Don’t Create Corporate Clones
The problem with your vision statement
When it comes to creating organizational culture, management often seems to think that if they create a set of rules to live by, that all will follow and the organization will be just peachy keen (early American colloquialism that means “Perfect in a Nice way”). But experience tells us this is just not true. The mission is designed to create a set of behaviors to serve the organization and be a part of the “TEAM”… Aaahh, well, how’s that been working out for you? Chances are that more than 90% of your people do not know or remember your mission.
The end result, a negligible effect on organizational culture!
Why? Because most mission statements are designed to create clones. And people, ok, Most People, do not like to be clones, they like to be successful, valuable, and “SPECIAL”. A personal sense of value comes from knowing that YOU have something that others do not, and that if you are not there, the organization would be less effective or successful… and that others acknowledge this “Special Super Power” of yours. The behaviors of kindness, passion, excitement or humor are often overlooked and yet these are many people’s super powers… powers that support innovation, competence, extra ordinary service, loyalty, self-leadership, being proactive, and productivity.
The Passion Super Powers
Passion for one person is directed and even expressed differently than another. Passion stems the the absolute belief that your actions will help you to become MORE than you currently are. and each person will have specific areas that ignite passion. But here is the question… does your culture support Passion? do you support the ability for people to personally grow through their job (and I do Not Mean training, I mean can people make mistakes try new things, get advice and feel like they are in control of their future? But here is the problem, what if you have a “Passion” for detailed processes, is it possible that you may accidentally take away the potential passion for another who wants to experiment on the fly? …and is one better than the other? Is it possible that a culture could be created to support both?
The Innovation Conundrum
And Innovation, Ha, this is the biggest farce I see in most organizations… “We want Innovation”, “We want our people to come up with creative solutions” NO NO NO! What I see is that most organizations, ok managers, want new ideas that are proven to work and are in line with the manager’s way of thinking and actioning. If it is not a “Good” idea (from the managers perspective of course), then it shouldn’t be tried… and if it is tried and does not work, you would likely get blamed for it. So what happens in many organizations which have “innovation” (the action on creative thoughts and processes) in their mission statements is actually the suppression of innovation because the organizational culture does not support it…
So if we want innovation, if we want loyalty, if we want competence or Passion, focus on the development and acknowledgement of Individual Super Powers. Build up peoples strengths, let them fail to expand their ability to take risk and be more of who they can be. Have a mission statement that identifies and celebrates diversity, really, not in words… and to do this your hiring should be for cultural fit and hire people who already have the emotional foundations to support the culture you want to have.
Check out our programs and implementation initiatives for organizational culture change and improvement.