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Three Pillars of Culture: Values. Vision. Voice.

man jumpingCulture runs deep inside companies to the very root of “who” they are and “why” they exist. If a company says they don’t play into or believe in culture . . . they better think again. All companies have culture: functional or dysfunctional, intentional or unintentional – culture exists by the mere fact that people exist. People working and collaborating together will organically create a culture. It’s important to pay attention to what is happening within your organization to assure your people follow the same values and vision you have planned for full success.

People are inspired by and connect to things that are bigger than themselves because they are naturally driven by the desire to be a contributor. When organizations take the time to define and communicate the values, vision and voice of a company it creates excitement and employee engagement. When they take it a step further and allow the values, vision and voice of the company to be the guiding light for strategy and operations the culture tends to take on a positive life-force of its own. I can’t think of anything else that serves as such a central component to marketing, internal morale, brand awareness, talent acquisition and business operations than a well-defined and respected culture.

Companies and organizations of all sizes can benefit from some well-dedicated time on defining and communicating culture. There are many theories on how to discover, define, develop and sustain culture amongst groups of people. The 3 Vs provide a quick overview of key areas to place focus when going through the process of discover, define, develop and sustain.

Values: Your core values are at the deepest foundation, what your company is and what it cherishes. No different than the values a human being would have, a company should have the same type of values identified for the purpose of serving as guiding principles. Values serve as basis to how employees conduct themselves day-to-day and what they value most in life. When hiring new people to become a part of your organization it is important to make sure their life values are in alignment with your company values. This will help to assure a good fit with other employees as well as the ability to adapt and grow within your organization’s environment.

Vision: Casting a vision of where you want the company to go is critical in gaining collective problem solving habits, goal setting and overall success. As a leader in an organization, if you don’t communicate the vision you’re leaving that very important task up to each individual, so you are likely to end up with a lot of people headed in different directions by determining their own vision.

Voice: Values and vision are of course all-important, but if you don’t share them with your team how will they know what you intend for your company to be? You must create a message with statements that are in-line with your values and vision then determine a plan to communicate it internally and externally. Unfortunately, it’s not a build it and they will come scenario. The building must be followed with an intention to spread the values and vision throughout the company so the culture takes hold.

Ingraining culture among groups and teams takes thought, time and concerted effort. The payoff to the time involved is huge and once set-in momentum will gain as your vision cast and values shared are adopted and respected. If you have a business and a team, you have an established culture. Maybe it’s time to take a look at your three pillars to assure your established culture is functioning as intended.