In the previous blog, we introduced the four dimensions required for sustained business success — culture, people, processes, and strategy. Of these, the true magnetic north of the Leadership Compass is an organization’s culture. This is IF, and only IF, effectively executed. However, most organizations leave too much on the table in this respect based on the personalities in power, rather than a sustained focus and commitment on what is required to prevail in today’s increasingly turbulent environment. So, you are probably thinking “HOW do you build and sustain a Winning Culture?”
Our clients continually remind us that this is not a simple question. The answer depends both on understanding the elements of a Winning Culture and choosing to review, modify, and enhance those elements over time.
The three elements that interact to create a Winning Culture are the organization’s vision, mission, and values. The Vision provides a compelling image of what the desired future ‘end state’ of your organization looks like IF achieved. As such it inspires people and energizes the passions toward inner motivations as greatness, betterment, and/or enrichment.
It is interesting that in recent decades, organizations have experienced multiple transformations to their vision in response to the changing marketplace. One of the most fascinating developments has come through the acquisition of small companies by mega-corporations. These acquisitions bring rich and exciting possibilities for the creation of new frontier products and services; products and services that the older, more comfortable, and locked-in large corporations are too slow to embrace or reject altogether. This sense of invulnerability is one of the biggest threats such an organization faces.
Similarly, many organizations have had to reinvent themselves in response to marketplace shifts. As a result, the second culture component, their Mission, describes what they provide for whom and how, and shifts out of necessity to remain viable. I have seen many examples of this throughout my career. One of my clients at Life Associates, a large player in the telecommunications industry), found they had to recast themselves as an integration services provider to remain successful as the world changed around them. One only has to look at other examples like the once powerful computer giant IBM that is now a technology services provider as a vivid example.
The third and foundational culture component in an organization’s business is Values. To be a Winning Culture organization, it must be guided by only those principles required for its survival and success. Unfortunately, throughout my career, I have not found this to be true. Instead, even corporations I have worked with that were among the ten largest in the Fortune 500 had too many values, ones that were not essential, not operationally defined for producing key business results, or did not serve all of those key stakeholder groups required for its sustained success.
In both my academic research and applied work, I’ve discovered 11 key actions that provide the ‘road map’ for a Winning Culture. I am glad to share those findings with you. For a free copy of this Winning Culture Road Map, send me an email at email@example.com.
Dr. Michael O’Connor is a recognized practical visionary and problem-solving author, consultant, coach, and mentor focused on winning performance. He is the creator of the Optimal Business Performance Model and author and co-author of many resources, including the best-selling ‘Winning Culture’ book, MANAGING BY VALUES as well as THE LEADER WITHIN, GPS FOR SUCCESS, and PEOPLE SMART. He is the founder of Life Associates, The Center For Managing By Values, O’Connor Associates, and their current successor company, Potentia. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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