Your Perfect Culture Is Not Out There--It's In Here
Maybe I should blame Jim Collins. I feel like Good to Great left an unintended legacy--that we now look for answers to our problems by studying and comparing ourselves to other organizations. Not that Collins invented benchmarking or case studies--that wasn't new. But Good to Great was hitting one of the particularly difficult parts of business: leadership. That's an area where answers aren't clear. We need help. And Collins presented us with some magic research that correlated best leadership practices with companies that also have strong growth or bottom line numbers. It's pretty compelling.
So now we try to do that with culture. Many have already gone out and done their research, claiming to have uncovered the key distinguishing characteristics of "high performance" cultures. And there's nothing wrong with that exploration. We learn a lot by studying the outside world. Have at it. But studying other workplace cultures and learning from them is NOT the same thing as discovering what a high performance culture will be in your organization and in your context.
To do that, you have to start on the inside. You have to know what your culture is, at a very deep level. You have to know what your success drivers are, and that means going deeper than the platitudes like "good customer service" or "quality products." If you take that inward journey seriously enough, and go deep enough, you will start to see the patterns that have been eluding you, and that kind of insight leads directly to shifts that will build a high-performance culture. For you.
Take a look at this 8-minute video that I recorded recently that shows how you can use the data from the Workplace Genome to dig deep and uncover those kinds of insights. (If the embed below doesn't work for you, you can see the video here.)