Peter Drucker is credited for originating the phrase “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.”
I tend to agree.
What most leaders don’t fully understand is that culture is a constant. Like energy, it can be neither created nor destroyed. It can only be reshaped.
So it’s not really accurate to say that leaders create culture.
You don’t create it out of thin air. Rather, you get to manage culture. If you’re successful, you can reshape it from negative effects to beneficial effects.
This is what I call the first law of culture.
An unfortunate truth: left alone, culture will always begin to work against you. This will be nearly unnoticeable early on, but it will gain momentum over time as good culture decays into bad. This can absolutely overcome a team.
To be wise about culture, you need to know the first law of culture mentioned above.
Next, you need to equip yourself for success in two ways:
First, you need to know where you want culture to go.
Don’t be lazy and say “healthy.” That’s not specific enough. As a starter, try writing a 2-3 paragraph narrative on what healthy culture looks like in your organization.
Second, you need to take steps daily to shape culture and ensure that the people you’ve placed in influence around you are doing the same. If they aren’t helping culture, then they’re hurting culture.
Every conversation is an opportunity to manage culture for better or worse.
These daily and weekly steps to shape culture are the only ways to ensure culture is working more for you than against you.
Until next week, Grace & Peace.