As a business coach, I speak to thousands of business owners every year who seek advice on how to shape their corporate culture for growth and independence. They understand the importance of corporate culture, but often struggle to shape it in a way that benefits both their business as a whole and their team members.
So today I wanted to share with you the most powerful brainstorming exercise you can do to get your corporate culture on the right track.
Revisit your vision.
Most of the business owners I speak with have at least some idea of ââwhat they want their corporate culture to look like. But very few take the time to sit down and clarify the details. So, the first thing I recommend for all business owners is to sit down for about an hour and write down what they want their company culture to look like. I suggest turning off your phone and your email client and really focusing on the big picture.
Here are a few questions you will want to consider and put in writing:
What values ââdo you want to focus on in your business?
How would these internalized values ââmanifest in everyday behavior?
What would an outside observer notice about the atmosphere in your business when spending a day in your office?
How will you integrate these values ââinto your integration process?
How will you integrate these values ââinto your other processes and procedures?
Once you’ve got your vision down on paper, it’s time to take a hard look at your current corporate culture and how it fits into that vision. This is one of the hardest things for a business owner to do, as there is often a mismatch between what you “want” and what reality is.
If you were an outsider, where would you notice that the observed culture aligns and does not align with the desired culture?
How do you integrate yourself, as a business manager, into the culture of the company?
Suppose you want to encourage your employees to manage their time, so that they can focus on the big things that fuel the growth of the business. If you constantly micro-manage their time, preventing them from focusing on larger projects, your actions directly contradict the corporate culture you want to work towards. Or maybe you find it difficult to set aside time for concentration and rarely make it a priority, in which case your actions shape how your employees manage their time and energy.
Take these comments and use them to refine your written vision of your business culture. Talk to your team. Get their feedback and check back with them quarterly to see if anything has changed. This is a process that takes place over several months, not a âsit-onlyâ event. But the effort is worth it over time.