Shawn Stewart, the owner and CEO of CSS Fitness Holdings, LLC and Fuel Fitness, shares best practices for creating a great culture.
I was recently reminded of an article I read years ago that culture is a myth. While I agree with the premise that culture can sometimes be defined by a select few executives in an organization, I disagree it’s a myth, at least in some cases.
I believe the word culture can easily be overused and under studied, often leading to lazy leadership. For example, it’s common for leaders to simply state someone isn’t a “culture fit” when they themselves lack the efforts and investment into training, growth and leadership development, and rewards and recognition programs. Defining your culture is only the first and easiest step. What happens next is the real substance and power of culture.
All great organizations, companies, sports teams and schools that have a sustainable and substantive culture are built on a three-tiered pyramid. The three tiers are foundation, systems and people.
The first level is building the foundation of your company which includes having a clear vision for your company and a focused mission to get there. The foundation also includes defining a set of values that are core to the organization, important to all executives and team members, and provide the guiding principles by which all decisions are made.
The second tier is having a systematic approach to everything and a culture of executing these systems perfectly, 100% of the time. Consistency in your delivery creates credibility with your team and customers.
All systems should be designed and developed based on your foundational principles. Near perfect execution is key in this tier and requires a commitment from team members to follow each step of the system as designed. That way, proper evaluation and coaching can truly take place.
The third tier revolves around your people. It is on the top of the pyramid because people are the most important aspect of an organization. However, like the roof on your house, you can’t begin there. You must have the other two in place first.
With this in place, you can begin the journey of looking for the right people for your team, not just the best people available.