flowcultura blog

It's time to work on your company culture... but now what?

26-Mar-2018 17:21:25 / by Marianna

It's time to work on your company culture

Image credit: Shutterstock

As a leader you’ve seen and heard enough about the importance of culture.   You’ve made the conscious decision that it’s time to ‘get serious’ about your own culture and be deliberate in how it’s designed and managed. Your objectives are clear.  You want to...

  • Shift mindsets and engender the right behaviours that will deliver your business goals
  • Engage people’s hearts and minds so they ‘do things differently’
  • Make your culture your ‘unique selling point’, and one that represents who you are and what you stand for as a business

You are committed to this change and so is (most of) your team… but where do you start?

It's time to work on your company cultureImage credit: Shutterstock 

Culture can mean so many different things to different people.  In my previous blog ’10 signs your culture is a blocker’ I offer more insight into what it is and some ways to assess its health. 

However, if you are reading this blog, it’s clear that you’ve moved past that stage and are ready to rock and roll… but I get it, it can feel quite daunting to take this on no matter how passionate you are about it.   You look at the sheer scale and breadth of the task at hand and want to run for the hills. 

Firstly, I’d like to reassure you this reaction is perfectly natural!  You are definitely not alone. I’ve been through this myself many times, and have worked with leaders in similar positions who also share your pain.  So take a moment, relax your shoulders and breathe… 

The good news is, just like most things in life, all you need to do is break the challenge down into bite-sized chunks, and be brave enough to take the first step!  In my experience, that first step should begin with assessing where you are starting from and whether or not you are set up for success. 

It's time to work on your company cultureImage credit: Shutterstock

Below I’ve outlined some of the fundamental questions to ask yourself when doing just that: 

Are you willing to do what it takes?

As a leader it would be fairly safe to assume you are most likely stretched to the max. You have shareholders or investors to keep happy, your business demands a lot of your time, your team needs you and you are constantly juggling between shifting your focus from outside to inside your organisation and back. That doesn’t even include your own development, networking and sanity!

Taking this on is no small feat. It will take energy, focus, time and commitment on your part. Are you up for the challenge?

Well... you don’t necessarily have to do it all alone, phew!  Getting the right support to help you set up and manage this shift will work wonders in providing you with the space and time to lead it properly and not get caught up in the weeds.

Do you have access to expertise and/or experience to make this a success?

  • Is this brand new to you, or have you got experience in creating the culture and behaviours in line with the outcomes you want to achieve?
  • How confident are you in your experience and knowledge in this space?
  • If you don't have it yourself, can you access that experience from within your business?
  • If so what level of confidence do you have that they can help you succeed?
  • More importantly, do they have the capacity and desire to make this a priority and provide the support you need for a successful transition? 
  • If not, it may be time to look outside for expert advice and support.

Is your ‘honesty circle’ in place?

No matter how large or small your team or organisation, having a strong support system will help keep you from rocking back and forth in the corner of a small dark room!

This ‘support system’ is not just there to pat you on the back and tell you what a good job you’re doing, though encouragement will be very important to help keep your energy levels up so you can get through the tough times, and I guarantee that there will be some!

The other critical role the honesty circle plays is to hold the mirror up to you; letting you know when you may be potentially lying to yourself, reinforcing wrong or outdated behaviours, or inadvertently causing the exact issue you are trying to address. They will help you see things differently and to explore new avenues you wouldn’t necessarily think to pursue yourself.

This network is usually a mix of people inside and outside your organisation, those you trust and who are able to ’tell it like it is’.

Are you ready to look at yourself in the mirror?

Behaviour, mindset and culture-related work have a lot to do with other people… but more importantly, as a leader they have EVERYTHING to do with you! If you expect other people to do things differently, then it’s a pretty fair assumption that you will need to shift your own behaviour as well.  Often this can be scary as it requires some frank conversations with yourself, taking a real honest look in the mirror and choosing a different way that is more in line with the culture you are trying to create.

It may be intimidating at times, but it’s oh-so liberating when you free yourself of the shackles and start to see the positive impact your new behaviour is having!


Creating a culture that aligns to your business strategy - and enables people to perform at their best towards your common vision - will provide you benefits you didn’t realise were possible.  The quest is a big one, but the rewards are even bigger! 

So, what are you waiting for… go for it! 

Oh ok… maybe you want to carry out a culture assessment first in the context of your own circumstances.  If so, take this free assessment and see where you stand.  Am I ready to design and manage the culture I need?

No matter what the starting point is, however, it’s time to take that first step now!

Topics: culture transformation


Written by Marianna