Culture is to an organisation what personality is to an

It allows people on the outside to see what the
organisation is and what it stands for.

It allows the people within the organisation to be
constantly reminded about who they are, what they are
about and what is important to them.

If it's what it should be, a culture can help take the
team both individually and collectively to level of
understanding, performance and commitment that they are
unlikely to reach by themselves.

In this day and age culture means so many things to so
many different people, teams and organisations. Sometimes
the culture is a resounding success and a huge advantage,
whereas in other cases the culture is the cause of many
a problem.

Different teams and organisations use culture for different
reasons and in different ways. From my perspective it is
only important to know what your culture is, why it is
important, how you build it and what the keys to maintaining
it are?

There are many aspects that make up a culture; and there
are many reasons why each aspect is important to the culture
and therefore, to the team and the individuals within it.

Although aspects of your culture maybe borrowed from other
teams, it is imperative that your culture suits the wants
and needs of this team, not any other.

As you may remember from previous editions of The Full Nelson,
I believe that three of the cornerstones for a successful
and relevant culture are:

A. What does the team/organisation want to be respected for?
B. What does the team /organisation take pride in?
C. What is the team like when no one else is watching?

Above and beyond these three important cornerstones, what
are some of the key elements that are going to allow the
culture to develop and maintain the strength and purpose
for which it was intended?

Once again there are many of them, but just to get your
thought process moving, here are five factors (with examples)
that can and will influence the culture of any organisation.

1. Levels of Commitment to:
the task at hand
the organisational themes, values and beliefs
individual and collective roles and responsibilities
the process of support and teamwork
continued improvement

2. Levels of Understanding of:
the product being developed
the defined outcomes and goals
the process it will take to see outcomes realised
the strengths and weaknesses of the team
the roles of all within the team

3. Levels of Communication
Honest feedback about performance
Ability to talk openly with each other
Respect and trust shown through real communication
Accountability through communication
Direction, standards and commitment maintained through real communication

4. Levels of Development of:
Technical innovation
Skill and knowledge
Sense of worth

5. Levels of Accountability
to Oneself
Individual to individual
By the team to the team
Organisational ñ from above and below to all points in between
To the greater good

As always this is not meant to be an all encompassing list, but a
list of key aspects that I regularly see in a variety of
organisations that are looking to create a winning culture.

My purpose is to outline these to you as source of information,
but more importantly, as a lead in for you to think through what
are further areas and aspects that can and will influence the
culture you are associated with.

Remember it is horses for courses and no one culture or aspects
of a culture can necessarily be transferred into another
situation for similar results.

The best culture is the one that reflects what the team is about
and consistently guides the team and the individuals within
it towards the aspects that are important to the team.

So take your time and once again, go through the five areas
of influence above.

Understand them, question them, and then use them to help you
think through where your culture is and why.

Once you understand where things are at and why, then use the
list and your ideas to create a strategy that will allow your
culture to develop to greater levels of efficiency and
effectiveness, and in the process, benefit all those who
are committed to it.

The Journey Continues!

Author's Bio: 

Bill Nelson is an elite international sporting coach who has turned his knowledge of developing peak team and individual performance into a world-class corporate consultancy, Total Performance Concepts Pty Ltd.

Bill's wisdom of the science of motivation, performance coaching, team building and the development of organisational culture has been utilised by business organisations, defence forces, educational institutions, local government, and elite sporting programs throughout the world.