Creating a Healthy Culture

3064198102_1663ce275f_zLast week we looked at the major role organizational culture plays in the success of the organization. We might have the best vision, mission, and strategy, but if we don’t have a healthy culture, we will struggle and eventually not succeed as the leader of the organization, be it a business or a church.

If the culture in your current organization is unhealthy, or only somewhat healthy, I want to suggest some steps to take that would lead to a healthy organizational culture.

Analyze the existing culture. This should be your starting point. Spend some time with your leadership team and examine the values, beliefs, behaviors and attitude that drive the organization.

For example, how do you handle conflict as a team? I remember working for a leader whose approach to conflict was to wait it out and hope it would will eventually go away. That approach only created more conflict.

Also, how do you deal with gossip? Some leaders listen and say nothing; others say they don’t want to hear about it, while others try to correct it. The way in which you and your team deal with issues of belief, values, attitudes, and behaviors is a reflection of the culture.

During the analysis,  ask the following questions:

  1. What beliefs, values, attitudes and behaviors are we practicing that are helping us accomplish our goals?
  2. What beliefs, values, attitudes and behaviors are we practicing that are barriers to the achievement of our goals?

Answering these questions will help you decide what you need to change in order to create the healthy culture you desire in the organization.

Ensure all members of your leadership team are on board with the values, beliefs, attitudes and behaviors that together you have decided are necessary to create the healthy culture you desire.

Aligning the management team is one of the most critical, and potentially most difficult, steps in the process of building a winning culture. It starts with a frank assessment of each member: How well does each manager embody the new culture?

The reality is, if your leadership team is not completely on board you will struggle to have the healthy culture you desire.

Communicate the healthy culture. You and your leadership team cannot over-communicate the healthy culture you desire to have in the organization.

Communicate by modeling the culture to your followers. If time management is a value, then model that by being on time for  appointments. When people show up (for example, to a meeting), be organized and ready to get things done in the most efficient and effective way.

Also, communicate the culture by how you manage conflict, deal with gossip, value others and model respect of others when in conflict.

Instilling a winning culture can be a tough challenge, as it requires changing how people think and behave. But it can be done if the leader and leadership team take the lead in setting the example of the new and healthy culture.

How is the culture in your organization? Are you and your team feeling stuck or struggling to move the organization forward?

I want to encourage you, some time in the coming weeks sit down with your leadership team and do an audit of your organization’s culture with the aim of forming or enhancing a healthy culture. I found a couple of leadership podcasts by Andy Stanley (June and July 2013) to be very helpful for this process.

Trust me when I say that a culture audit will be worth every minute of your time. It will clear the way for your organization to move forward faster and more easily in achieving goals and objective.

If you would like help in achieving your goals in any area of your life, call us at 208-880-0307 or email us at to schedule a complimentary coaching session. To read Errol’s other posts, visit Christ-Centered Life Coaching.

Photo credit: Bob Jagendorf via / CC BY-NC