“Healthy cultures are places where ideas and people flourish. It is like being in a greenhouse where the nutrients and the light and the energy are helping grow your team members and the overall business as a whole.”
The companies we admire are rarely due to product or profitability, they are typically due to the culture and people.
Characteristics of a healthy culture:
- Shine externally
- Attract and retain top talent
- Actualize people and their potential
- Permeates every aspect of your business
- Carry bonding traditions
- Eject people or ideas that are not a fit
- Deliver rewards before they deliver results
Healthy cultures deliver rewards and results, but they deliver the reward before the result. Rewards drive the results not the other way around. There are four rewards:
- Fun - people enjoying what they are doing
- Fascination - keeping your team engaged with innovation, ideas, and what lies just around the next corner
- Future - people see and believe that they have a future here…the company has a healthy future as well
- Financial - take care of your people. Make sure they are compensated fairly and participating in your success.
Truly healthy cultures, where these rewards are in place, organically grow. They become a self fulfilling prophecy that transcends leadership and advances almost on its’ own. It is constant and unmistakable to all who encounter it through your company.
“The best companies have a cultural torch that they carry with them every day. That torch is warm, bright, and other people notice it and want to be around it. Externally, when you carry it around, it helps strengthen your brand, reputation, and growth as a business.”
There is a great story told by a young business leader in Atlanta. He was flying on the same plane to Washington D.C.with Truett Cathy of Chick-fil-a. He observed Truett purchasing a luggage cart and loading a young pregnant woman’s luggage off the conveyer belt. She thanked him for helping and he replied with, “My pleasure.”
No task is too small for the servant leader.
Truett spoke later that day to the Washington press corps. His message for that presentation was…
No task is too large for the servant leader.
When you culture is healthy and real, it is not just merely aspirational words on a wall. If it is healthy and real, it incubates like a greenhouse helping everything and everyone grow more fully and abundantly. It is embodied by the servant leadership at the top, but felt and rewarded in every employee. There is evidence of it at every turn and it is played out in both the largest and smallest of tasks.
- Is your culture healthy? In your family? In your company or organization?
- Is it evident in the ways we discussed above? Do others note it and find themselves drawn to it?
- Are you really interested in defining, establishing, rewarding, and encouraging a healthy culture? It is the greatest determinant of long-term success. Let us know if you are serious about it…we are.