DISCUSSION TOPIC: Five Steps to Build a Winning Corporate Culture
In a recent article in Convenience Store Decisions magazine (http://www.csdecisions.com/article/3218/five-steps-to-build-a-winning-corporate-culture.html), Gary Bradt discusses his views on creating a winning company culture:
Some leadership teams attempt to create culture by acting as wordsmiths, spending untold hours carefully crafting vision, mission and values statements. That’s unfortunate, because in the end culture is not created by words plastered on the wall or carried around on laminated cards, but rather culture is defined by actions on the ground.
A winning company culture is simple and emphasizes three areas: serving the customer, growing the business, and developing employees. A losing culture is confusing and complex, places customer needs behind those of the company, and emphasizes personal gain over team achievement.
The author goes on to describe a “simple” 5 step process for creating a winning culture.
Discussion questions: Do you agree with the premise that creating a winning culture is simple? Do you think most company leaders are able to define what their organization is all about without outside help?
This is an incredibly critical topic and I am not surprised by the outpouring of opinions. Culture building is never easy, although the process the author describes is certainly straight-forward. The visioning process is necessary, in that it forces leaders to pause long enough to articulate the company story and their own stories; a process which uncovers core values that eventually turn into vision/mission statements and the rest. Until the leaders go through this process, many stumble through their interactions with each other and subordinates never realizing the impact their actions have on the culture.
The visioning process must involve all leadership levels and as many key front line employees as possible so everyone feels a part of the process. Understanding the story of the company, the values represented by that story, and how each employee’s actions impact the story are all critical elements. Once complete, the success of the process long term depends on how leaders’ behaviors do or do not link to the vision/mission, and how people who violate the values are handled.
Finally, the visioning process is never truly finished, as our retail world is ever-changing and companies must constantly evaluate how their story fits in with the changing individual customer and employee stories.
It’s a hard process, but energizing and exciting!
Mike Osorio, your Dare to be Contagious! TM strategist
GO TO THE FULL DISCUSSION AT RETAILWIRE.COM:
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