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You Cannot Build Culture by Policy Alone


“If I can impact an executive and his or her team, I can help to change the culture of an organization.” —Srikumar Rao

Just like you can’t legislate morals, you cannot build culture by policy alone. Culture is far more than just words in a handbook, it is more than some vision painted in the hallway; culture is constantly changing, it adapts with every interaction that takes place. One of your greatest challenges as a leader is to guide the development of your culture. So, if it is not built by policy, what does build culture?

It lives and breathes

Culture is a living, breathing thing; it needs care. If you, as a leader, neglect the culture of your organization it will fail to flourish. It will slowly become toxic with the ability to poison everyone who works with your organization. Conscious care builds culture.

Related: What Does Mentorship Have to Do With Being an Everyday Leader?

It evolves

Culture is constantly changing. Every act can potentially have an impact on it. Your culture can evolve in ways that benefit employees and customers alike or evolution can lead it down the path to destruction. As a leader, your actions set the example to your employees. And, positive actions build culture.

It is bigger than the sum of its parts

Culture is built out of the relationships, interaction, and the dynamics of the people in the organization. But, culture is much bigger than the sum of its parts. Every member of your team plays an important role in the organization. Valuing the contributions that individuals make to the success of the whole builds culture.

What are You Building?

Culture cannot be written into existence by any policy. Culture lives and breathes; make sure to care for it. Culture is constantly evolving; guide it in a positive direction. Culture is built on the individual relationships and interactions that make up the whole; value every contribution. Your behavior, as a leader, is what builds culture.

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