Nice Firm Tradition Is not Magic — Take These Steps to Create It
March 24, 2021 6 min read
The opinions expressed by the entrepreneur’s contributors are their own.
Last September marked the 30th anniversary of the founding of the Human Genome Project – a scientific endeavor so bold that many members of the scientific community flatly rejected the idea, prophesying that pursuit of its greatness would be nothing short of an epic failure No tangible results and at the expense of billions of dollars. At the time, the skepticism made sense. This would be an unprecedented endeavor, with scientists from all backgrounds working from dozens of laboratories in 18 different countries, all trying to piece together a 3.3 billion piece of the puzzle.
Our place in history
Those in charge also understood that achieving something seemingly impossible and certainly improbable would require a different organizational ethos and steadfastness than those involved – a global initiative based on the principles of transparency, collaboration, data, enthusiasm and trust. All of that and the belief that people who come together from a shared belief could change the arc of humanity in ways that are far too expansive to understand.
As we travel through 2021, it is more important than ever to address the profound challenges of our time – the Covid pandemic, climate change, inequality of prosperity, etc. It is imperative that these seemingly impossible challenges be resolved. JRR Tolkien said, “It is not our job to master all the tides in the world.” Rather, it is our task “to do what is within us to ensure the success of those years in which we find ourselves and to uproot the evil in the fields we know, so that those who live after them can have a clean earth have to order.
We have a lot to do – and a lot to do too.
Related: 10 Examples of Companies With Fantastic Cultures
The work to be done is not trivial. It is only solved by people who have a vision for what is possible and who together form healthy, conscious cultures that lead to goal-oriented results. Building such healthy cultures is what it takes to change the arc of humanity for the better. If an organization does not have a sufficient purpose and ethos like that, it will lose steam or go off track long before it reaches its intended goal.
A conscious work culture is one in which the mission and values of an organization are clearly stated and demonstrated and reflected in all areas of the company’s business. Confidence in the company’s vision and motivation to uphold its values is high and contributes to more efficient throughput and a higher risk resolution rate. Such a culture reflects stability, camaraderie, and a self-sustaining determination that attracts new, bright, and creative talent who are willing to solve problems and are able to govern themselves. The result is a team that largely understands and believes the why, what it takes to achieve it, and then feels committed to it.
Related: 5 Tips For A Thriving Corporate Culture
At the other end of the spectrum, an organization can promote a hypocritical work culture with no real north, in which the stated mission and stated values are lost in the company’s business and operations. This is considered a toxic culture.
Without a set mission and values, there is neither fuel nor fire to advance the company’s purpose, to innovate, to develop further or even to grow. Teams are driven by fear rather than passion, and efficiency is sluggish. Without a clear “why” for change, people are not sufficiently obliged to do something about it. A company in this state cannot persevere or thrive, and unless the course is corrected towards an intentional culture, the organization is likely to implode or descend into a sterile culture.
A sterile work culture arises when politics takes the place of values, with sales being the primary, tangible driver for the “purpose” within a company. The mission, vision and values that were once in the foreground have since been buried in a sea of bureaucratic politics. Instead, without the motivation and encouragement to improve the work and come up with new, creative ideas and teams, you act lightly for fear of deviating from company policy. Even though the job gets done, the quality is average and not inspired.
If nothing is done at this point to revitalize the company’s purpose and take meaningful steps to restore a healthy culture, it will soon be overshadowed by a disruptive, fast-paced company infused with a conscious culture.
Related Topics: How Can You Maintain Corporate Culture When Everyone Is Working From Home?
What we can do
Acknowledge the current state of corporate culture and identify the purpose and values associated with it. Is your purpose real? And are these values ready to achieve this purpose?
Once these are established and established, they can resonate across the organization while investing in the resources and flexibility your teams need to maintain meaningful motivation and truly run business by those values - at all professional levels, including leadership .
With a healthy, conscious culture, your company will see a speed where there used to be delays, an incredible resilience to replace previous weaknesses, and an increase in innovative, transformative ideas fueled by passion and exuberance.
The human genome project rewound the clock 17 years and successfully published the first complete genome. It is an understatement to say that the result of achieving this lofty goal will have a profound impact on all areas of science and medicine. It is likely that someone you love either extended or saved their life through this massive pursuit. At a time when the first mRNA vaccine is our greatest hope in quelling a pandemic that has brought the world to its knees, rest assured that the work of these great people on the Human Genome Project will continue to have a huge impact on the world will be fine in our future.
In your opinion, what changes need to be made to bring the course and culture on a consciously healthy and purposeful path?