Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Design Your Culture

"But I thought a culture just happens?" Well Skippy, a lot of them do. But a lot of them are baaaad.

The title of this post comes from one of the strategies that Lee Cockerell discusses in his book, Creating Magic, on how to create a culture of INCLUSION. The first line in that section defines a corporate culture (via Disney Institute) as "the system of values and beliefs an organization holds that drives actions and behaviors and influences relationships."

I've actually heard stories of organizations saying they don't need to work on their culture because it will just happen, that that will be their TRUE culture. Alert - Alert - Alert Will Robinson. You're looking at the makings of one of those baaaad culture's.

Leaders of your organization need to work on directing the culture - focusing on your values, beliefs, and relationships - so that it doesn't turn or work against you. One of the best ways to direct your culture is to use INCLUSION. I don't think there's any faster way to derail a culture than to exclude employee's. The less they know - the less they are asked - the less they are "partners" - the worse your culture will be.

Just think about it a second. With a lack of inclusion, comes more opportunity for "grapevine" and "water-cooler" talk. Your culture quickly becomes one that works AGAINST your organization.

Now I could ramble on about many aspects of growing and directing your organizational culture (and maybe some day I will) but if you create a sense of INCLUSION, you're going to be well on your way.

What kind of changes can you make, today, in the creation of a culture of INCLUSION?

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