• Corporate Culture Begins With You

    Culture is something that influences and impacts all of us.

    The workplace for many people is almost like a “second home”. In fact, for some, they might spend more consecutive hours at their workplace than they do at their actual home. As a result, the culture of our workplace is consequential to our personal success. A healthy organizational culture: made up of life giving behaviors, practices, and processes - and whether they are aligned with our personal values - impact not only how we go about our day to day professional priorities, but also our personal thriving.  

    I am invited by companies to come and reflect with them on what is being communicated by their company cultural behaviors, practices, and processes. Likewise, executive leaders themselves reach out because they feel off track with their personal behaviors, practices, and processes and how they are communicating what they value most in their careers. In both cases they feel there is a crack in how they go about processing, expressing and choosing their success – or as I like to put – “living in a way today that will help them thrive tomorrow”.

    Culture begins with choices. One of my favourite writers is C.S. Lewis who observed, “Every time you make a choice, you are turning the central part of you – the part that chooses – into something a little different than what it was before.” Mere Christianity (ed. 1960)

    The formation and prioritizing of Culture is about the choices we make and how we think, act, and interact because of them. Leaders have the responsibility to build the proper culture within their teams. They also have an individual duty to ensure their personal culture reflects the values they prioritize. It begins with a personal choice to Live for Excellence. This month on the You Can Make It So Podcast, we look at Culture – personal and professional.

    In Episode 119 we take a look at the essential choices that we make which begin to underpin our culture. These choices then lead us to express our Culture in 4 Dimensions which impact the overall performance of an organization, and also impact individually how we succeed in our own performance. Check these 4 Dimensions of Culture in Episode 120

    Both our reflection of choices, and our expression of the dimensions of culture, are more than just words. Words don’t built cultures and cultures don’t change by themselves. True culture change and success happens when these 4 Dimensions of Culture are prioritized and repeated to the point that they become ingrained into what an organization does daily and becomes common practice not only for the leader, but everyone in the organization – that is where culture excellence is found.

    However, we know that there can be delays, setbacks and what I like to call – speed bumps – before  reaching and achieving a Culture that is life giving. We discuss these in Episode 121

    Overcoming these speed bumps allows Culture to cascade. It is about changing old habits that no longer serve the best interests of all, into those that do – that takes buy in, not edicts. This is difficult when we are stressed or at the very least eagerly hungry for change.

    When working with individuals and corporate clients one of the questions is “how long will this take?”

    My honest answer is that it takes time and tremendous energy, often more than leaders thought, to reap and see the benefits of developing a healthy culture.

    If we expect to put our personal growth, or our corporate cultural growth, in the microwave and “push the popcorn button” and all will be well, then before long, when the progress is slow, we disconnect and it’s not culture that will pop but the burnt smell of dysfunction. To believe otherwise imposes a morale buster and momentum killer on the progress you are gaining and leads to second guessing.

    Leaders must be the voice of reason and standard bearer of the vision they see. It is one thing to create a buzz about culture, it another thing to cultivate a culture that embodies the core DNA of your organization so much that it leads not only to success on one year’s Profit and Loss Statement, but thriving in what counts even more as an organization – the on-going balance sheet of the people who have embraced what is your passion, your vision and your objective as a leader.

    This is why a healthy culture begins with you. Our personal growth, consistency and focus on habit growth is the rally cry we must have as we determine a personal culture we wish to be a part of, and succeed in. It is why I like to say “Goals Gain, but Habits Hold”. A healthy culture is not just a goal, it is a consistent habit.

    Not sure, what your first step should be, well try this. Be attentive to the places you go – coffee shops, restaurants, grocery stores and even offices you visit – what do you observe about their culture, about the choices they have made, the values they up hold – being aware of what you see is a hint to what you priorities, relate to, or wish you had.

    I’d love to help. At Phoenix Life Coaching Canada we work with individuals and teams helping them lead with confidence and grow in clarity. Find out more about how we can help you personally and professionally - reach out today

    Remember - Great Leaders Don't Grow Alone