How to Tend Your Company’s Cultural Garden

by Jennifer Miller on November 14, 2013

in Business Management, Team Effectiveness

Tend to Company CultureHow much care is taken with your company’s values? Are they simply slogans on a banner in your lunchroom . . . or something deeply embedded in your organizational culture?

And what happens when leaders make business decisions that fly in the face of those values? That’s what I write about in this month’s Smartblog on Leadership post called Does Your Company Have a Cultural Congruence Problem?: how leaders can foster a thriving, positive culture by examining the ways their daily actions and decisions drive how employees think about the company’s values.

Keep this in mind: leaders aren’t the only ones who tend the company culture. Everybody can do so, but it does take courage. Sometimes an employee with no title has to step up and fill the leadership void to demonstrate company values.  Finding the right words is the first step in building your confidence to speak up when you see a gap between stated company values and the discussion at hand. Here are some tactful ways to bring values into the conversation without sounding preachy:

“How can we meet this business need and still honor our company value of X?”

“This idea seems counter to our value of valuing our business partners. How can we tweak the idea to make it more workable?”

“I can’t help but wonder if our suppliers were in this room – what would their reaction be?”

“How does this suggestion support our goal of “Safety First”?

Corporate culture is like a garden; its vitality depends on the people tending it. No matter what your role in your organization, you can be a caretaker of your company’s cultural “garden”, if you resolve to pull up a few “weeds” whenever you see them.

Question: In what ways have you seen corporate culture thrive when an employee played the role of values caretaker?


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