Centres of Influence
The makers or breakers of your Company Culture!
Culture, perhaps more than anything else, impacts the success or failure of your enterprise. A more import question is what or who impacts culture. If you want to improve the culture in your organization, start with your Centres of Influence.
Centres of Influence
…a person or group of people who have a significant impact on the behavior of the organization and the people in it…
A Quick Review on Culture
In short, culture is simply the sum of how every individual in your organization or team behaves. How they act, communicate and make decisions. In general how they go about their work individually and collectively.
Getting clarity on what your culture is and is not, is an essential first step but that alone is not enough. A bunch of nicely crafted statements written on a wall somewhere has little to no impact on culture. Your Centres of Influence on the other hand have a major impact on whether what is written becomes the embedded code of behavior for everyone in the organization.
Who are your Centres of Influence?
THE LEADER: The team will be built in your image.
You will often hear folks talk about leading by example. It’s a simple statement that rolls off the tongue. Few leaders appreciate the gravity of that statement. What it means is that over time both the strengths and the weaknesses of the Leader will be reflected in the team he or she leads.
When it comes to culture there are three maxims leaders need to live by:
1. Your behavior will impact culture more than any other individual.
2. You have to be the living embodiment of the culture you want to create.
3. You are ultimately the main person responsible for promoting your company culture and
dealing quickly and directly with violations of the code.
THE LEADERSHIP TEAM: The Keepers of the faith.
More than any other group the Leadership Team has extraordinary power and responsibility when it comes to culture. Yes, like the leader your example is critical. More than likely you lead your own team, but as part of the Leadership Team you have to be an advocate, someone who is actively promoting the culture, coaching improvement and having tough conversations when cultural standards are not being met.
Side note – how you talk to others about your peers on the Leadership team has a big impact on Culture. Same is true for any team really.
“A whisper at the top becomes a shout at the bottom”
LEADERS WITHOUT TITLE: You want them working for you.
There is a third less obvious group that impact culture. They are folks that either through experience, ability or the sheer strength of their personality have significant influence on their respective teams and the individuals in it.
Typically these undesignated leaders consistently underestimate the influence they can have on others. They have the ability to strengthen the culture of an organization or destroy it in their area of influence.
Leaders have to be acutely aware of this third group. There is a real need to work with them, to help them ‘buy in’ to the standards of behavior and encourage them to become advocates.
WHAT TO DO:
1. Know exactly who the Centres of Influence are in your organization.
2. If you have negative Centers of Influence, deal with them quickly and directly before they become cancerous.
3. Help them become advocates for the culture you are trying to build.