What’s Your Identity Metaphor?
April 25, 2016
Step 1 for a Culture of Ownership
April 27, 2016

At Values Coach we help our clients foster a stronger culture of ownership. Over the years we have identified 7 essential steps (and 2 optional steps) in that process. This week, beginning with a special Spark Plug later today, I will describe that process.

These 7 steps can help you promote a more positive and productive organization (or your part of the organization). By the way, if you substitute the word “family” for the word “organization” most of this is directly applicable at home as well as it is at work.

Step 1: Objectively assess how people perceive your organizational culture and seek to understand the underlying issues (which are not always so obvious). I’ll share what in our experience has been the most important, and more surprising, correlation when I send out the first article in this series later today. Doing this assessment well sometimes means having the courage to take off the rose-colored glasses.

Step 2: Foster a shared cultural vision and establish common expectations with regard to attitude and behavior on the job. I will describe the essential characteristics of a culture of ownership and share a revolutionary technique that some of America’s most progressive organizations (primarily in high tech so far) are doing to define cultural expectations.

Step 3: Ask people to make a visible commitment, which is often the first step to creating cultural accountability (which is far more powerful and effective than hierarchical accountability). I’ll share our approach to asking people for a commitment that they will be emotionally positive, self empowered, and fully engaged at work (and in their personal lives).

Step 4: Constructively confront toxic emotional negativity (TEN) in the workplace, as reflected in incivility and bullying, chronic complaining and finger-pointing, degrading gossip and rumor-mongering, and passive-aggressive resistance to change. I’ll explain why this is management duty #1 and share a practical and powerful approach to fostering a more positive emotional environment.

Step 5: Promote values-based life and leadership skills. Most people intuitively have good solid values, but very few have really thought about how those values can be better reflected in their daily actions and decisions. Helping people to be their best and do their best as individuals is often the best way to inspire them to be and do their best on the job. It is the gift to your people that is also an investment in your organization.

Step 6: Sustain your momentum even in the face of new and overwhelming priorities. I’ll explain why some initiatives have a lasting impact and others become just another “program of the month” and share specific strategies to avoid the latter.

Step 7: Remember to put the cheer into leading by celebrating successes (and even good faith failures). I’ll share several of my favorite examples of creative ways organizations use to celebrate cultural excellence.

I’ll close with this thought: Management is a job description, leadership is a life decision. No matter what your job title is, we all have the opportunity to contribute to a more positive organizational culture. I hope this series will give you the tools to do that, and inspire you to use those tools.

PS: If you would like a hard copy of the foldout flyer from which the picture above is taken, send an email with your postal address to [email protected].