Creating a culture of success is relatively simple in theory but hard to implement. It requires creating habits that everyone in the company adopts and then supports each other. A culture of success will look different in every organizations and yet, there are foundational habits and action steps that are the same in any culture of success.
Here are habits to implement in your organization to create your culture of success:
- Employees at all levels are open to receiving feedback, input, and advice when given well. In fact, they regularly request it from others. Most leaders, managers, and employees don’t do it well. Some people get defensive and are not open to receiving feedback. While the guidelines for receiving feedback are straightforward; thank the other person, treat the advice as a gift, direct it in the way that is most valuable to you, and focus on the issue not the person. A culture of success starts with employees at all levels being open to advice and feedback.
- Actively strive to get better. Employees want to keep getting better. They keep raising the bar and demanding the best from themselves and each other. This habit requires an organization to have attractive career paths and opportunities for growth and development.
- Be willing to conduct a deep, creative inquiry into root causes and innovative solutions. It is easy to have conversations about what’s known. It is also easy to stubbornly stick to the same position about an issue so that the issue never gets resolved; for example, no matter where you are on the political spectrum, we all can agree that the US Congress is dug in and not willing listen to each other and come up with a solution that works for everyone. In some organizations, employees roll their eyes before a colleague even speaks because they already know what he or she will say. A culture of success is about having conversations about what’s not known. It is about putting one’s position aside and having a dialogue to go beyond rigid thinking and attitudes. It challenges people to leave the past in the past; work together to create new ways of approaching problems; and balance relationships, results, and ego.
- Embrace change. Organizations are constantly changing. Embracing change allows you to stay in the present as you build the future. Seeing what worked, what didn’t, making adjustments, to continue to strive for a culture of success.
- Develop leaders to grow the organization. A culture of success is about developing new capacities in employees. New leaders keep emerging to grow the organization and supporting this culture of success, while also allowing current leaders to continue to grow and develop in the most strategic ways possible.
- Create the culture you want to have. A culture of success is only one aspect of an organization’s culture. Leadership still has to define the complete culture they want for the organization. Listen to your employees. Seek their input as you define your organizations culture.
Five action steps to create a culture of success:
- Train senior leaders and managers to be transparent, inclusive, and open to different viewpoints.
- Senior leaders need to model the behaviors they expect to see in others. Employees won’t embrace this change if you are only talking about it.
- Reward people for modeling successful behaviors, especially when they solve key issues or develop top talent.
- Use consistent reviews to assess and ensure a culture of success.
- Senior leaders must be intentional and clear about how they communicate. Otherwise, you don’t get the buy in required from employees
As with any kind of culture change, the obvious but hard truth is that senior leadership needs to embrace a culture of success and make it a priority and focus. Otherwise, none of the above action steps matter. Remember that any change takes time and requires being open to doing things different than in the past.
Reach out if you would like help in creating a culture of success in your organization.