What is the Creation Culture or Character?
If we do not have a firm understanding of what it is, how do we plan for it, measure it and understand what needs to be done to achieve it? How do we know we are progressing? Or are we already there?
Can you really put a hard number on a soft topic?
Great questions to be sure.
These were posed to me by a Creation team member following a recent People & Culture Scorecard input session. The People & Culture Scorecard is one tool we use to assess our progress on the journey of never-ending improvement in culture. It consists of several categories and includes some results from our People Survey, small-group interviews and review of observable data.
One of the areas of focus on the Scorecard is how we’re doing as Leaders, and in particular whether our Business Unit Leadership Teams take an active role in developing the Creation Culture.
So how do you define a Company Culture, or Character? How do you measure it?
I’m sure many of us at have had, or been asked, these same questions ourselves. My take on it is that I’m not sure if there is a “hard” answer.
I can understand the challenge of putting a “hard” number on a “soft” category like culture. In my mind, the Creation Culture, and a company’s culture in general, is simply “the way we do things around here”.
The way we think about people (paradigms), drives the way we act (behaviors), which drives the outcomes (results).
It’s the basic See-Do-Get model from Stephen Covey’s ‘The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People’.
If we truly embrace our Purpose and Core Values, it will affect, drive, and influence the way we see people. This will influence how we behave toward people. And together this will influence the results we get.
As part of a collective company culture, we have the ability to change the experiences of our teammates, suppliers, customers, family, neighbors, partners, etc., really everyone we interact with.
Building on Trust
Another way to look at it is that trust is the fundamental building block for teamwork, and trust requires trustworthy people.
Trustworthiness = Character + Competence
In this context, the company “Character” is one that exhibits the company’s Core Values and pursues its Vision.
How do we know where we are or if we have arrived?
First of all, let me say that at Creation we’ll never arrive because that would not be consistent with Continuous Improvement which is at the core of our Pursuit of Excellence® philosophy.
But in terms of judging where we are, we can ask ourselves some questions.
On a scale of 1 to 10, with “10” being the most amazing experience I could imagine and “1” being the worst:
- How is my team doing at living our Core Values and pursuing our Vision of “Enriching lives by sustaining strong, profitable growth in an enjoyable and caring culture”?
- How is my Business Unit doing?
- How is the Business Unit Leadership Team doing?
On a scale of 1 to 10, with “10” being extremely well and “1” being extremely poorly:
- How do we resolve conflict as a team;
- As a Business Unit;
- As a Business Unit Leadership Team?
There are many ways to identify and understand a company culture. Of course, it’s all relative to a point of comparison and so different people will have different answers.
The important thing to determine is “are we improving, staying the same or getting worse?” Where we are is not as important as where we are heading and the slope of the line.
What do think? What’s the slope of the line for your team? Business Unit or operating center? Company? Family? How are you contributing to culture in these environments?