The Cultural Compass
The Foundation of a Culture
Everyone is familiar with the rather vintage artifact known as a compass. Its goal was to provide navigation and orientation – a sense of direction for any kind of traveler. What compass-like tool are you using to set the direction for your organizationâ€™s culture? What framework is giving you confidence that you are taking purposeful action to impact and move your business culture to your organizationâ€™s unique True North? What is your foundational philosophy at the heart of bringing a culture to life?
A culture â€śplanâ€ť and a PowerPoint deck arenâ€™t enough.
Culture lives and grows whether you take purposeful action or not. Business cultures need a foundation of principles to set their course of action. And PowerPoint promises may sound good in the moment, but they wonâ€™t have staying power.
That power is in your Cultural Compass, elevating and strengthening your cultural discipline and practices.
Cultural Belief System
Expand your focus from the known four points on a compass â€“ North, South, East, West. Double that and think about these points – The 8 – as your foundational compass moving forward:
- Everyoneâ€™s Unique
- Everyone Believes
- Everyone Connects
- Everyone Contributes
- Everyone Rises
- Everyone Learns
- Everyone Thrives
- Everyone Matters
Strong cultures start with individuals believing in and bringing their best self to work each and every day. Organizations must understand all three parts of each individual’s mind (cognitive, affective and conative) so everyone has the freedom to be their true self and to do things their way, and are valued for their unique contributions to an organizationâ€™s overall talent canvas.
At the foundation of thriving businesses are gutsy, unique and action-oriented core values that guide decision-making across all people touchpoints. Strong cultures consider not only the businessâ€™ values, but also each individualâ€™s personal values â€“ cultural energy comes with the alignment between the two.
An organization is most effective when relationships are built on trust and collaboration. Where active pursuit of team synergy is an imperative for success. Organizations focused on building high performing hybrid teams that focus on connection will set the stage for success and growth.
Effective communication is at the heart of how successful organizations operate, supporting an environment where all voices are valued. Strong communication practices provide clarity in direction and accountability.
Strong cultures champion people and their need to develop, learn and grow. How can you create a â€śchoose your own adventureâ€ť approach to learning where each individual forges their path to expand their capabilities and knowledge?
Organizations achieve clarity and accountability at all levels through a living and adaptable approach to business strategy and goals. Have you clarified your businessâ€™ way? How can you take the necessary steps to align and create a clear line of sight for each individualâ€™s work and role to the greater vision of why your business exists in the world?
Workplace cultures that value and prioritize individual well-being have healthier employees and healthier bottom lines.
Organizations must consider mattering and belonging as key elements for engagement and relationship building. Every human is equal and equally capable if set free in a cultural environment of caring, understanding and empathy.
Your Organizationâ€™s Vision of Tomorrow
The 8 is a cultural compass for the agesâ€¦
What if your cultural compass utilized those 8 points to help you develop a roadmap and direction for whatâ€™s ahead? What if you could link all your actions to one or more of those 8â€¦wouldnâ€™t that be a framework to provide confidence across your organization?
How can you start every year by prioritizing your organization’s greatest cultural challenges and needs based on The 8? How can The 8 provide focus and a foundation in which to build your actions?
Culture is a living thing – it breathes and grows by what an organization allows, what an organization rewards, and what an organization celebrates. It can be a sun or a shadow. Growing your culture is like a garden with 8 different plots â€“ each need time, attention and different levels of action based on the challenges and needs of today to support what your culture will become tomorrow.
Culture is what culture does. Donâ€™t let yours be compiled of random actions. Instead, align it around your unique cultural compass so your direction is always sure and true for your organizationâ€™s vision of tomorrow.
Listen to this post in podcast form on the Culture(&) Podcast, part of the GGG Unleashed series, and subscribe to hear more about workplace culture and leadership.