Everyone talks about culture. It makes headlines of the major media outlets. It’s on the agenda of executive teams' meetings. Top of mind for Human Resources function. Key focus for all sorts of consultancies. And yet, in spite of all this hype (or is it because of it?), there are still plenty of misconceptions about it.
Here’s a big one:
There's a recipe for a winning culture
Type “winning culture” into Google and you’ll discover that there are plenty of ideas and resources on how create it.
Over 5,600,000 to be precise.
From “The Defining Elements of a Winning Culture” to “Want a Winning Culture? Follow These 8 Rules”.
Easy, straightforward recipes for the kind of culture that will make your employees engaged, clients delighted and revenues to shoot through the roof. Oh, and let’s not forget - to make the world a better place!
But, here’s the thing - the winning culture doesn't exist.
There’s no formula, no recipe, no “7 key ingredients” that you can combine, heat, stir and voilà - your winning culture is ready to enjoy!
The reason for this is very simple - a winning culture for Google would be a recipe for disaster in a law firm. Or a hospital.
The “foolproof” process for creating a culture in a start-up, simply won't work in another start-up, not to mention a mature organisation.
Just like human beings, organisation are unique.Their business objectives are different, so is their history, their people, their values, and their products.
So instead of sending out the search party to discover the winning culture recipe, create your own.
Instead of asking: “What are the elements of successful culture?”, ask the truly important questions:
- “What are we here for?”
- “What do we want to achieve?”
- “How do we create value?”
- “What will make us proud?”
- “How does our culture support us in achieving all of the above?”
- "What do we have to protect and cultivate further?", and finally:
- “How will our culture need to evolve to be fully aligned with our mission, vision and strategic objectives?”