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Does Culture Really Matter?

Does Culture Really Matter?

By: Ross Paterson

One of the least obvious tasks for many leaders is the building of culture. Vision, strategic planning, delegation, accountability, all have fairly clean cause and effect. Values and culture are frustratingly foggy.


We have been working with a large client for a little over a year. As I challenge the leaders in the company to wrestle with effective language around values and culture, I received some push-back from one executive. “This isn’t important right now, Ross, we have a lot of challenges we need to tackle, and this seems to be a distraction.”


She went on to list her top 3 priorities for the 2nd half of the year. Two of which are obstacles directly linked to lack of clarity around values and the inability to reproduce key cultural performance in the next level of leaders.


Take a look at any of the 21st century, high-performing brands. In each one, you will find leaders with specific principles, that get crafted into value statements, that get built into systems, processes, and language that inevitably drive reproducible performance into the larger organization. Not sure how to do this? We can help.


Bottom line is: culture matters when you are pushing for the Xtra Mile.


Xtra Mile Tip: To start grasping the power of culture, read or listen to one of the biographies from Howard Schultz, Starbucks; Phil Knight, Nike; Kip Tindell, The Container Store, or Jeff Bezos, Amazon. Uncontainable by Kip Tindell is one of my favorites on this topic too.