Make Your Culture Conversation Clear About Results

Either you will manage your culture, or it will manage you.

Simply defined, culture is the way people think and act.

Every organization has a culture, which either works for you or against you – and it can make the difference between success and failure. Managing the organizational culture so that leaders, managers, and team members think and act in the manner necessary to achieve desired results has never mattered more.

When most organizations try to improve their culture, they focus on the negative aspects, and try to fix them. This sounds reasonable, but the opposite approach is much more successful. You may find greater success in identifying a few positive attributes within your culture that are connected directly to your identity and mission. Focus on them and find ways to accelerate and extend them throughout the organization.

THE QUICK SUMMARY – Change the Culture, Change the Game, by Roger Connors and Tom Smith

Two-time New York Times bestselling authors Roger Connors and Tom Smith show how leaders can achieve record-breaking results by quickly and effectively shaping their organizational culture to capitalize on their greatest asset – their people.

Change the Culture, Change the Game joins their classic book, The Oz Principle, and their recent bestseller, How Did That Happen?, to complete the most comprehensive series ever written on workplace accountability. Based on an earlier book, Journey to the Emerald City, this fully revised installment captures what the authors have learned while working with the hundreds of thousands of people on using organizational culture as a strategic advantage.


In all too many organizations, there is a lack of clarity about results. To the extent we are unclear about the results we want, most actions taken to achieve them will lack cohesion at best or be at cross purposes at worst.

The culture conversation at your organization has to be clear about the results you intend to achieve.

A culture of accountability exists when people in every corner of the organization make the personal choice to take the steps to accountability. Each step builds on the previous one and involves best practices that typify what taking that step truly requires.

See It – means moving above the line of accountability or staying there whenever a new challenge arises. When you See It, you relentlessly obtain the perspectives of others, communicate openly and candidly, ask for and offer feedback, and hear the hard things that allow you to see reality.

Own It – means being personally invested, learning from both successes and failures, aligning your work with desired organizational results, and acting on the feedback you receive. When you Own It, you align yourself with the mission and priorities of the organization and accept them as your own.

Solve It – requires persistent effort as you encounter obstacles that stand in the way of achieving results. When you take this step, you constantly ask the question “What else can I do?” to achieve results, overcome obstacles, and make progress.

Do It – the final step of the process represents the natural culmination of the first three steps. Once you See It, Own It, and Solve It, you must get out there and Do It. That means doing what you say you will do, focusing on top priorities, staying above the line of accountability by not blaming others, and sustaining an environment of trust.

Roger Connors and Tom Smith, Change the Culture, Change the Game


In your next leadership team meeting, go around the room and ask each team member to define their job. More than likely, most people will simple state their job title or a short summary of that position.

The problem with answers like that is they are just identifying where people are located in an organization – which, in turn, has a tremendous impact on how people think about their jobs.

Now, go around the room and ask each team member to define their job based on what is needed to do to achieve results in achieving your mission. List these on a chart tablet, and ask each member to write them down as well.

Ask each team member to take some time over the next week, noting where the results needed to achieve their mission could be improved. Have them prepare an action plan, based on the four steps listed above, to achieve those results in the coming month.

Excerpt taken from SUMS Remix 58-2, January 2017


Part of a weekly series on 27gen, entitled Wednesday Weekly Reader

Regular daily reading of books is an important part of my life. It even extends to my vocation, where as Vision Room Curator for Auxano I am responsible for publishing SUMS Remix, a biweekly book “summary” for church leaders. Each Wednesday I will be taking a look back at previous issues of SUMS Remix and publishing an excerpt here.


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