Culture Building Advisor

Culture is critical to everything your company does.

Ignoring culture is the surest way to depress profitability and other key performance metrics. In fact, a study on corporate culture and performance found that companies who made culture a priority over an 11-year period, had 4 times higher revenue, 12 times higher stock price, and 750 times higher net income than those that did not.[1] Given such drastic differences between cultural “haves” and “have-nots,” why do so few companies successfully transform themselves into high-performance cultures?

[1] * John P. Kotter and James L. Heskett, Corporate Culture and Performance (New York: The Free Press Maxwell Macmillan Int’l, 1992), 11

Why do most culture change efforts fail in the long term?

Because it’s hard. There are many ways to fail. The landscape is littered with failed culture change efforts. Successful implementation is counterintuitive. None of the usual methods work. It can’t be delegated, can’t be mandated, can’t be outsourced, can’t be hired/fired, and can’t be given to internal SWAT teams. To succeed, everyone from the CEO down to the janitor must be involved. Cultural fitness requires every person in the company to do their own pushups. The goal is to change corporate DNA and intentionally transform the culture of your team, organization, and company.

Here are the top five reasons culture-building efforts fail:

  • Culture Blind Spot

In a company with a culture blind spot, top executives may have heard that culture is important, may believe that culture is important, may say that culture is important, but they don’t fully comprehend what culture really is and so they fail to make it a top priority.

  • Default Culture Denial

Many leaders have made efforts to change their team culture only to see default culture reassert itself as soon as they were looking the other way. After a while, many leaders tacitly begin to accept or become resigned to the default culture as a given.

One of the reasons that many culture change efforts don’t gain traction is because, in an earnest effort to create a better culture, leaders bypass discussion of undesirable default culture behaviors in an inclination to keep things positive. This has the unintended consequence of driving these unwanted behaviors even further underground where it becomes much harder to bring to light and address.

  • Faulty Culture Code

After studying hundreds of company cultures we concluded that, while most companies have some defined culture code, many are missing one or more of the four key behavioral practices that differentiate high-performing and thriving cultures from their mediocre counterparts.   We have found that the presence of four key behaviors is highly correlated with higher-functioning, high-performing, thriving cultures.

  • Talk Without Walk

Most leaders know how to talk a good line on culture, but often drop it as a priority and focus as soon as new business challenges come up. It’s either business or culture, but not both. Because they don’t commit to changing their own behavior, no one else does either.

The surest way to sink a culture-building effort is for a senior leader to proclaim the importance of honesty or compassion at an all-employee meeting, while that leader is perceived as anything but that. If leaders aren’t perceived as an authentic example of their professed values, people will not take the effort seriously.

This is why, when building a thriving culture, leaders must go first.

  • Lack of Practice

Lots of companies have already taken the time to define their core values or “culture code.” This is an important first step but if you stop there you haven’t accomplished anything sustainable.

Culture as a Daily Practice

We have found that your “culture code” or values must be held as both a destination and a daily practice. You must translate your cultural values into specific behaviors that are practiced by everyone. And, each person must hold themselves and each other accountable to these practices. Most of the higher-functioning, higher-performing behaviors are not something we are born being great at - they take practice. And just like going to a gym or dojo, the more we practice the better we get.

Introducing Culture Coding

Synthesizing 20 years of experience in creating high-performing team and workplace cultures, including three years of in-depth research on exceptional workplace cultures, we have created a comprehensive approach for designing, activating, and embedding your ‘next level’ culture into your company.

Our Proven Track Record

My colleagues and I have provided consulting, coaching and/or guidance to more than 15,000 people, 200 leadership teams on 6 continents, at over 100 of the best-known companies in the world including:

Why Choose Us?

Others that offer this service have mastery in 1 or 2 areas; we have mastery in at least five.  We bring deep experience and knowledge in:

  • Experiential meeting design
  • Culture Design Consulting
  • Executive Coaching
  • Expert Facilitators
  • Dynamic trainers on a variety of leadership topics

Between us, we have over 50 years of experience designing, guiding, supporting, and facilitating corporate leadership summits that exceed expectations on all fronts.

How would you like to have a culture-building expert available to you anytime to help you with:

  • Assessing your current culture and revealing your default culture
  • Designing or re-designing your next level culture
  • Helping you embed your intended culture in every system, process, and ritual of your company
  • Coaching in how to increase the number of internal culture-champions who are helping you build the culture
  • Facilitation of “Internal Culture Team” meetings

We offer culture-building consulting and
advisory services on retainer.

Take The Next Step and Schedule a Free Culture Strategy Session

You will be guided through a series questions and prompts that will leave you feeling excited and inspired about the culture you want to create and more clear about what it will take to get there.

We will explore and clarify:

  • What is your experience of your company’s current culture? What is working? What is not working?
  • If you could wave a magic wand and change anything about you current culture what would it be?
  • What’s the process to get there, how do I get started? What are some of the next steps, what are the milestones?
  • The Culture-Builders Roadmap and determine the best place for you to start influencing your team or company’s culture.
  • Identify key leaders of your organization who are best suited to champion the journey to a next level culture and discuss ways of engaging them.

Click below to download our Next Level Culture Map and to schedule an initial conversation.

  Take the next step and receive the Next Level Culture Map. In thirty minutes, you will be guided through a series questions and prompts that will leave you feeling excited and inspired about the culture you want to create and more clear about what it will take to get there.
Simply fill out the form to receive immediate access to the Next Level Culture Map and to see if you qualify for a free strategy session.


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Contact: (805) 284-9122