Cultural Persistance Overcomes Resistance
The thing about creating, honing and protecting a culture is it requires diligence. Like a product launch or new initiative, rebooting one can involve a big kickoff but what matters more is the day after it is announced and the day after that and then the one after that. The posters are on the wall and we've all heard the CEO's inspiring talk, but as the launch balloons begin to lose their air, the question is does the new culture pervade or is it swept into the corner by dissenters and out of habit?
If creating an innovative culture is your prerogative, what happens to new ideas when they arise in your office? Are they immediately dismissed? Sent to a committee that supposedly reviews them but little is ever heard back? Or are they embraced and celebrated? How much weight do you put into celebrating the idea itself rather than just a winning idea.
The thing about good ideas is they come about by many bad ideas. James Altucher has said, "if you can't come up with 10 answers to a question. Then come up with 20." Be bold and unafraid when generating ideas.
The motto of Danny Meyer, the restauranteur behind Union Square Cafe, Shake Shack and more is "Constant, gentle pressure." Meyer diligent but not frantically maintains his workplace. Its about setting a tone and maintaining it.
Who in your company is the steward of culture? Who steps in when someone acts counter to the new narrative? Does your culture live on billboards and powerpoints or does it permeate all levels?
Unlike revenue and profit, the trouble with culture is its a soft metric. Its hard to measure. But allowing the difficult to measure component to influence your engagement around it would be a mistake because at the end of the day, culture is the undercurrent that influences everything.
Go Forth Boldly