Maintaining Your Culture – What does it look like in practice?
Mission accomplished! You completed the hard work of transforming your culture. You crafted a culture statement, the shared attitudes, values, goals, and practices that characterize the culture you wanted, and you implemented it all with the intent that it would empower your team, fueling people’s satisfaction and catalyzing them to bring their best work in service of the company’s success. You are done, right? Well, in a word…NO.
Maintaining Your Cathedral
Just like maintaining the health of your body or the structural integrity of a building, building a culture that is sustainable requires continuous work. Keeping a culture maintained, alive and vibrant with your team comes down to practice, practice, practice. Zen monks, sport coaches and dietitians will all tell you that how people maintain an intended state is through constant, consistent practice.
There is nothing wrong with the fact that it doesn’t just happen. It is natural that we get focused on other projects, requirements, meetings, actions. The tactical side of work is all about doing these actions. Mostly we don’t really think about how we are doing them or how we are being when we work. But that is what culture is all about…how you are doing the things you are doing. Having practices specifically designed to bring the culture you want to life over and over. When you were young, your parents may have taught you certain practices to create politeness, respect, or excellence. As an adult, you may now have certain practices that bring to life your commitment to others or being a good leader.
What can this look this in the workplace? At Insigniam, one of the ways we keep our culture well-maintained is by recognizing actions and individuals that embody our culture. When someone does something that represents our intended culture, we have a system in place for that action to be recognized and acknowledged by others. Positive reinforcement is a powerful tool in the never-ending task of nourishing a culture.
Mining the Gold
In your daily job, keep an ear out for the way your culture is showing up in your work environment. Take a minute to recognize a moment in which you see your culture embraced. A cathedral is laid brick by brick and mining for these “individual brick” moments keeps your cathedral tall and proud.