Change is happening way too fast to predict and plan for an uncertain and unknown future. Building a quickly responsive and highly adaptive team and organizational culture is more critical than ever. The core of a built-to-change culture is an energized vision, values, and purpose/mission (it’s the hub of our “Leadership Wheel”) brimming with life and vitality.

Energizing Vision - Jim Clemmer, Practical LeaderStrong leaders anchor their high-performance culture with a wide variety of approaches. Here are 17 examples of what you can do to co-create your future:

  • Develop common messages that everyone on your management team uses in their presentations and informal discussions on where you’re going, what you believe in, and why you exist.
  • Develop/review your vision, values, and purpose through a series of cascading meetings throughout your organization.
  • Get local teams to develop their own vision, values, and purpose linked to that of your organization.
  • Have team members constantly give each other feedback, discuss ways we can live our values, and may inadvertently violate them.
  • Use formal (e.g. 360º feedback programs, organizational surveys) and informal feedback processes and practices to nurture values-centered leadership up, down, and across the organization.
  • Make “values fit” a final screen in your hiring process. Get lots of input on this from the team members the new candidate will be working with.
  • Ensure everyone who is promoted is a good role model for your vision, values, and purpose — especially if they will be leading others. Make these linkages explicit in all communications/announcements.
  • Examine the common words used to describe customers, organizational members, and other partners (like suppliers). Are “head count,” “vendors,” “consumers,” and other such cold, impersonal, and dehumanizing phrases often used?
  • Ask customers, partners, and organizational members what they think your organization or team cares about most.
  • What gets people fired? What does that say about your values?
  • Make sure vision, values, and purpose are deeply embedded in and drive all your training and development.
  • Begin/end meetings with reflections on living your vision, values, and purpose.
  • Weave references to your vision, values, and purpose in all presentations, discussions, feedback, coaching, recognition, etc.
  • Have a contest to develop the snappiest slogan or purpose statement.
  • Tell stories and publicize good examples of your vision, values, and purpose in action.
  • Look at your calendar and meeting agendas to see if there are big gaps between you and your team’s espoused values and lived values.
  • Continuously work to align the organizational/team and the personal vision, values, and purpose of everyone in your organization.

How alive is the core of your culture? How do you know?

Further Reading