Cultivating Success: The Power of Organizational Culture

Kory Dogs
May 17, 2024

Culture, culture, culture… Is it just me, or are you hearing the word “culture” come up more often in the business, education, and sports worlds? You can’t touch it, put it on shelf and take it off a shelf, but it plays a critical role in fostering the growth and success of any organization.  

A strong organizational culture goes beyond just a set of values plastered on the wall; it’s the heartbeat of an organization, influencing everything from employee satisfaction and retention to innovation and bottom-line results. The interesting thing is, every organization already has a culture, but many just don’t formally define it, communicate it and continuously shine a light on it. 

First and foremost, a strong culture starts with clear values. Your organization’s values are the guiding principles that serve as the foundation on which ALL decisions should be made in an organization – starting with your people. When team members understand the values and are aligned with those values, they are more likely to be engaged and committed to the organizations and their own success.  

In order to set the bar for behaviors, expectations, communication and accountability, an organization first needs to define their core values. Once your core values are defined, they should be communicated throughout the organization ALL THE TIME! Beware, anything that gets created, including your core values, will find a way to decay thanks to the “Second Law of Thermodynamics,” which says that the total entropy (disorder or randomness) of an isolated system tends to increase over time. It implies that over time, without external intervention or energy input, things will inevitably break down, decay, or become less organized. 

I’ve seen many organizations pour significant resources—time, energy, and finances—into crafting their cultures and defining core values, only to see them gradually lose momentum and relevance over time. However, establishing culture and core values isn’t a one-time task. It’s an ongoing process that demands consistent monitoring, dialogue, and occasional updates to stay aligned with the evolving needs and dynamics of the organization. 

Ultimately, a strong company culture is not just a nice-to-have; it’s a strategic necessity for attracting and retaining the best employees, delivering your product or service consistently and driving long-term success.