Feed the culture

Yesterday a couple of us attended the Columbus Chamber of Commerce annual breakfast meeting. It was a well done event for sure with about 1100 in attendance.

The keynote speaker was Nancy Kramer, Chairman and Founder, of Resource Interactive. She shared her companies values in a well prepared presentation.

The one that really got my attention was “Feed the Culture.”

Culture is so important to any organization. The problem comes in when an organization hasn’t intentionally set their culture or worse, isn’t even aware of what it really is.

One of a leader’s primary jobs is to set the tone and direction of their organization: vision. To accomplish that vision, they need a culture that is conducive to whatever that vision is. The leader sets the culture. This happens by design or by default, but it always happens.

If the leader is uptight and stressed, always on edge constantly pushing everyone around them, then the culture of that group will be uptight and stressed. It won’t be a place where people want to work and they probably won’t be greatly successful. If the leader is laid back and easy going and never pushes anyone just letting everything go, then the culture will be loose and free-flowing. People will want to work there, but they probably won’t get much accomplished.

While those are extremes, the leader needs to decide what culture they want for their group or organization and then feed that culture. If you want to get a certain result, everything has to move toward that result and you need to keep it in the forefront and provide for it to exist. Put simply, culture doesn’t come from a declaration. It comes from language that continually perpetuates the stated goals, from actions that promote the stated goals, from daily affirming the goals, and allowing those in th organization the freedom to achieve those goals.

Set the culture and then feed it and watch it grow.

Nancy shared this linked video that was made on one of their employees’ first day. Feed the Culture.