Christina Rossini in “The Millennial Corner”
(note from Randy: Christina is a participant in our monthly First Friday Book Synopsis, and a high-energy thinker and leader. Read about her at her LinkedIn page by clicking here).
Don’t you just love a great book that speaks to you so poignantly, that you recommend it to several people and love telling others about what you learned? Gratefully, I’ve been reading a lot of books like this recently, within the realm of personal development, employee engagement, mentorship, and company culture.
One such good read is Your Company Culture Ecosystem by Kristin Robertson. Robertson’s piece is a playbook on building a vibrant organization, the plays of which can be imitated from the company boardroom to the Girl Scout troop.
Below is a brief synopsis of the key points, using her own words.
According to Robertson, culture is a result of everything you do in an organization. It’s the set of values, expected behaviors, underlying beliefs & norms. No two cultures are the same, since it’s the personality of a company: built and sustained over time, and must be tended daily. It’s no surprise that vibrant cultures result in higher employee retention & engagement, improved productivity & increased profits.
Her Company Culture Ecosystem model includes six aligned elements that all support the culture & vision of the organization. They are:
• Values & Purpose
• People Practices
• Rituals, Stories & Symbols
• Operational Processes & Tools
• Accountability Systems
The book deep-dives into each of these six elements, which altogether provide context to see the company culture in a new light.
Her key take-aways include:
• Creating values and a purpose statement is a worthless endeavor unless you work to embed them into everything you do.
• Invest in your leaders and their development. The quickest way to change a culture for the better is to change the way leaders lead. Have a zero tolerance for leadership behaviors that are noncompliant with core values.
• Food is a powerful symbol of a company culture. Devise food rituals that reflect the values of the company and use them wisely to embody the positive aspects of your culture. Capitalize on the fact that serving food represents nurturing & warmth.
• Culture is not just throwing good parties. It’s the result of everything you do in your organization.
Creating and sustaining culture happens one of two ways: intentionally or unintentionally. Mindfully weave your core values into everything you do, and remember that everything you do–and don’t do–matters.
As Peter Drucker said, “Culture eats strategy for lunch!”