Results-based Team-oriented Culture
Steven Cesare, Ph.D.
A business owner from Oklahoma called me the other day to talk about several aspects of his company’s strategic plan. While he was impressive on various components (e.g., key performance metrics, leadership development, and accountability), he had great difficulty blending them together under the undefined type of organizational culture he was trying to implement in his company.
It quickly became obvious that he had read way too many academic books on organizational culture, management practices, and executive biographies (erroneously posing as leadership case studies) which allowed him to rattle off myriad buzz words (e.g., world-class talent, leveraging analytics, empower horizon thinking) that sound erudite when in fact they continually ring hollow to me. After 5-10 minutes of his soliloquy, I finally interrupted him and said come down from Mount Sinai and keep things simple. I proceeded to tell him at its core, he should think only about designing, implementing, and rewarding a “results-based team-oriented culture.”
Taken aback by that simplicity, he requested additional testimony to understand the essence of organizational culture. Accordingly, I simply stated that a company cannot achieve sustainable results without a strong team, and a company cannot survive without achieving desired results. Strong teams yield positive results; positive results are produced by strong teams. That precept serves as the nucleus of all successful organizational cultures.
If someone tells you that organizational culture, leadership, and strategic planning are not unequivocally grounded in a results-based team-oriented context, you are wasting your time. And oh, by the way, your time is too valuable to waste listening to false prophets spinning nonsensical yarns to you.
Keep it simple.
At that point I told the Oklahoma business owner to re-center his mindset and focus only on those two dimensions (e.g., results, team), draft his strategic plan around them, align his key performance indicators with them, and create success behaviors that manifest them.
With that framework conceptualized, he can think about the proper mechanisms (e.g., policies, procedures, training), managerial role modeling (e.g., coaching, communication, new employee orientation), and reinforcement principles (e.g., performance appraisals, employee recognition events, bonus programs) necessary to instill that “results-based team-oriented culture” throughout his workforce.
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