of everything that you do and it proves that what you put in is what you get out. If you want something different as an output you are going to have to change your inputs.
Don’t be upset with the results you are not getting from the work you are not doing.- RICHARD FAGERLIN
Culture is the beating heart and living soul of your team or your organization. You must nurture it and be intentional with it. If you haven’t defined what good looks like in terms of your ideal culture, how will you know if you are doing the right things to get there? Be a student of your team and of your organization. Determine the formal and informal things that account for your success and are responsible for your poor results. If you aren’t the one to focus on your culture then who will? If not now, then when?