I love the word culture. After all, companies like Google and Amazon are known for the culture their company permeates.
But how does an organization create a culture when one has never been defined? It’s difficult because there’s a culture that’s evolved since no one stepped up to direct the culture.
Because we all have a whether you realize it or not. For some of us it’s intentional: community, significance, being heard, valuing gifts, honoring others, celebrating, etc. But also what we don’t do creates culture as well: we don’t engage in conflict, we don’t manage our time well, we don’t plan for future, we don’t celebrate or have fun, etc. What we don't do still creates an infrastructure that supports our bad behavior.
For us visionaries, you can have a good mission but a bad culture will devour your mission. Culture is what your environment shows you value and values make your decisions for you. Those decisions drive your mission forward which proves the point that bad culture leads to bad direction. It’s now your duty to create the culture you want.
If culture is important, how do we create a good culture for our family, community, work, etc?
HOW TO BE A CULTURE CREATOR:
Model it first.
You have the power to shape the culture. To do so, you must model the behavior you want seen. This means acting the way you want others to act. This means doing the things you want done, done.
If you value being on time then be on time. If you value passion, then be passionate. If you value honesty then be honest. If you desire a praying church then be someone who prays often. You set the tone as the leader. So start with your immediate relationships, your department at work, your family and work from there.
Hire those to make a cultural impact: Hiring others or adding volunteers to join your team or organization can impact your leadership culture.
Seek out team members who fit the mold of the culture. Avoid those who do not fit with the way you want your organization to be. Hire your weaknesses with the hopes that their values will be instilled into your organization and inspire you and others to emulate.
Mentor team members: You can shift the culture by taking younger team members under your wing. Show them the ropes and gently guide them in the direction you want them to go.
By mentoring your team members, you can show them authenticity and instill values in those moments. Plus you get buy-in from the group as they learn more about you as you are transparent.
Share the wins: Something great happens when you share wins and give others the credit. Whether it’s bringing in new congregants, creating a project together or advancing in your ministry, be willing to spread the love around.
Give examples of how different team members helped bring the organization to the next level.
You’ll see your staff begin to pull together because they realize their efforts are being recognized. That’s good for culture!
Create a chance to grow: Your culture probably wants to see your team grow. You want to see them expand their knowledge, take on new challenges, and succeed.
This requires giving them a chance to grow.
Offer opportunities to:
Get a higher education
Step into a new leadership role
Learn something new
Accept a challenge
When your team grows, your organization grows. Let your team know you’re behind their desire to learn!
Good culture doesn’t happen. It takes hard work from everybody.
Be willing to step forward and lead the way.
Question: How do you shape the culture within your family, community or organization?