Ducks in a Row: Good Culture is a Habit

Ducks in a Row: Good Culture is a Habit

Post from: MAPpingCompanySuccess

Culture is recognized as the “make or break” for companies of all sizes, so it’s logical for bosses at all levels to look for insights on creating and retaining a winning culture.

Zappos and Southwest are often held up as icons of good culture, but they also know that sustaining their culture doesn’t happen by accident—it takes consistent hard work at all levels.

They know that certain behaviors and actions must be actively managed, as well as made visible to the organization at large.

Companies with the most effective culture seek out and continually reinforce what Charles Duhigg, author of The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business (Random House, 2012), calls “keystone habits.” A keystone habit, Duhigg has noted, is “a pattern that has the power to start a chain reaction, changing other habits as it moves through an organization.” Companies that recognize and encourage such habits stand to build cultures with influence that goes beyond employee engagement and directly boosts performance.

The inherent problem that accounts for why these cultures are rarely created and, when they are, don’t have the lasting power bosses would like to see is a long way from rocket science.

The problem is, in fact, extremely simple.

Culture is more talked than walked.

Good cultures require well-thought-out, planned conscious effort.

And not just at conception, but for as long as they exist.

And sustained, well thought-out, planned, conscious effort requiring ongoing hard work is not the hallmark of most companies from startups through the Fortune 50.

Flickr image credit: David DeHetre

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