I’ve seen projects that are run by project managers who are great at administering their plans but fall short in their people skills. I can’t help but feel this is a reflective microcosm of their organization’s greater culture. As CEO Patrick Whitesell once said, “You can have all the right strategy in the world, but if you don’t have the right culture, you’re dead.” I couldn’t agree more. Like most everything else in business, having a great culture begins with leadership. Culture reflects the values, goals, and shared purpose of the organization. Your culture includes your greater mission and how it permeates every aspect of the employee experience, which inevitably affects customer and partner satisfaction.
Having the right culture means that your messaging and actions related to your company’s values consistently align so that team members trust leadership and the direction of the company. Ideally, the values set by the organization attract like-minded individuals who buy into the greater cause of your business. Companies with good cultures have a strong sense of purpose and disciplined boundaries that are clear and based on collective optimism. Basically, if you win, I win, and we all win. It’s an all for one, one for all mentality, where there is an undeniable team cohesion that resonates through the entire organization.
Without a culture, you are rudderless, purposeless, and essentially lost. Having a culture that is based on serving the greater good, as well as the individual associate is one of the best ways to ensure cultural acceptance. This can be quite the balancing act and requires constant monitoring as well as nurturance. Great cultures don’t just happen. They require conscious effort and a strong desire to have something special. Having a great culture not only helps you attract the best talent; it helps you retain that talent. Remember, how a company treats its people impacts everything for better or worse.