Organizational culture building is here to stay for so many reasons but the most important is that it creates business that people love to work at. Simply put; this is what people want and in return, they will give you all they have.
What lies ahead is a journey of twenty-five years and many, many clients. You will hear about the structure to build culture, the reasons to create culture and what you can expect culture to do for your organization and its people.
You will also learn that this is not for everyone and there is a very special formula for success. There is plenty of detail however, it is important to make your culture something built around your values and not the adherence to a book, any book. Culture is a feeling that can be brought to life by building structures like collaborative decision making, shared celebration, people focused leaders and staying true to a charter designed by the people of an organization.
We have named it – The Magic Behind the Curtain. Much of this title comes from the discussions we have with clients who insist that “Culture is Magic.” While I have always wanted to possess the magical touch, alas, what they insist is magic is very simply building business that align with feelings of ownership, empowerment, trust, and quality leadership.
So here are some truths that you can count on in this book and are the foundations to the magic.
Truth – Cultural development in organizations, when done properly, is always good for the organization’s health. Regardless of how you define health.
More truth – The work of developing culture is not what I learned as a young leader, and it is still a foreign concept for many leaders.
Still more truth – If you embrace cultural development in your organization, you will outperform your competitors, build stronger teams, and allow individuals to develop beyond their, or your expectation.
And if that is not enough, one more truth – Most people have no idea how to build cultures that develop into robust organizations.
These truths are why I wrote this book. Not to show how smart or accomplished I or my organization is. This is not a promotional book. This is a book written by a man entering the final chapters of his business life and thinking that just because I’m mortal, it doesn’t mean the secrets die with me. My grandmother made the best donuts ever and she died with the secret. My siblings talk about it frequently. So, I have left out lots of detail because it is hard to read and harder to write, but I have not left out any of the important stuff of culture building. Your creativity will lead you to find your own methods of arriving at the important stuff.
Here is the big truth of building anything of value in this world.
A good idea is a good idea
Like you, I love a good idea. The head scratcher is why don’t more good ideas get implemented?
A good idea needs a platform
Idea people are everywhere but Steve Jobs only had a good idea until he developed a way to deliver his idea and Apple was born. Gutenberg had a good idea, but it was only an idea until the printing press was created. Ideas can be very simple and much like you, I can recognize one a mile away. So why aren’t most of them reality? Absent, shaky, or poorly lead platforms. Sorry, not trying to be mean but, there it is.
good idea with a strong platform will gather critical mass
Delivered ideas with a strong platform are irresistible. Just think of your favorite TV program. Good idea, strong platform, gaining mass appeal. Or, in TV vernacular, strong ratings.
Good ideas are abundant, mass appeal or critical mass just happens, or it doesn’t. The hard part always lives in building a solid platform. This book is about building that platform to gain your mass appeal. The topic is cultural change and healthy people-oriented cultures. The idea is solid, the mass appeal is natural (people love it), but the platform requires hard, disciplined work.
In this book you will find all you need to build a strong platform for your culture. I have tried to point out the booby traps and common errors but I’m sure I missed a few. Read this book piece by piece and build your legacy. This is your chance to avoid learning it all through trial and error like we did.
Key thoughts as you read ahead:
In the 20 years since starting Priority Learning, Ralph has facilitated countless learning experiences and has conducted training for thousands of managers and leaders. With over 30 years of leadership development and organizational development background and work, Ralph continues to build relationships with client companies all over the U.S.