The Five Elements of Culture

There are 5 key factors that contribute, create or inhibit the growing of a positive, proactive organizational culture.

1. Passion

Leaders are motivated by factors other than compensation. In a healthy leadership culture, team members understand the mission of the organization and are motivated by their connection to it. They are passionate.

Real relationship in a team environment will encourage you to pursue your goals with all that is in you. Your team will urge you forward, not pull you down. Your teammates will hold you up, not drag you down, but passion and commitment to a vision isn’t enough.

2. Accountability

Your leadership, your example, can give those around you the reason, courage and purpose to change for the better. That is called accountability. It must be explicit in every interaction between you and your team. It may get ugly at times, and everyone may be uncomfortable, but this kind of discomfort is necessary for growth.

Inner accountability is the force that fills you with a sense of integrity. External accountability is the force that makes everyone else work with integrity.

3. Consistency

Consistency builds trust within a team. Consistency of purpose and vision is the strongest antidote for discouragement, and it will keep team members engaged. Consistency is the balm on the open wound of office politics. It is the quality that will prevent accusations of favoritism. It is the anchor that your team members will come to rely upon.

As a leader in the middle, you must consciously and purposely be consistent with your team. You must consistently communicate upward and downward in your organization. You bring the vision from the top, and communicate it throughout the organization, everyday, with passion, accountability, and consistency.

4. Transparency

Transparency is the thing that gives you the freedom to be open and gives you the ability to instruct and receive feedback. Allow mistakes to happen in the open. Don’t hide failures; learn from them. One of the 5 foundational values at Toyota is tolerating failure—not just tolerating it, but actually embracing failure as a mechanism for learning. They recognize that you have to FAIL in order to PROGRESS, and consider that one of their top 5 core values.

So create a safe place for ideas to grow and develop. You need an open forum for input. Transparency also provides your forum for change. If there is no transparency, there is no opportunity for change and growth. You need to encourage failure as the fuel for success. All growth and development is a by-product of process and stress. The manure of today is the fertilizer of tomorrow. Reward peoples’ attempts and encourage vulnerability. The only difference between a lump of coal and a diamond is time, heat, and pressure.

5. Stability

And finally, middle leaders are essential to stability. Your passion, your accountability, your consistency, and your transparency all combine with stability to create a culture for growth and excellence. It means that consequences and rewards are the same every day, regardless of situations or personalities.

It means that the vision you had for the company yesterday is the same vision you are pursuing today. Your focus is the same. Your efforts are the same, yet the fruits will be multiplied.

What do you think?