A company’s culture is the unique personality behind a business. It’s “the way we do things around here.” A healthy culture provides meaning, direction, purpose, and clarity. These unifying forces stimulate the collective wisdom and energy of everyone in an organization and are the key to building a successful and fulfilling enterprise. Business leaders today know they need to cultivate a company culture of shared values, compelling vision, and common purpose. But that’s much easier said than done. The real challenge lies not simply in articulating values and putting a plaque on the wall, but in making those ideals come alive. Most leaders, after all, strive for the same kinds of “winning” values: integrity, honesty, openness, and trust are near the top of everyone’s list. And most employees want to work for an organization that promotes teamwork and mutual respect while delivering quality, service, and innovation. Working together towards shared goals can foster strong feelings of personal effectiveness and high levels of company loyalty. This isn’t just touchy-feely stuff, though. There are real payoffs for organizations that are able to implement a positive, healthy culture. According to a 2002 study conducted by The Leadership Challenge, firms with a strong corporate culture outperform other firms by huge margins:
- Their revenue grew more than 4 times faster
- Their rate of job creation was 7 times higher
- Their stock price grew 12 times faster
- Their profit performance was 750 percent higher!