A Powerful Company Culture Empowers People to Make Decisions for Themselves
Regurgitative mission statements and exhaustive lists of values does not make a culture
Culture eats strategy for breakfast — Peter Drucker, pioneering management consultant
The most effective company culture fosters how team members act both as individuals and in groups. The best leadership in a healthy organization is affected through actions and not words. Good leadership in a company relies more on listening rather than talking.
This means that anybody in an organization can be a leader. You might be a leader yourself and not yet know it. Or you have the leadership potential, and it's a matter of cultivating it over time.
The culture you want to encourage is one where decision-making thrives at all levels of your organization. If you are a person of action, people are likely to follow suit regardless of your role in the organizational structure.
What if your company culture is broken?
I'm a super-sensitive person — It's both a gift and a curse to be an empath. I can walk into an organization for the first time, and within a short time, I can get a pretty good sense if the culture is positive, neutral, or toxic.
I pick up on how the staff interacts. Is the environment cluttered and untidy? The general disposition of the people speaks volumes. Even their posture and tone reflect the general climate of the organization. How the managers talk to their staff is most telling.
Culture, in many ways, is like concrete, according to Chris Hirst, the author of the book, No Bullsh*t Leadership. While concrete is easy to shape when wet, it's impossible to manipulate once it sets. You'll need to smash the concrete and start all over.
Too many companies I've seen have a culture littered with toxic or unhealthy elements, such as petty rivalries and top-down hierarchies. A workplace where people are only workers with no empowerment would kill me. I couldn't survive it, at least not for very long. I would make efforts to change it or leave it for more fertile ground. What's bad for the hive is bad for the bee.