The Cultural Compass

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 organization’s culture? What framework is giving you confidence that you are taking purposeful action to impact and move your business culture to your organization’s unique True North? What is your foundational philosophy at the heart of bringing a culture to life?

A culture “plan” and a PowerPoint deck aren’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 won’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 – North, South, East, West. Double that and think about these points – The 8 – as your foundational compass moving forward:

  • Everyone’s Unique
  • Everyone Believes
  • Everyone Connects
  • Everyone Contributes
  • Everyone Rises
  • Everyone Learns
  • Everyone Thrives
  • Everyone Matters

Everyone Unique

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 organization’s overall talent canvas.

Everyone Believes

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 business’ values, but also each individual’s personal values – cultural energy comes with the alignment between the two.

Everyone Connects

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.

Everyone Contributes

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.

Everyone Learns

Strong cultures champion people and their need to develop, learn and grow. How can you create a “choose your own adventure” approach to learning where each individual forges their path to expand their capabilities and knowledge?

Everyone Rises

Organizations achieve clarity and accountability at all levels through a living and adaptable approach to business strategy and goals. Have you clarified your business’ way? How can you take the necessary steps to align and create a clear line of sight for each individual’s work and role to the greater vision of why your business exists in the world?

Everyone Thrives

Workplace cultures that value and prioritize individual well-being have healthier employees and healthier bottom lines.

Everyone Matters

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 Organization’s Vision of Tomorrow

The 8 is a cultural compass for the ages…

What if your cultural compass utilized those 8 points to help you develop a roadmap and direction for what’s ahead? What if you could link all your actions to one or more of those 8…wouldn’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 – 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. Don’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 organization’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.