This week we’re talking CORPORATE CULTURE.
“Culture” is relevant for all kinds of leaders, whether you manage a project team, you coach a sports team, or you’re a c-suite executive.
Now might be the ideal time to build a strong culture – yes, even with physical distancing limitations and WFH. This is an opportunity that’s being handed to you “on a plate,” according to our guest expert!
image: Unsplash @ alxandrakusper
Read on to learn all about culture, including:
- Two “culture challenges” for leaders in today’s environment
- How to define and evaluate your culture
- How leaders communicate corporate culture
Let’s do this!
TWO CULTURE CHALLENGES
The first thing you need to know is that Hilton is a funny guy! (I had to edit a lot of laughter out of this episode!)
Hilton is also smart and experienced, as you’ll hear. He has led brand, digital and business strategy engagements all around the world for brands like IBM, Coca-Cola, Nokia, and Enron. (Yes, he has stories!)
At the end of the interview, Hilton shared two challenges for leaders (coaches, managers, c-suiters) who seek to establish a strong, positive culture in “today’s environment”:
1️⃣ Seek to OBJECTIVELY Understand Your Culture
- Leaders are typically the least objective about the culture inside their organization.
- It is imperative to get an unbiased read on your current culture. Do your people feel trusted? Empowered? What would they do on their worst day? (more below)
2️⃣ Be HUMBLE and VULNERABLE
- No one’s crystal ball is working right now! You need to be honest and vulnerable.
- By trusting your people, you can provide the opportunity for your organization to genuinely thrive, and for you to create a culture that attracts talent like a magnet.
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HOW DO WE DEFINE CULTURE?
Culture is not binary. It is not simply good or bad.
Hilton shared several dimensions of CULTURE in the interview:
Culture = commitment
- Culture is a marker of the commitment of your people. (Stan Slap)
Culture = decision-making
- Culture is about how decisions are made (Edgar Schein)
- Culture is how we act, behave, and make decisions to fit into the organization.
- Culture is how the edges of your organization behave on their very worst day…
image: unsplash @ icons8
Culture = trust & empowerment
- Do you trust your people?
- Are your people empowered to be truly customer-centric?
Culture = strategy
- Is your culture able to accelerate the delivery, execution, and activation of your strategy?
- Is culture impeding the execution of your strategy? Your strategy won’t happen without a strong culture…
HOW DO WE COMMUNICATE CULTURE?
According to Hilton Barbour,
“Communication is absolutely foundational to establishing a positive corporate culture.”
3 thoughts about COMMUNICATING CULTURE:
1. Think MARKETING & BRANDING
- Similar to brand messages, consistency is key – over time and across media. Sounds like marketing, right?
- According to master marketer Ron Tite, great people and great organizations succeed in this busy world based on what they think, what they do, and what they say.
2. Cultural ARTIFACTS Play a Role
- Cultural artifacts are the tangible and intangible signals or queues that communicate the culture.
- Examples include the strategic plan, the firm’s values and mantras, leaders’ words and actions, and messages on coffee cups and posters…
3. It’s like COACHING a Professional Sports Team
- Coaches ask themselves, am I getting the maximum out of these people? What can I do to inspire them to even greater heights? What am I doing that’s impeding their ability?
- Hilton says this is exactly what true leaders who “get” culture obsess about.
RECOMMENDATIONS FOR YOU
Two other recommendations from this episode:
- THINK DO SAY book by Ron Tite. Hilton and I reference this book a few times in our conversation. Highly recommended for any ambitious professional looking for sage advice on how to garner trust and succeed in this busy world. One of my favourite parts of the book: Ron’s segmentation scheme of the increasingly common and annoying sales pitches from LinkedIn connections. Ron calls them “Pitch Slaps”! (Twice so far I’ve referred annoying LinkedIn “pitch slappers” to Ron’s book!)
- PIVOT podcast with Kara Swisher and Scott Galloway. I had to give this podcast a listen when two respected and recent Talk About Talk podcast guests (Hilton Barbour and Andrew Jenkins) both recommended it. Smart conversations about technology, business and politics. Well worth a listen.
That should keep us out of trouble, right? ?
Have a great week!
Dr. Andrea Wojnicki
Chief Talker & Communication Coach
Most Recent ?Podcast Episodes:
#64 – COMMUNICATING CORPORATE CULTURE with Hilton Barbour
#63 – COMMUNICATION FOR EDUCATORS & THE FUTURE OF LEARNING with Chris Besse
#62 – OPTIMIZE YOUR LINKEDIN PROFILE with Andrew Jenkins
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