“Analyzing a team’s culture is a lot like marriage counselling. The way people relate to each other and the way things get done are entrenched patterns that have been in place for years.”- Sam Chand
Culture can be defined as the arts, customs, lifestyles, background, and habits that characterize a particular society, nation or any other entity. Culture primarily stems from what we create and allow into the organization or any other entities we are part of.
The right culture cultivated, will move the leader and his/her respective entity smoothly towards the fulfilment of their desired vision at any point in time. The wrong culture developed over time, will not only stagnate the entities being led but will result in the decline of the entities away from their set vision.
Since culture takes years to be formed, it means to restructure a wrong culture already developed within a particular entity will likewise require time and dedication to produce a healthy culture from an unhealthy one. However, it is possible!
To have an effective culture, the entity must first be aware of their main purpose of existence.
Another way to have a healthy culture is when personnel within the various entities being led are provided with the opportunity to be innovative enough to try out new things and implement new ideas which, of course, comes along with responsibilities.
Likewise, there is the need for both strong teams and leaders within the entity who not only believe in the purpose of the entity but are competent enough in their respective roles and responsibilities.
And there should be trust and cooperation between the leaders and the personnel within that entity.
Lastly, for an entity to possess a healthy culture there is the need for clear and easy communication channels among the personnel of the respective entities being led.
There are times that, through the actions as well as the inactions of leaders and their people (either past or present), that can result in the culture of their entities to becoming redundant, ineffective or dead. However, when that happens, there are quite a number of decisions and steps that leaders and their people can take to revive a dead culture. There are several ways by which a dead culture can be revived. However, my ABC method of adverse cultural restoration are as follows;
The first step to reviving a dead culture is for leaders and their people to become aware of the main purpose of their entities. It is by acknowledging the main purpose of their entities that leaders and their people can set and live by the right value systems for the right cultural formation within their entities. For purpose drives actions and part of that actions has to do with the set of values that leaders and their people live by to create the needed cultural values within their entities.
The second step to reviving a dead culture has to do with leaders modelling the values that they want to contain within the culture of their entities. People do what people see, hence, for the right culture to be lived by people, leaders will first need to model those values consistently before their people so that their people too, can model those values which ultimately helps to create the culture of their entity over time. In my book “Leadership care”, I talked about the significance of leaders’ care for their people on the culture of their entity. In it, I explained that when leaders model care on a consistent basis to their people, their people witness that value system being modelled to them and they, in turn, pick up those same traits in caring for their fellow people also. Hence, helping to create the culture of their entity.
The third step is for leaders to remove all hindering barriers towards the formulation and instillation of the right values for the right cultural formation. These are barriers that can pose as a threat towards the leaders instilling the right cultural values within their entities. Barriers can sometimes be wrong people who, will pose as a threat towards the formulation of the right cultural values. Sometimes too barriers can be wrong value system that leaders will need to deal with effectively so that their entities, can now implement the right values for the right cultural formation.
The forth step towards reviving a dead culture is for leaders to help their people to also live by the right set values that they have begun to model to help create the right cultural values. And leaders can do that in several ways which includes, consistently modelling the right values to their people so that their people, through their exposure to the right values being modelled to them consistently, will also begin to model those same set of values to help create the right culture of their entities. So for example, leaders who begin to model to value to care to their people consistently will overtime, help their people to come to accept the value of care as part of their entities and then they too, will begin to model what they are exposed to consistently. Another way that leaders can help their people live by the right set of values is for their morale to be boosted by rewarding the modelling of the right values by the people. When leaders reward their people for modelling the right values consistently, overtime, more of their people will begin to live by the right set of values because they want to be rewarded and by so doing, the dead culture will now be revived.
These are some of the ways by which a dead culture can be revived. The right culture formation is so important to any entity to the point that, if culture is unchecked, a toxic culture, like Sam Chand rightly said, will eat vision for lunch.
Fabbah Leadership Consult