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Viewpoint - February 2019

Culture Happens Whether We Plan It Or Not by Bob Gershberg, CEO/Managing Partner, Wray Executive Search

“We have a culture where we are incredibly self critical, we don’t get comfortable with our success.” – Mark Parker, CEO, Nike Culture can be defined as a set of shared beliefs. Culture is the system of knowledge shared by a group of people. Culture is communication; communication is culture. Culture in its broadest sense is cultivated behavior: the totality of a person's learned, accumulated experience. Culture is symbolic communication. Some of its symbols include a group's skills, knowledge, attitudes, values, and motives. A culture is the values and practices shared by the members of the group. Company Culture, therefore, is the shared values and practices of the company's employees. Company culture is important because it can make or break your company. Companies with an adaptive culture aligned to their business goals routinely outperform their competitors. Some studies report the difference at 200% or more. To achieve results like this for your organization, you have to figure out what your culture is, decide what it should be, and move everyone toward the desired culture. Great culture attracts great people! Great culture helps people deliver their best work! Company cultures evolve and change over time. As employees leave the company and replacements are hired, the company culture will change. If it is a strong culture, it may not change much. However, since each new employee brings their own values and practices to the group the culture will change, at least a little. As the company matures from a startup to a more established company, the company culture will change. As the environment in which the company operates changes, the company culture will also change. These changes may be positive, or they may not. The changes in company culture may be intended, but often they are unintended. They may be major changes or minor ones. The company culture will change, and it is important to be aware of the changes. Culture is to recruiting as product is to marketing. Customers are attracted to great product. Talent is attracted to great culture. In order to maximize the efforts of each generation in today’s global workplace, it is imperative that the true culture of any organization actually recognizes and rewards the efforts from all levels of employees and stakeholders. It is essential to make an objective review of the existing culture in an organization. This type of review will highlight areas in which performance priorities and actual workplace behaviors are not aligned. Be laser focused on your mission and your metrics. Allow your folks to be individually awesome and collectively amazing. A truly inclusive workplace culture, based on guiding principles which ensure each generation is highly engaged, will help produce the results every organization be it a billion dollar international or an emerging brand. The ongoing challenges of our global economy, combined with shifting demographics in the workforce require a proactive way of thinking about how every generation needs to work together in all of our organizations. Rather than complaining about how each generation in the workplace seems to be so different and problematic, now is the time to leverage the energy and integrate the combined talents and strengths across each group. Road to a winning culture:
  1. Transparency is not just a buzz term; Live it and drive it!

  2. Provide and uphold mission clarity

  3. Loyalty abets loyalty

  4. Fully empower the team

  5. High integrity is not optional

  6. Build strong trust relationships

  7. Effective systems and processes

  8. Performance-based compensation and reward programs

  9. Customer-focused

  10. Effective 360-degree communications

  11. Commitment to learning, skill and personal development

  12. Emphasis on recruiting and retaining outstanding employees

  13. High degree of adaptability

  14. High accountability standards

  15. Demonstrated support for innovation

  16. Brainstorm improvements in your formal policies and daily practices

  17. Develop models of the desired actions and behaviors. A well-defined company culture that is aligned with the mission, one that helps you anticipate and adapt to change, will assure superior performance over the long run. All the best,

Bob Gershberg |CEO|Managing Partner| (888) 875-9993 ext 102 Finding tomorrow’s leaders today!

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