The most powerful lever that most CEOs use so badly is culture!
Culture is the hidden agreements we have between us that produce our daily outcomes. It guides how we make decisions and the way we behave. If you want a different result, change how you think and act!
But why is culture so poorly used as a strategic tool?
I spend a lot of time thinking about our teracode – our cultural code. It’s the tool I use daily to guide, shape, and steer our business forward.
From these reflections, I think there are three critical parts to the code:
Structure Code: Designing your environment for behavioural
There is so much to unpack here, but let me summarise it as this:
Your environment has a massive influence on how you behave! If you know what you need to deliver, you structure around this.
Your strategy should be clear enough to guide this.
This is why we spend so much time working on our FlowJo Model. This guides how we deliver our projects and how we operate squads.
The Relationship Code: The way we treat each other
Business is about people and the relationship between people.
In teraflow, we have broken the hierarchy of power of position, replacing it with our squads and our network of a team approach.
This changes how we relate to each other and helps us guide, mentor and support one another. It’s about respecting each and understanding that respect is always earned, never given!
It allows us to build relationships based on trust, openness and opportunity.
Mental Code: The mental agreements we have to make better decisions
What we say and do needs to align with the promises we make and the commitments we give.
But this is hard when we disagree on what the agreements are. I like to call these mental agreements.
They as the daily smoke signal we send through our conversations, communications and everyday behaviour. They are the smoke signals that are hard to hold onto but can be seen by everyone. There is no hiding them.
Most culture programs fail. Executives develop a set of values and assume that is enough for everyone to align.
Each of the above codes is hard to do. It’s hard to deliver consistently. But that’s the beauty of the culture challenge. We all develop as human beings!