Culture is Defined by Design or Default
I just finished a terrific read by Dr. Marilee G. Adams. She’s authored a book titled, Change Your Questions, Change Your Life. There were many things that caught my attention as I listened to words penned by Dr. Adams.
The title of my article today makes me take particular note. I’ve always understood in a headway the culture at a center is there, whether it’s stated or not. Adams says it perfectly and in a way that gets it out of my head and hopefully into your heart. “Culture is defined by design or default.”
Culture is about what you believe in.
Culture is about what you believe in… at your core. We like to say it’s built from what you value. When we help companies in our business coaching program, the first thing we do is work on understanding what the core values of an organization really are. We don’t subscribe to the corporatese-jargony-mumble-jumble that mission statements can be made of, but rather the “real” stuff that drives you and your organization; the stuff that people remember and hold on to when they make decisions about what to do in the moment.
Add that to your purpose (your why of being) and you have your culture. You don’t have to try to do culture. It’s built in. It’s part of the fabric that makes you, your business, your job, your family, your relationships, the way they are.
Here’s an example. If, at your core, you have a value that says, “I don’t steal things,” then you never steal things. You don’t have to try not to steal. Maybe you call that honesty. I honestly think that honesty should be a RULE of the GAME. It is one of those values that may not need to be stated but assumed.
At TrainerTainment, we coach clients on a daily basis. Coaching is a lot like selling. Session by session, we are working on buy-in from the team. We are teaching “plays” that help leaders and salespeople win. We are providing practice and new strategies that strengthen the team.
Live by them day-to-day.
Here’s what I mean. We have designed or adopted selling and business systems we believe in. We believe so strongly in those systems because we live them on a day-to-day basis. We understand and see the successes internally with our own team and externally with the teams we serve. So, of course, when we are looking for people to work with, we primarily focus on clients that share our core values.
I’ve been in business for 12 years. Certainly, here were years, many years, that we had a “default culture.” It was not stated. I was not able to get it out of my head. As the business owner, my ego and pride make me feel like that “default culture” wasn’t so bad. However, in the spirit of vulnerability, I’ll tell you that having a culture that is truly designed, defined, stated, and the filter for everything from hiring and training to firing is a much better, more confident way to run the business. Oh, and it helps us experience a heck of a lot more success for us and those we serve.