Check your pulse

When was the last time you took the pulse of the culture of your company? Every company has a culture, but what do you want yours to be? What we perceive our culture to be can be very different than what it is in reality.

It’s easy to become blinded by the fact that we are profitable and growing, so that we think we are successful. And it is easy for us to be deceived about what our culture truly is unless we are accountable to someone other than ourselves.

Here at Smart Business, we wanted that accountability. In an off-site strategic planning meeting, my managers and I discussed the kind of culture we wanted to have. After much discussion, we decided our goal was to be an “excited results-driven team that promotes personal and professional growth.” This was the easy part; now, we had to get there.

The next step was to engage the Yetka Group, a company that specializes in helping companies identify where they are currently with their culture and then formulate a plan to get where they want to be. We decided it was worth the investment to hire a company with a proven track record of working with teams to help us develop the kind of culture we wanted to create.

My managers repeatedly emphasized to me that in order for this to work, I needed to be committed to it. We have to make the time to talk about the culture of our company. It’s too easy to put it to the side or to cancel a meeting to discuss it because it doesn’t seem like a priority.

Culture must be made a priority. The culture of a company is important to its success. It is the very heartbeat that gives a company life. Without it, we become like robots that have no real sense of purpose.

A culture defines not just where you are going but in what manner you will get there. There are many different corporate culture models, and one isn’t necessarily better than another. But you need to take the time to define what yours is, understand how it helps move your company forward, and commit to implementing it and making sure everyone understands what it is.

It’s only with constant reinforcement and commitment from the top of the organization that you will see positive changes start to happen in your company.

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