Creating Culture

A leader’s job is to create and maintain a culture that is nurturing and that breeds success.

Cultures are developed through the acting out of principles on a consistent basis. This makes choosing the correct principles a vital part of the creation of a culture or the transformation of a culture.

Selecting the right principles is arguably a leader’s most important task. Implementing them can be the hardest job a leader must face, particularly if there is a great deal of resistance from people. Principles can be morally and ethically based e.g. honesty and integrity in all dealings. However, they can also be ethics-neutral e.g. punctuality and a commitment to always undercut competitor pricing.

The point is, you as a leader are responsible for creating the culture in your organisation by choosing principles that people can buy into. Staff selection becomes a big part of this as you must hire the type of people who are on page with your objectives. Casting vision is also vital. If you see your business as a certain size and others see it much smaller, even their keen adherence to your principles will not redress the deficit in expectation levels.

Your organisation is a product of your incubation. Incubating a culture is never easy but the rewards can be stratospheric. The thing you must remember is that this is done intentionally. You cannot be passive about creating a culture because if you are, the culture you end up with will be dragged down by those in your team who are the least capable, the least committed and the least energetic.

Creating a culture means just that. It requires proactivity and constant attention. In old fashioned terms, it means being a buck-stops-here boss. And if it isn’t going how you like it, you must have the fortitude to demand the standards you have set. Assuming, of course, that you have in mind a culture of excellence. Mediocrity needs no application.

The job can be even tougher if you have inherited a culture that is mired in negativity and limitation. Or one based on irrelevant and creativity-stifling tradition. Your task then is to kick over sacred cows and that can put a lot of noses out of joint. Needless to say, where you are absolutely prevented from bringing transformational change by institutionalised intransigence, it is time to get out and look for a project where you can build a culture of excellence.

Society needs leaders at every level and in every area. Those leaders who will truly bring much-needed change are ones who know exactly what culture they would like to inculcate and maintain.

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