Creating A Culture for Leadership

Creating A Culture for Leadership

Every organization has a culture. It may be a culture of competitiveness or fear. Cultures that pit people against one another are not well-positioned to address the challenges of living in the midst of transition. Most of these organizations are starved for leadership. For leadership is not simply what the senior executives may do. Rather, leadership is how people function within the context of their work. This means that the culture of the company is not a corporate initiative passed down to employees. It is rather how the company functions as a network of relationships.

Since the publication of my book, I have come to speak of these relationships as “a persistent, residual culture of values.” The values persist because they reside in the relationships of the people of the organization. As I commented to a woman who works in a company that is struggling in the midst of its own transition, “A company is not defined by its tragedies, but by the persistent, residual culture of the network of relationships that exists within the company.” To have this kind of culture requires creating a culture for leadership.

This is the fourth of four posts of excerpts from my book, Circle of Impact: Taking Personal Initiative To Ignite Change. These posts are about the transition that I see taking place within organizations in particular, and global society in general. If you or your business is in transition, you may find that many of the ideas and tactics that you used to manage change are no longer effective. You need not only a different perspective but new tools for living in the midst of a global transition of unprecedented proportions.

Leading as Creators of Change

Leading as Creators of Change

The choice is increasingly clear. In the future, we will either be subjects of change or creators of it. To thrive in a world in transition requires the capacity to see beyond what has become comfortable and secure. We must see the opportunities that are ours through our potential for taking personal initiative.

A key to living in the midst of transition is listening for the signals of opportunities that come with change. Only by being aware of the obstacles and opportunities embedded in change, can we see how to create change that makes a difference that matters.

This is the third of four posts of excerpts from my book, Circle of Impact: Taking Personal Initiative To Ignite Change. These posts are about the transition that I see taking place within organizations in particular, and global society in general. If you or your business is in transition, you may find that many of the ideas and tactics that you used to manage change are no longer effective. You need not only a different perspective, but new tools for living in the midst of a global transition of unprecedented proportions.

Two Global Forces of Change

Two Global Forces of Change

We are living in a time of personal change. This transition is not only one that requires a response. More importantly, it demands decisions by each of us that lead to personal actions to create change. Simply being a follower is becoming less and less viable. We have to learn to “take personal initiative to create impact that makes a difference that matters.”

The implication of this new level of personal change means that the cultures and institutions that we have grown to depend upon for stability will also go through significant change. Many will fail from their inability to adapt. Others will survive but in a more marginal state. What is before is the creation of a new culture of leadership for organizations, communities and global society. In order for us to do this we must understand the forces of change that are at work.

This is the second of four posts of excerpts from my book, Circle of Impact: Taking Personal Initiative To Ignite Change. These posts are about the transition that I see taking place within organizations in particular, and global society in general. If you or your business is in transition, you may find that many of the ideas and tactics that you used to manage change are no longer effective. You need not only a different perspective, but new tools for living in the midst of a global transition of unprecedented proportions.

Understanding Your Brand Experience

Understanding Your Brand Experience

Recently I toured The World of Coca Cola in Atlanta. Since I rarely drink soft drinks, my interest was in their brand philosophy and marketing approach.

The Coca Cola Company is the master of product marketing. The tour celebrates the secret formula for Coke and the experience of sharing it with friends. There is a film at the beginning of the tour that associates warm, sentimental feelings with drinking and sharing a Coke. It is very effective.

Coke is selling a brand experience. The drink is associated with the experience. They want you to believe a serving of Coke is a vehicle for creating a happier, more peaceful world. Other beverage companies, like those who sell beer, market their products in a similar manner. It is about the experience of the drink, not the drink itself. It is a very clever, sophisticated approach that has made happiness synonymous with having a Coke with a friend.

As I walked through The World of Coke, I kept thinking about my brand in comparison to Coke’s. Like many people who speak, write, coach and consult, we also provide a brand experience. We have stories. We have brand colors that are intended to associate our brand with the experience of working with us. As I wandered through the exhibits, I wondered if I needed to change things. Later, I reviewed my brand design using the Circle of Impact model. Here’s what I learned.