As a senior leader, have you ever asked yourself the question: “are you actually ready for the corporate culture you need?”
Creating a positive and thriving culture is about far more than simply hanging your company values on the walls of a boardroom. It requires a deep sense of commitment and a renewed sense of focus amongst senior leaders if you want your team members to lean in and embrace your culture initiatives.
In this article, I’ll share with you three important questions that you should ask yourself before embarking on your journey to rebuild the culture you think you need within your organisation.
Question 1: Do you actually CARE about culture and your people?
The first thing to consider here is who is more important to you? Your customers or your team? A leader’s answer to this will paint a picture of the degree to which they actually care about the culture. While it might seem natural to say that the customer comes first, they should in fact come second… after your team.
The other element you should be thinking about here is whether you have a compelling reason for embarking on a path to rebuild your company culture. Do you have a compelling ‘why’? Do you actually feel embarking down a culture path will be beneficial for the company, or are you purely doing it because it seems like the ‘trendy’ thing to do at the moment?
In our work, we run into a lot of organisations where the CEO or a General Manager is focused on culture because they feel as if they have to be. They’ve read a lot about culture, they see it being talked about on LinkedIn or someone in HR has encouraged them to improve the company culture.
As with anything in life, doing something simply because you are obliged to do so never generates the best outcome. However, if the intention is because you genuinely want to create a great environment for your people (as opposed to just ticking a box) then you are on the right path forward.
Question 2: Are you willing to CHALLENGE your current corporate culture?
The next question to ask yourself is to consider whether or not you’re prepared to challenge your current culture.
This can be a difficult exercise for a lot of organisations and clients that we work with. However, if you want to create lasting cultural change, you need to be willing to take an objective step back and look at some of the entrenched behaviours of how your current culture is working, and determine which elements need to be changed in order to better serve you and help you grow in the future.
Question 3: Are you willing to hold people ACCOUNTABLE to that culture?
The last thing you should reflect on before deciding to move forward with redefining or changing your company culture is to consider whether you are willing to hold others accountable for culture.
In my experience working with senior leaders, this is probably the most challenging element. Inevitably, you’re going to run into scenarios where you have people in your team who are strong performers, however now you have to ask yourself whether these people also align culturally. You’ve got to be prepared to link the way we do things and the way people behave to the performance that we hold people accountable for.
If you’re not prepared to hold people accountable for culture, you may not be as ready as you think you are to embark on this path.
To give you more of an insight into this process, I encourage you to watch this video below, where I dive into each question in more detail. As you’re watching I encourage you to take some time to reflect personally on each of these questions.