Leaders Must Create the Needed Culture
Excerpt from Change the Culture, Change the Game
by Roger Connors and Tom Smith
Either you manage your culture, or it will manage you. In our work, we continually meet people, at every level of the organization, who get batted around by their company's culture. Their culture undermines their attempts to get the results they want. They long for stronger customer focus, but they can't get it. They desire diversity, but they can't create it. They appreciate the need for regulatory compliance, but they can't attain it. They plan for growth, quality, productivity, and profitability , only to end up disappointed by a lack of performance. When the culture is not working, it poses a formidable obstacle to achieving results.
Every company has a culture. That culture either came about as the result of a methodical effort to build it, or it has developed willy-nilly, for better or worse. Whether it arose from a deliberative process or not, you must ask yourself one all-important question: If everyone in the organization continues to think and act in the same manner as they do today, can you expect to achieve the results you need to achieve? Overwhelmingly, organizational leaders answer this question with a resounding, "No! We must shift the way we think and act!"
Will your culture produce the results you've promised? Will it deliver the results you need in the future? If you don't think it will, then changing the culture is not an option, it is an imperative; and you need to begin doing it now. As an organizational leader, you must take the initiative. You might be tempted to appoint a "chief culture officer," but that would just rob the leadership team of one of its most vital responsibilities. Culture does not change in a "one and done" event, nor is it something you can relegate to your Human Resources department. From long years of experience, we know that the leadership team must shoulder the responsibilities of shifting culture. Developing the leadership competency to accelerate the change effectively and then sustain the culture over time is the never-ending role of leadership. You can exclude no one. Culture building will and must involve every single leader in your organization.