Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Your Role In Organizational Culture

Below is an excerpt from my most recent newsletter on a leader's primary role as it relates to organizational culture.

What's My Role?

If you don't like the culture that exists in your organization there's only one person to! That may seem a little harsh, but it's true. As the leader, your primary role is to create the culture you want. You need to be willing to say, "The buck stops here."
(to read the last edition of GLGO that introduced the topic of culture, click here.)

Where do I start
Very simply, it starts with defining what you want. Too many leaders launch out to create something before they define the end product. As the old saying goes, "If you aim at nothing, you're bound to get it every time."

This takes time and hard work (thinking) and it typically doesn't come overnight. Answer these two questions:
  1. Why do we exist as an organization? This is your value proposition, or your promise to your clients.
  2. What matters most to us? These are your core values, i.e. the primary beliefs that influence the decisions you make.
Now, determine what culture would be consistent with your core values and give you the best opportunity to deliver on your promise to your clients? I encourage you to include some of your key influencers in this process so this becomes a shared vision. Read more...

Seize the day!


  1. There is an old Yiddish saying that goes something like this, "The fish always stinks at the head."
    The leader of an organization can decide to radiate a good scent or bad scent but in either case, that scent will cascade down throughout the organization.
    In summary, effective leadership is an interactive conversation that pulls people toward becoming comfortable with the language of personal responsibility and commitment.