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Culture Is Everything

We hear and read so much on how important having a positive workplace culture is for the success of an organisation, well I believe that it is not only important - it is everything!

The problem is, that when you ask people to go a little deeper and explain what that means to them, most people cannot articulate it, or have a very shallow definition of what the culture that they desire actually looks like.

Culture is not like many other topics we see come and go, improving our culture and the behaviours that come from it, and maintaining it and growing it, is a life-long mission.

So, here are some very simple, yet very essential steps to take when creating and building a great workplace culture:

1. Know what you want

Have a clear picture of what it would look like if you actually achieved the desired result. Now the fact is, that the end result may look very different, but we must have something to aim for and then be open to the opportunities that arise on the journey.

Ask your team what they think a great workplace culture would look like to them. You may be surprised at the diversity of responses that you receive.

2. Get everyone on board

Don’t be an island. No one person can change an organisation’s culture, no matter how good or how positive they are. They can certainly have an impact, but unless the majority of people are on the journey, then it will not happen.

Once 80% of the team are on board and actively participating in the change process, then the 20% who are negative or resistant will eventually join the 80% or they will leave. Don’t be concerned about that, there are always some consequences to progress. Work with the people who get what you are trying to achieve, and stop spending all of your time trying to convince the people who have no desire to change personally or be a part of changing the culture in the workplace.

Remember – not everyone has to be on board, but the majority do!

3. Do something

Like author Peter Sheahan said, “action precedes clarity”.

Stop planning and creating copious numbers of frameworks – just do something!

Constant planning and discussions, without actions, is simply called procrastination.

Often the people who are meant to be the culture initiators, become the culture blockers, all in the name of planning.

Don’t be deceived, culture will never change until we take some leaps of faith, even if they are not completely right at the time. Be open to learning from your mistakes also.

But do something!

4. Celebrate

A major part of having a great workplace culture is our ability to celebrate. To dance like no one is watching.

Don’t wait until you achieve your desired result, because if you are open and flexible then the fact is you will never reach it, you will achieve something even better.

Celebrate every individual victory and give credit where credit is due – this will change the minds and hearts of your team far quicker than any strategic plan or complicated framework.

Des Penny – Co-CEO
Proteus Leadership


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