Culture University

Positively impacting society on a global scale through culture awareness, education and action.

This milestone post is a salute to passionate and experienced culture and performance change agents. You understand the power of culture in organizations and the challenge, frustration, restlessness, and exhilaration inevitably linked to intentional culture-related action. We’re living in the absolute best time in history to be involved in meaningful culture change. Culture is finally a topic of discussion in most organizations, and we need to make the most of it.

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Southwest Airlines Reveals 5 Culture Lessons

By Kristin Robertson

Despite the tragic incident on Southwest Airlines’ Flight 1380 on April 17, 2018, the culture of the Best Loved Airline ensured that the accident did not tarnish its reputation. The 1380 flight crew, in an interview on CBS News, attributed their success in safely landing the plane to their shared values. Although the crew didn’t mention a specific core value, Southwest’s Servants Heart was evident throughout all the actions taken after the accident, from Captain Tammie Jo Shults walking the aisle and speaking to every passenger once the plane was safely landed to the heartfelt message from CEO Gary Kelly.

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Until you understand what culture is and how it is driving your business the wrong way, learning how to change it to significantly improve results will be challenging. Why? Because the old, “Stupid or not, that’s the way we do things around here” will just keep re-emerging.

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CEO Transitions: From Shared Accountability to Culture Change Success

By Daniel Forrester and James Williams

There is nothing more exciting than the moment a new leader is announced. Employees Google her/his name, wondering what she/he will do to change the organization. A new leader brings new ideas. She/he offers a new vision. They may even help the organization imagine better ways to remain relevant and thrive in the future.

CEOs transition into organizations thousands of times each year across for- and not-for-profit sectors. How often new CEOs arrive, their tenure, and the rate at which they succeed in achieving a new vision versus failing to meet board expectations have been well-reported and even studied in academia—the results are stunning.

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Ask 10 random people in your organization “Who is our customer?” How many different answers would you get? Ideally, the answer is the same. There is only one customer. Your strategy, resources and goals and objectives must be aligned around a singularly defined customer.

Lack of customer clarity creates organizational challenges that extend far beyond customer service. A lack of clarity and alignment about the customer leads to confusion and uncertainty about critical organizational priorities. A consistent definition of customer can break down silos, unlock lost productivity, and empower your people.

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Edward Stack, CEO of Dick’s Sporting Goods one of the largest United States retailers took a bold stand to no longer sell assault rifles. In addition, they will only sell guns to those 21 years and older. At a time when the country is divided over second amendment rights, gun control, and public safety, why would a company like Dick’s make such a decision? Was it the discovery that Nikolas Cruz the 19-year-old responsible for the Florida attack had purchased a gun from Dick’s previously? Was it because of the millennials protesting gun violence? What are the cultural implications? These answers can be found by looking at how the environment influences decision-making, public opinion, leadership, and culture.

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