Reimagining the Performance Model pt. 4
What Does Your Organization and Culture Enable?
Organizational culture and norms become key enablers to performance (both positive and negative).
Look no further than past and current headlines from any news source and see how culture drives performance. Wells Fargo, ENRON, AIG, sports teams and associations like Penn State, Baylor, FIFA and unfortunately thousands of other organizations like these can claim they have cultures of value and can even point to well-worded values and vision statements. But somewhere along the path to success each organization veered and took a different direction that enabled lies, deceit and ultimately failure in so many ways to occur. (More on this in upcoming blogs)
But no legal, well-intentioned organization starts with a culture like these. Most evolve slowly over time, letting certain actions and behaviors that don’t seem too bad in the beginning to become the norm, permeating the entire organization and ending up with people saying “How did this ever happen?”.
In our work with clients we see organizations every day with consistently low to mediocre organizational performance and asking for help to improve it. We then look at the collective past performance reviews of individuals at all levels of the organization we often find that over 90% of the reviews reflect outstanding to exceptional performance. So how can that be? As one client put it, “We don’t pull weeds around here we just replant them!”.
If you have an organization that is often defined by blame, justification and excuses, then look no further than a few well placed, influential individuals in the organization that often lead by fear and intimidation and go looking for blame instead of solutions. You know it only takes one or two individuals with the right influence behaving in the wrong way to poison an entire organization.
However, if an organization truly C.A.R.E’s about delivering the right results in the right way and focuses daily on doing so, the once unimaginable and impossible becomes reality. Organizations need to C.A.R.E more! Providing more Clarity, Alignment, Resources and Enablement are how successful cultures that do it the right way achieve long term, sustainable success.
Look to the U.S Space Agency, N.A.S.A, in the 1960’s. Given a clear vision and mission to reach the moon, with an entire organization and country aligned to achieving that success, and provided with the best and brightest people, resources and technology available to accomplish the unthinkable, John F. Kennedy enabled the impossible to become possible when Neil Armstrong took those first steps on the moon, July 21, 1969.
So we challenge you to look at your culture and the norms that you and the organization are cultivating. Does your organization have the courage to C.A.R.E enough to not just replant weeds but enable success by expecting and developing the leader in everyone, and shifting your leadership model from planning, directly, controlling and managing to inspiring, energizing, facilitating and developing? Culture by design, not default!