Spring has sprung here in the Rocky Mountains. At 8400 feet above sea level,  “Colorado Springtime” brings a wide variety of weather. Two weeks ago we were evacuated because of wildfires. Last night we got 8″ of fresh snow. Tuesday, it’ll be 65 degrees.

One has to deal with the realities of the moment – here in the Rockies as well as in your own organization’s corporate culture.

Don’t Get Distracted

Like the dog in the photo above, it is easy to get distracted by the new, the shiny, and/or the desired in the midst of one’s journey. Two of our culture change clients were distracted recently.

One client is at the beginning of their culture initiative. The leadership team is excited about partnering with Blanchard and utilizing our proven culture change process.

And – I’ve had a couple of conversations with one of the senior leaders regarding additional assessments. She’s done a great deal of research about leadership profiles and is convinced they need to have all leaders get rated. I’ve explained that the profiles she’s found are great and that Blanchard has a number of effective leadership profiles, as well. And – don’t get distracted. We need to stick to the proven plan for the next 12-18 months. When the culture is a bit more refined & aligned, such profiles might be very effective.

Another client is well down the culture refinement path. They are about to conduct their initial custom values survey (asking employees to rate leaders throughout the company on the degree to which those leaders demonstrate desired valued behaviors). This step is a critical one as it’s the first time they’ll have reliable, measurable data on values alignment of leaders.

The president just received notification of a terrific new Blanchard program (set for release mid-summer). He’s asked if it makes sense to integrate this new program into their culture efforts. My coaching to him – don’t get distracted. His company has enjoyed terrific traction on their desired culture. Leaders and staff are intrigued at what the values survey will reveal. I reminded him that he’s asked us to bring in Blanchard’s Servant Leadership program for leaders (another recent offering) later this year. The strategy is in place – let’s not confuse people with pieces that may not perfectly fit the strategy at this point in time.

How Do You Know If Your Desired Culture Has “Arrived”?

What are reliable indicators that your high performance, values-aligned culture is on track?

  • Every player in the organization can describe the company’s purpose & values in their own words. The core message has taken hold.
  • Customers indicate that they are well-cared for, listened to, and valued as key partners. Products and services are of high quality and serve well.
  • Employees praise and encourage each other. Spontaneous recognition of genuine effort & contributions aren’t always managed by leaders – they’re managed by employees, too.
  • Leaders are seen as “in service” to employees and customers, as credible & caring, and as connected to what’s happening “on the floor” and “in the field.” They respond quickly & appropriately.

This post comes on the two year anniversary of the Driving Results Through Culture effort. Thanks for reading, commenting, and sharing my articles about creating a high performance, values-aligned corporate culture.

What keeps you “on track” and focused on team or company culture? Tell us in the comments section below.

Get your FREE EXCERPT from my new book, #POSITIVITY AT WORK tweet, written with the delightful Lisa Zigarmi. View our video on why we wrote the book, understand the research on positivity in the workplace, and more!

Photo © iStockphoto.com/godrick

S. Chris Edmonds

S. Chris Edmonds

Chris helps leaders create purposeful, positive, productive work cultures. He's a speaker, author, and executive consultant. He blogs, podcasts, and video casts. He is the author of The Culture Engine and six other books.
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