…So this morning I read a great piece from Gabrielle Garon wherein she talks about some of the biggest culture killers in organizations. She lists 6 culprits (doing a very good job of outlining how they can adversely impact a culture), that you can read about here.

With that said, one of the big culprits of culture killing she talks about in her piece is inconsistent values adoption. This is when (to borrow from the piece) “leaders choose when the (company’s) values matter and when they don’t”. I thought this was poignant because, ultimately, leadership sets the tone for what is and is not allowed in an organization. The rest of an employee population simply follows suit as a matter of course.

…I have been fortunate not to have faced too many situations like this on matters relating to values (because I’ve been fortunate to work with mostly strong leaders), but, conversely, I think consistent policy application is a challenge managers struggle with at all levels. This is because a policy cannot account for all situations, and being a good leader sometimes means knowing when to bend (or break) a policy to manage exceptions that warrant it.

…But managing exceptions comes at a cost.

In cases where this involves deviating from a policy I think that one of the big challenges is that the rest of the workforce only sees the policy aspect of a decision but (for privacy reasons) can’t always see the context behind why that decision was made. In these cases we can only be as transparent as we can while continuing to be as thorough, objective, and unbiased as we can in the application of policies all of the time.

When we do this right, we should be able to maintain a strong culture. Yes?

Just a thought stream…

As always, please share your thoughts in the comments section below.