I live in Texas and everyone has an idea of what “culture” means in Texas. It’s all “big, cowboy, line dancin’ and oil rich”. That one is easy. But do you know what the culture of your company is? …probably not.
As a seasoned consultant, I’ve visited hundreds of companies and always ask, “What is the culture around here?” The answer is never simple. I search for companies which embody a culture of success. Think about Real Estate: ReMax, Century21, etc. When is the last time you contracted one of their agents to show you a new home? Did she arrive to pick you up in a BMW, Lexus, Mercedes or similar? Or did he arrive in a beat up old junker with a hole in the floorboard? No need to answer. When you met them, you were probably impressed with image, knowledge and history of success. That’s what builds a culture; people who understand that success is not an option.
Employees often tend to believe that “culture” is directed from the top. Many CEO’s struggle with developing a culture within the organization and I understand the challenge. Sometimes we just make things too hard. Think about traveling to London or Paris or Rome. You can probably easily identify the culture by meeting with the people. Seldom will you have the opportunity to meet with their Governments. So who drives culture? The citizens.
When you think about the culture of your organization, keep in mind that it is driven by the people who work for you. When they are gratified, happy and passionate, they tend to develop a culture which exudes success. When they are struggling, micro-managed and living under the auspices of fear, the culture devolves into something entirely different.
Simple solutions are easy choices. Celebrate success; hire the passionate, build a positive vibe. The culture of your organization is determined by the passion of your people. It’s not you, it’s me!