8 Culture Building Questions That Every Leader And Team Member Must Answer

April 24, 2019 Patrick Leddin

 

Think of a top-notch organization you know—one you wholeheartedly tell others to work for, or whose story you share with friends at dinner. 

  • Why do you recommend it?
  • What makes it so unique?
  • Or put more forcefully, why is that organization so remarkable, and rare, that you tell stories about it?
  • What causes you to feel so strongly about the organization? 

Top organizations share the most powerful, hard-to-replicate, and sustainable competitive advantage—a winning culture.

So, what is culture?

  • It's the collective behavior of your people
  • It's what the majority of your people do the majority of the time
  • It's the nature of the language and relationships
  • It's spoken and unspoken values, norms, and systems at work 

Top federal agencies share the most powerful, hard-to-replicate, and sustainable advantage—a winning culture.

Winning cultures are unique, deliberately designed and maintained, and rare.

Cultures that are truly great, consist of employees that can agree with the following statement:

I am a valued member of a winning team doing meaningful work in an environment of trust.

8 (or so) Questions to Help You Build a Winning Culture

If you want to create a winning culture, here are 8 culture building questions to get you started:

  1. How clear are your team members on what truly matters most to the organization and the customers they serve?
  2. How aligned are team member behaviors (e.g., prioritization, time management, collaboration, etc.) with those things that matter most?
  3. Do team members see a connection between their daily work and the goals of the organization?
  4. How credible are your leaders? Do they have both the character and competence to effectively lead?
  5. Would team members choose to follow your leaders if they weren't bestowed with the title 'leader'?
  6. Do your leaders create an environment of trust - starting with their own behaviors?
  7. What processes and procedures does your organization have in place that allow your people to bring the best to work? Which ones hold your people back?
  8. Is your team winning or losing? Does everybody know?

Answer these 8 questions on your own and invite your team members to do the same. Then, get together and have a candid conversation about your answers. Doing so, is the right first step to building a winning culture in your organization.


Don't let 1-on-1s slip into the ineffective and monotonous territory of simple status reports and progress checks. Get 100+ questions to improve your 1-on-1s and use them to engage your people, uncover issues, and unleash potential. 

 

About the Author

Patrick Leddin

Patrick Leddin has benefited from both hands-on leadership and management experience coupled with academic rigor and expertise. Patrick served as a U.S. Army airborne, infantry, ranger-qualified officer, worked as a Project Manager at KPMG Consulting. His consulting work has allowed him to partner with clients in the United States, Canada, China, Malaysia, Singapore, Great Britain, Aruba, Iceland, Germany, Denmark, Belgium, Guam, and many other countries around the world. In addition to his work at Leddin Group, Patrick is an Associate Professor at Vanderbilt University in the Practice of Managerial Studies where he teaches Corporate Strategy, Negotiation, and Advanced Marketing.

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