How Visible and Invisible Forces Shape Culture

forces of culture, visible invisible

Edward Stack, CEO of Dick’s Sporting Goods one of the largest United States retailers took a bold stand to no longer sell assault rifles. In addition, they will only sell guns to those 21 years and older. At a time when the country is divided over second amendment rights, gun control, and public safety, why would a company like Dick’s make such a decision? Was it the discovery that Nikolas Cruz the 19-year-old responsible for the Florida attack had purchased a gun from Dick’s previously? Was it because of the millennials protesting gun violence? What are the cultural implications? These answers can be found by looking at how the environment influences decision-making, public opinion, leadership, and culture.

Two Requirements for Building a Values-Based Culture

values-based culture

Values live in the realm of the invisible therefore many of us struggle to get the employees (and ourselves) to become the living example of our stated values. Executives are often discouraged several months after a strategy session when they realize that the work of designing a culture based on values is more difficult than anticipated.

Building a values-based culture begins with two requirements: Communication and capacity.

Connection: A Building Block of Culture

connection to culture

Many factors contribute to unwanted turnover: A poor relationship between supervisor and employee; a toxic work culture; dissatisfaction with the job; and employee-peer drama.

All of these issues have one thing in common: Connection. Connection creates trustworthiness, loyalty, and a sense of ownership. Connection is a key building block to a great culture. Relationships crumble and relationships erode when there is a lack of connection.

Promote Cultures Where Conversation Empowers Performance

difficult culture conversations

Workplace culture is shaped from the top down. One of the costliest mistakes to organizations is the inability or unwillingness of its leaders to successfully facilitate difficult conversations. The difficulty may lie in the manager’s skill level. He or she simply doesn’t know how to coach an employee on a performance issue. Or a leader may be embarrassed to talk with an employee about careless social skills. Or the difficulty may be a more complex cultural issue that goes unseen until the problem becomes national news.

How to Use Language to Support a Responsible Culture

culture and responsibility

As people across the world watch the 2016 United States presidential campaign, they witness the division and ultimately a culture change evolving in our nation.

We have more choices to express our opinions, but less tolerance for the opinions of others. We have more passion, but less compassion. We have more speed, but less self-control. We want even more freedoms but are unwilling to take responsibility.