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  • Writer's pictureTony Richards

The Nuts and Bolts of Culture

Every place you can think of has a culture. Your home has a culture. Your church has a culture. Your workplace has a culture. The restaurant you like to frequent has a culture. If you go to the airport to take a flight, that airport has a culture. Every city has a culture. Every nation on Earth has a culture.

Today, I want to focus on the culture of your organization. Here is how I define very simply the culture, it is "This is how we do things here." That is all it is. There are various components that create it and sustain it but at the very core, the culture is how you do things there. Using that as our core understanding of what culture is, let's also look at some of the elements that contribute to the culture you have in your organization.

Control: Who controls the organization and how they use that control contributes greatly to the culture.

Understanding: Does everyone know why your organization exists? Do they know where the organization is going and what the destination looks like? Do they know the code of behavior that is expected while we are en route to that destination?

Leadership: How do people get promoted? How are bonuses and compensation determined? How do people get developed and deployed in the organization?

Trust: One of the very most important elements of your culture. The Law of Trust is the determining factor of Speed and Cost in your organization.

Empowerment: When you have a culture where people are empowered through accountability, you can expect transparency, authenticity and creativity.

Response: How is information shared and how does it travel through your organization? Is it intentional, rhythmic, and on purpose or is it hearsay, rumor, and gossip?

Execution: When all is said and done is more said than done? Are things actually planned and then executed in alignment with your strategy? Or is everyone doing their own thing to "keep busy?"

Culture is the strongest main component of your organization. It is stronger than vision and it is stronger than strategy. Your culture can empower your vision or it can destroy it. Your culture can embrace and execute the strategy, or it can eat it for breakfast. You can have a culture filled with deadly carbon monoxide which is making it toxic and everyone inside the organization is slowly dying and losing hope. It can be filled with life-giving oxygen and everyone can be excited and healthy. What is the culture in your working environment?

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