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A Culture of Execution and Why it Matters – Part 1

The culture of your company is the primary invisible gravitational force that is either pushing your company into greatness or into extinction at this very moment.

In the next series of blog posts, I will be describing what an execution of culture looks like and tips on how to get there. Culture used to be a term reserved for anthropologists to refer to the standard languages, habits and art of a specific group of people. Over the last thirty years business analysts have adopted the term to refer to the internal characteristics of a company. After all, a company is indeed a group of people with languages, habits and artistic expression.

For example, consider the last time you walked into a religious building or setting, especially if some kind of ceremony was happening. Very quickly and easily one can discern what sort of behavior is normal. If the setting was serious, then likely there was a kind of force telling you not to be loud or boisterous. You could feel it. No one had to tell you to be quiet (small children notwithstanding). To walk out into an open field and yell at the top of your lungs is different than doing the same in that setting. You would have to choose to oppose that social force. That force, that feeling, is the gravitational tug of culture.

The culture of your company is a force pulling everyone into normal. But normal isn’t the same everywhere.

Normal is different inside every company. Whatever is normal for your company is felt and seen and heard and smelled and tasted by every single person who comes into your building every single day, just like that religious setting. If the culture of your business is pushing people into doing the things you want them to do, it’s the culture you want. On the other hand, if it is a gravitational force that pulls them away from doing the things you want, then you have a real problem.

So, the real question is this: what are the cultural dynamics that I as a leader need to build and foster so that my team is naturally and normally propelled to greatness and profit? In the next three blog posts, I will review the first three to begin with: how trust is formed in relationships at work, how clarity impacts communication and the incredible power of the story of the founding of the company.

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