A CEO’s Take on Culture

Keith Wilmot

04 February 2014

We so often hear how culture defines business or team success, and while so many leadership books attempt to validate this claim, the real question is how do we create, or architect, culture?

Far too commonly, culture becomes an elusive mystery spoken only in human resource conference rooms. In my career, I’ve had the privilege of working for some of the world’s most recognized and respected brands. In each of these companies, I’ve witnessed many leaders and meetings attempting to define culture, impact culture, measure culture, and change culture. They tended to be tactical in nature, including ideas like; changing the environment, giving people more time off, and adding fun into the workplace.

None of these ideas are wrong and some actually help, however, true leaders who constantly architect contagious culture rely on a basic formula for success: Winning Culture = Conditions + Capabilities + Metrics.

The conditions are the DNA of a company and include areas like; fluid resource allocation, autonomy, and speed.

The capabilities are the direct skills (creative, competence, etc) of the leaders in the organization.

Finally, people tend to do what they are measured to do.

So, if you want better innovation results, start measuring your organization differently and rewarding new behavior. A leader worth following looks to build a contagious culture by always architecting the conditions to win.

Keith Wilmot

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