Culture: Are We Overcomplicating This?

I admit, sometimes to a fault, that I’m a champion for simplicity.  We live in a complex, technology driven world that can be intimidating at times.  Our desires to get bigger, smaller, faster, nimbler, more efficient, more profitable, less wasteful, etc., are all certainly noble and necessary goals.  Heck, none of us wants to exist in the status quo.  We want to grow and prosper and make the best, most thoughtful decisions to that end.  Sometimes in that pursuit, we fall off the “Keep it Simple” bus and take a detour from progress!

Swiss Army Knife

I’ve never been a member of the Swiss Army, but I do own a Swiss Army knife.  Don’t know when I got it or why I even have it but I did use it once as a kid when channeling my inner “whittler.”  Here’s what else I know.  I’ve never used the saw, scissor, toothpick, leather punch, bottle/can opener or mini-tweezer features of the knife.  Seriously?  Does anyone?  Isn’t this an example of trying to do too much with the simple concept of a knife?

So much written . . .

How often do we make Swiss Army Knives out of projects, initiatives or strategies? Or delay a necessary change for fear of it being too complex?   I read a lot about culture.  The more I see, the more surprised and even disappointed I become in what’s written.  There’s no doubt that everyone is on board with the dramatic impact our cultures have on the performance of individuals in our companies as well as the overall performance of our organizations.  My disappointment lies in the lack of simple, practical and sustainable solutions being provided. I see way too much over-engineering and misguided recommendations.

Let’s keep it simple

We have a great opportunity at the beginning of this year to chart our course and set in motion our own simple, practical and sustainable plan towards a higher performing culture.  It doesn’t require multiple committee meetings, a LEAN thinking initiative, Six Sigma leadership or a complicated, convoluted year-long plan.  It’s much simpler than that.  Here’s what’s required:

  1. Commitment from your leadership team to get behind and champion this journey with an intention of permanence.
  2. A 3-hour brainstorming session to identify the behaviors (we call them Fundamentals) critical to your success.
  3. Establish the rituals around the practice of these fundamentals so we’re living, breathing and behaving, day in and day out, the way that we’ve defined and designed our culture.
  4. Get your employees involved via exciting, insightful and informative rollout meetings.

In 2017, I encourage you to take this simple, practical and sustainable approach to transforming your organization.  At High Performing Culture, we’ve taught well over 2500 CEOs across the country how. If you’d like to learn more about how to do this, just give us a call or shoot us an email.

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